James Ray Cottrell

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Alexandria, VA

Cottrell, Fletcher & Cottrell, PC
 | 5845 Richmond Highway, Suite 800
Alexandria, VA 22303-1870
Phone: 703-822-4170
Fax: 703-836-9086
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1977
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (80%),
  • Appellate (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    James Ray Cottrell, a senior attorney at Cottrell Fletcher & Cottrell, has represented the people of Virginia since 1977. He handles all matters of family law, including divorce, custody, spousal support, child support, support modification, mediation, pre- and post-marital agreements, settlement agreements, contested adoption and appeals. An aggressive, passionate advocate, he has earned the highest peer rating possible, AV Preeminent,* from Martindale-Hubbell for his commitment to legal ethics and professional accomplishments.

    Mr. Cottrell is admitted to practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia, and he practices in the Circuit Courts for Fairfax, Alexandria, Loudoun, Prince William, Arlington and Fauquier counties. In 1974, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the Virginia Military Institute before moving on to obtain a law degree in 1976 from T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond.

    The family law section of the Virginia State Bar gave Mr. Cottrell its Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the Alexandria Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Arlington Bar Association and the Fairfax Bar Association. Additional professional memberships include the Virginia State Bar, where he has served as vice chairman, chairman and secretary and on the Board of Governors for the family law section, and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.

    Known as a skilled, articulate, organized family law attorney, Mr. Cottrell focuses on mediation and trial for cases involving business valuation, complex tracing, equitable distribution issues and transmutation. Experienced in arguing before the Supreme Court of Virginia, he is often a conductor of oral arguments in the Virginia Court of Appeals.

    *AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 80%Family Law
    • 20%Appellate
    Focus Areas

    Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Divorce, Prenuptial Agreements, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Appeals


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 15 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2020

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    About James Cottrell

    Admitted: 1977, Virginia

    Professional Webpage: http://www.cottrellaw.com/attorneys.html


    • Top Family Lawyers in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, Washingtonian Magazine
    • “AV” Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
    • The Best Lawyers in America, since 1989
    • Peer Review Inclusion in Ten Leaders.com (http://www.tenleaders.com)
    • Distinguished Service Award, Virginia State Bar Family Law Section
    • Matrimonial and Divorce attorneys in Northern Virginia, Super Lawyers

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
    • Fairfax Bar Association, Section on Family Law, Member
    • Virginia State Bar, Family Law Section, Board of Governors, Member, 1986
    • Virginia State Bar, Family Law Section, Board of Governors, Chairman, 1989-1990
    • Arlington Bar Association, Section on Family Law, Member
    • District of Columbia Bar
    • Virginia State Bar, Family Law Section, Board of Governors, Vice Chairman, 1988-1989
    • Alexandria Bar Association, Section on Family Law, Member
    • American Bar Association, Section on Family Law, Member
    • Virginia State Bar, Family Law Section, Board of Governors, Secretary, 1987-1988

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Boyd-Graves Committees, Virginia legislature

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Member of the Faculty, Professionalism Course, Virginia State Bar
    • Co-Author, Virginia Practice, Family Law: Theory, Practice and Forms


    • Johnson v. Johnson, 26 Va.App. 135, 493 S.E.2d 668, 1997
    • Napert v. Napert, 261 Va. 45, 540 S.E.2d 882, 2001
    • Tencer v. Denise, 46 Va. App. 372 S.E. 2d 413, 2005
    • Walter M. Cheatle, et al. v. Rudd's Swimming Pool Supply Co., Inc., 234 Va. 207, 360 S.E.2d 828, 1987
    • Kotara v. Kotara, 55 Va. App. 705, 688 S.E.2d 908, 2010
    • Donald v. Fairfax County Dept. of Human Development, 20 Va.App. 155, 455 S.E.2d 740, 1995 (en banc)
    • Arbuckle v. Arbuckle 22 Va.App. 362, 470 S.E.2d 146, 1996
    • Marks v. Marks, 36 Va. App. 216, 548 S.E.2d 919, 2001
    • Cirrrito v. Cirrito, 44 Va. App. 287, 605 S.E.2d 268, 2004
    • Woolley v. Wooley, 3 Va. App. 337, 349 S.E. 2d 422, 1986
    • Stroud v. Stroud, 49 Va. App. 359, 641 S.E.2d 142, 2007
    • Ford v. Ford, 14 Va. 551, 419 S.E.2d 415, 1992
    • Sozio v. Thorpe, 22 Va.App. 271, 469 S.E.2d 68, 1996
    • Arbuckle v. Arbuckle, 27 Va.App.615, 500 S.E.2d 286, 1998
    • Stockdale v. Stockdale, 262 Va. 275, 551 S.E.2d 301, 2001
    • Netzer v. Reynolds, 231 Va. 444, 345 S.E.2d 291, 1986
    • Rahnema v. Rahnema, 47 Va.App. 645, 626 S.E.2d 448, 2006
    • Klein v. Klein, 11 Va. App. 155, 396 S.E.2d 866, 1990
    • Fairfax County Dept. of Human Development v. Donald, 251 Va. 227, 467 S.E.2d 803, 1996
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    Office Location for James Ray Cottrell

    5845 Richmond Highway
    Suite 800
    Alexandria, VA 22303-1870

    Phone: 703-822-4170

    Fax: 703-836-9086

    James Ray Cottrell:

    Last Updated: 11/21/2019

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