Charleston, WV
600 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301
T: (304) 347-2116
F: (304) 343-2867

J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (2014)

  • President, Energy Law Society
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Moot Court
  • Chief Justice of the National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition
  • Chesapeake Energy Fellow/Fellowship

B.A., cum laude, Political Science, Marshall University (2011)

  • John Marshall and Dan O'Hanlon Scholarship Recipient
  • Pi Sigma Alpha
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
Photo of Joshua A.  Cottle

Joshua A. Cottle


Josh Cottle focuses his practice on circuit court appeals and appeals before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia on behalf of clients in the education sector. As a member of the Bowles Rice Education Law Group, long recognized as “Top Tier” for Education Law in West Virginia by U.S. News & World Report, he also provides counsel regarding employee grievances, such as complex excess levy and personnel issues. In addition to administrative litigation, Josh represents school boards in cases involving violations of the Open Governmental Proceedings Act and the Freedom of Information Act, and counsels school boards on compliance with those Acts to avoid litigation.

Josh has advised the West Virginia School Board Association on the formation and operation of Educational Services Cooperatives and has assisted Regional Education Service Agencies with the transition to Educational Services Cooperatives.

Josh also handles transactional and litigation matters relating to the oil and gas industry. Specifically, his experience largely involves title curative work, including partition actions, missing or unknown heir petitions and complex lease disputes between oil and gas operators in the State of West Virginia. His previous work as a certified coal miner gives him a unique perspective among energy lawyers.

In addition to his education and energy work, Josh has successfully litigated multiple eminent domain actions on behalf of public utilities, and regularly counsels school boards on eminent domain and property matters.

He earned his law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2014, where he was president of the Energy Law Society and a member of the Environmental Law Society. As a member of the school’s Moot Court, he served as Chief Justice of the National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition.

Josh previously worked with the West Virginia Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division and was selected for the Judith A. Herndon Legislative Fellows Program. He is a member of the firm's Recruiting Committee.

Professional Highlights

  • Member, Bowles Rice Recruiting Committee
  • West Virginia Ethics Commission (Member, Board of Directors; appointed by Governor Justice in 2023)
  • Legal research and writing teaching assistant (2013-2014)
  • Law Clerk, Bowles Rice (2012, 2013)
  • Herndon Fellowship (2011)
  • Cliffs Natural Resources (2010)
  • Coal miner, Patriot Coal (2008-2009)

Representative Cases

  • Board of Education of Wyoming County v. Dawson, 249 W. Va. 211; 895 S.E.2d 66., No. 22-0234 (W. Va. 2023) (correcting mistakes)
  • Berkeley County Council v. Government Properties Income Trust, LLC, 47 W. Va. 395; 880 S.E.2d 48, No. 20-1019 (W.Va. Sup. Ct. of App., 2022) (assessments for taxation purposes) 
  • Hartman v. Putnam County Board of Education, No. 21-0765 (2022) (Open Meetings Act)

  • Redd v. McDowell County Board of Education, 2022 WL 1506071 (W.Va. Sup. Ct. of App., 2022) (teacher evaluations)
  • Webster County Board of Education v. Davis, No. 19-1028 (2021) (aide and ECCAT seniorities in reductions in force)

  • EQT Prod. Co. v. Antero Res. Corp., 244 W. Va. 15, 851 S.E.2d 94 (2020) (recorded top lease takes priority over base lease following expiration of primary term in base lease)
  • McCann v. Lincoln County Board of Education, 2020 WL 7222890 (2020) (service employee misclassification under faulty local policy)

  • Mayle v. Barbour County Board of Education, 2018 WL 317375 (2018) (filling aide/ECCAT vacancies)
  • West Virginia Board of Education v. Board of Education of the County of Nicholas, 239 W.Va. 705, 806 S.E.2d 136 (2017) (State Board of Education discretion)
  • Lemasters v. Jackson County Board of Education, 2016 WL 2977336 (2016) (teacher duty outside the school day)
  • Adkins v. Cabell County Board of Education, 2016 WL 3435749 (2016) (accused felon’s suspension)
  • Staats v. Jackson County Board of Education, 2015 WL 6181438 (2015) (hours worked) 
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch in Energy Law; Oil and Gas Law; and Education Law (2021-present)
  • Recipient of CALI Awards (recognition for achieving the highest grade in a particular subject) at West Virginia University College of Law:
    • American Legal History
    • Civil Rights Litigation
    • Economics and the Environment
    • Land Use and Sustainable Law
    • Natural Resources Law
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Gas & Oil Association of WV, Inc.
  • Metallurgical Coal Producers Association
  • National School Boards Association - Council of School Attorney (NSBA - COSA)
  • West Virginia Ethics Commission (Member, Board of Directors; appointed by Governor Justice in 2023)
  • Legal Aid of West Virginia (Volunteer)
  • Charleston Montessori School (Member, Board of Directors)