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Jessica M Cotter

Family Attorney at Peoria, AZ

4.1   14 reviews
  • Licensed for 21 years
    State AZ
    Acquired 2003
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Jessica

Learn Jessica’s areas of practice.

Jessica M. Cotter attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law while she worked as an intern for the Family Law Facilitators Office which she gained experience in Child Support and Child Support Enforcement. Upon graduation, she relocated to Glendale, Arizona. Ms. Cotter became a licensed attorney is 2003 and has been practicing since 2003 with her primary focus being family law. She has extensive experience in Title I-VD Child support matters as well as addressing issues involving the Soldiers and Sailors Act. Ms. Cotter is a mediator at the courts specific request, addressing custody and parenting issues. Jessica has received several awards including the Top Pro Bono Attorney award in 2007 and also Attorney of the Month award in November of 2006. Jessica currently practices at her own firm which she started in August 2007. 

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The Law firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C
14050 N. 83rd Ave.
Suite 290
Peoria, AZ, 85381

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4.1 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
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Posted by Mike | May 30, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
For years Jessica had protected my children
I hired Jessica in 2016 to obtain sole custody of my children. She immediately filed an emergency order which was approved by the Judge (very rare) and only months later I was awarded sole custody. Jessica has since stood by my side, even as a Father, and protected my children's right to be safe, with me. No matter what was thrown at us she stood her ground, fought for my rights as a father, and fought for what was best for my children. I will always use her and recommend her, especially for father's.
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Posted by Frances G. Brito | March 2, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Review of Jessica Cotter
I am very please with the outcome of my decision to get a divorce. Jessica Cotter answered my questions, let me know that this was something she could help me with, and let me know what I needed to know. I met with her, and she got me started. I was always kept informed of what was going on, and I was always pleased with her work.
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Posted by anonymous | December 21, 2014
Jessica's approach is exactly what my (and probably your) case needed
Jessica is an excellent attorney. I was involved in an extremely high conflict custody dispute that went all the way to a final hearing. Jessica made sure all my concerns were addressed and intelligently argued my case. I was thrilled with the final ruling in my case and feel Jessica's approach played a crucial part in obtaining that ruling. Conversely, my ex's attorney was extremely aggressive and unprofessional, sending an endless barrage of letters that contained empty threats and baseless demands. Jessica only responded to what was necessary and did not inflate my bill with hours spent on needless bickering. In the end, I was awarded 50/50 parenting time and joint custody (considering I'm a man, I am very grateful for that decision). While an attorney can't change the facts of a custody case, they can make sure the proper facts are presented to the court, diligently challenge and disprove false allegations/forged evidence, and (as much as folks in high conflict disputes hate to hear this) talk down their clients in moments of frustration so as to not exasperate the situation. Like anyone who feels their parenting rights (and even basic human rights) are being violated by an ex hiding behind his or her attorney, at times I wanted to fight "fire with fire" and retaliate aggressively to allegations and demands I knew to be false, unfair, and completely inappropriate. Jessica wisely reminded me of the bigger picture and, more importantly, the impact increased conflict might have on my child. In retrospect, this approach was absolutely the right decision in my case and, as cliche as it might sound, in the end "justice was served." If you want to get back at your ex by paying an attorney to be your arm of harassment, then I'd recommend someone else. If, however, you care about your child's future and want an attorney who is going to present a very convincing argument on your behalf, I could not recommend Jessica more highly. Once the dust settles, and your custody/divorce dispute is over, you'll come to realize the only two things that really matter are 1.) what the court decides in the final ruling, and 2.) how much it cost you. Based on those two criteria Jessica is one the best attorneys I had the pleasure of retaining (and I've retained half a dozen, in several states regarding my case). She helped me win a decision I feel is fair and best for my daughter and she billed me in an extremely ethically manner. I will always be grateful to Jessica and I know when my child is old enough to appreciate having her father in her life, she will also be thankful of the amazing work Jessica did for our family. Highly recommended!
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Posted by Shkir | August 24, 2013
Highly Recommend, don't waste time/money with any other lawyer!
I found Jessica Cotter after being milked for thousands by a previous attorney for my Child Custody case. I was angry at lawyers when I walked into her office, but I knew I needed a new one to go forward. I walked into the office for my meeting with Jessica very skeptical, expecting to be fed lines of BS and asked for an outrageous amount of money. Boy, was I in for a shock! The staff was friendly from the beginning. Jessica came in, met with me and was very straight and to the point. She talked to me in a language I understood: No bullish!t, just the facts and no promises. She is a straight shooter. If you can't handle someone telling you like it is and not coddling you, then she is not the attorney for you. If you like the truth, realistic view of your case with the experience of working in the courts in several capacities, then this is your lawyer! Not only did she put me at ease with her demeanor, she has backed it up so far too. My case is still ongoing, but so far her and her staff have been amazing and very responsive. She won't tell you what you want to hear, she'll tell you the reality and what she'll do to get the best outcome for you. She comes to court prepared! I could only laugh in court as the other party's lawyer was unprepared and uninformed, but Jessica knew my case every way possible! Worried about her per hour billing? She has been cheaper the 8 weeks I've retained her, then the previous 'Flat fee' attorney that I hired before charged me in 3 weeks. Her office does not nickel-n-dime you. They use common sense in the billings, even not charging you for mistakes on their end that create extra communication back-n-forth to get documents correct for court. I HIGHLY recommend Jessica Cotter and her staff. Having to go through a stressful child custody situation with a knowledgable, friendly, straight shooter like Jessica has been stress relieving beyond measure! Jessica and staff: THANK YOU!
