James Ray Cottrell has been with the firm since 1977, with over 30 years of experience in all aspects of family law.
A passionate and aggressive advocate, Mr. Cottrell has been featured several times in the Washingtonian Magazine and Virginia Business Magazine as one of the top family lawyers in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1989. He was awarded the Virginia State Bar Family Law Section’s Distinguished Service Award. As a recipient of the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory “AV” rating, he is listed among its Preeminent Lawyers. He has also been selected in a survey of his peers for inclusion in Ten Leaders.com (http://www.tenleaders.com), among Matrimonial and Divorce attorneys in Northern Virginia, Super Lawyers, and other peer ranked publications.
Mr. Cottrell has served as Chairman of the Family Law Section Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar and a member of the faculty of the Professionalism Course for newly admitted members of the Bar. He has also served on Boyd-Graves Committees which recommended statutory changes to the Virginia legislature.
Mr. Cottrell is the co-author of Virginia Practice, Family Law: Theory, Practice and Forms, a treatise regularly utilized by many law schools, judges, and family law practitioners in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Mr. Cottrell has a well-established reputation as an organized, articulate and skilled family lawyer and trial attorney. He lectures regularly on various family law subjects and is a frequent guest lecturer at law schools and professional groups.
Mr. Cottrell’s practice has been focused on the resolution through both trial and mediation of large net worth cases involving complex tracing, transmutation, business valuation and equitable distribution issues. Other challenging and interesting cases he has routinely conducted include international child custody issues and child abuse cases in tandem with custody proceedings. He has many reported appellate cases. Mr. Cottrell regularly conducts oral arguments before the Virginia Court of Appeals and has argued several cases before the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Many past clients have returned to Mr. Cottrell for family-related and other legal needs.
Mr. Cottrell is a 1974 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. in English. He earned his J.D. from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in 1977.
A detailed listing of Mr. Cottrell’s memberships and professional affiliations can be found at martindale.com.