Joseph Axelrad is counsel in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins and is a member of the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice.

Mr. Axelrad is a former federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. He has significant first-chair trial experience in wide range of federal jury and bench trials. Mr. Axelrad also has an extensive background handling high-stakes criminal and civil matters from inception to resolution.

From 2014 to 2022, Mr. Axelrad served as an Assistant United States Attorney where he investigated, prosecuted, and tried a variety of federal crimes, including money laundering, civil rights violations, health care fraud, wire fraud, and a range of violent crimes. Representative matters from his time at the United States Attorney’s Office include the investigation and prosecution of The Minerals Acquisition Company, a multimillion dollar fraud scheme based on the sale of mining waste byproduct, as well as the investigation, prosecution, and trial conviction of Paul Gary “Doc” Wallace for decades-long violations of the Racketeering Corruption Organizations Act (RICO), including murder, extortion, and witness intimidation. For his work with the Department of Justice, Mr. Axelrad received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney.

Before working as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Axelrad practiced at a major international law firm where he represented individual and corporate clients in large-scale Department of Justice investigations. Mr. Axelrad conducted a variety of internal investigations locally and internationally. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Mr. Axelrad clerked for Judge Alicemarie Stotler of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Axelrad served as a legislative aide to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Mr. Axelrad received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his law degree from the UCLA School of Law.

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 2010
  • BA in Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 2000