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Posted by Jessica L. | July 1, 2013
No nonsense.
Jessica is a straight-shooter and a total professional. She's honest, highly competent and I would recommend her to anyone needing legal services. The rest of her staff are also friendly and professional.
Posted by Paul | April 15, 2013
Jessica Cotter - Excellent Attorney - Excellent Team
It’s one thing to be right, to know you’re right. It’s another to actually prove it in court and make the judge believe you. Jessica did just that. Because of her efforts in court I was vindicated. And on a personal note this vindication has actually helped restore relationships in my life. Relationships I thought were severed forever. I appreciated Jessica’s ability to hear my side, believe it and prove it. Hopefully I’m never be put in that position again but if I were, I would not hesitate calling on Jessica and her team for help again.
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Posted by Anthony | March 24, 2013
Can't Go Wrong With This Laywer
Jessica is a true professional and she will fight for you in the court room. She will analyze your case and give you the best advice on how she think she can best represent you in court. I provided her with calendars, documentaions from schools, doctors, emails, etc. I worked hard to provide the essential documents in order for Jessica to be successful. She used the information in a manner which kept the other side on the defense. She will give you straight talk and not a bunch of nonsense so that you will become a client. Her entire staff is professional, helpful, and makes the process a smooth as possible. Since I have hired Jessica, we have been successful on two seperate court hearings. I gained additional time with my daughter each time, gained 50% legal custody, three weekends in a month, child support reduced twice, and the other party found in contempt. I would not think of hiring anyone else other than Jessica. If you are looking for a good lawyer to represent you in court, don't hesitate to give Jessica's office a call.
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Posted by Heather | June 30, 2011
Saving My Daughter
Jessica Cotter and her awesome team worked very hard to protect my child. Custody cases are challenging. I was made aware of that the day I went into Jessica's office desperate and broken. However, Jessica and her staff put in long hours and made outstanding efforts to save my daughter. Jessica knows the law and is very honest. She and her staff are also supportive and compassionate. She made it possible for me to face a giant and to continue moving forward. I am grateful for all that Jessica and her staff have done!
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Posted by anonymous | June 21, 2011
An excellent attorney
I found Jessica to be very knowledgable and competent while helping me navigate through the ins and outs of my divorce. She was very thorough and straightforward, but what I liked best about her was that she was very caring about what was best for the children. I recommend her whenever the opportunity arises.
Posted by Alice | June 9, 2011
Jessica is the best!!!
I have retained the services of Jessica Cotter for more than 3 years. She is helping with a matter with my ex-husband. She is patient, knowledgeable and caring. She made calls to substantiate my claims against my ex, even calling the Department of Defense Finance and Accounting Office to be sure I could still make my claim. I am attempting to claim my share of his military retirement which was omitted from our divorce decree in 1981. We have had to undergo motions for dismissal from my ex and an appeal, which was ruled in our favor. Whenever I call the office, her staff is friendly, open and caring. I have more than adequate notice of court dates, receive copies of all court papers and if I have questions or problems, she and her staff work with me to help answer the questions or settle the problem. She is an exceptionally bright young lawyer on the rise and I have every faith and trust in her and her ability. While I was undergoing cancer treatment in 2009, she called regularly to see how I was doing and was just as thrilled as I was when I was declared cancer free. Even after my case is finalized, I would call on Jessica for advice in any legal matter that arises. She is thorough in her research of cases and explains her procedures in clear, concise language. I have never had a moments doubt about her abilities and never will. When I first met Ms. Cotter, I wasn't even sure I had a case and she made phone calls right then to insure I had grounds for my claim before I even signed any paperwork to retain her. She did not want to give me false hope in case I had no legal standing in the matter. She is fair and open minded and I am very happy with her services and appreciate her patience with me when I stumble over understanding some legal jargon. I have no idea when my case may be finalized, my ex is putting up quite a fight but I trust Jessica to the end and know she has only my best interests at heart.
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Posted by anonymous | April 2, 2010
She was very intelligent and knowledgeable of the law and the advice she was giving. I felt adequately represented by her and would recommend her to everyone.
Posted by Brady | September 10, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mislead -strung along
I hired Ms Cotter to do QDROs for me. She took 7 months to screw it up. She never asked me important questions like... are you retired or do you plan on retiring. The way she wrote my QDRO made it so that my wife would receive $1800 a month and I would receive $300 ..... when it was supposed to be $1050 each ... which is 50% each. When I called Jessica about the problem she said she would tweek it. I called her 4 or 5 days later to follow up and she said, " I didnt know you wanted me to do anything with it." That is when I went looking for another attorney.
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Posted by anonymous | August 7, 2013
Unsatisfied client
I have never been so embarrassed by such an unprofessional , unladylike attorney in all my years. Ms. Cotter does not have the decency to corporate with anyone as an adult . Dealing with custody is already a difficult situation . Her demeanor does not make matters better. In fact, I would say that due to her lack of continuity and follow through she made matters much worse. And there is a price tag to show for it. I will never recommend Ms. Cotter even to my worst enemy.
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Response from Jessica Cotter August 19, 2013
I sincerely apologize for your impression of the services provided by my office and me. It is our intent to be sensitive to each of our clients as individuals, and to concentrate on their issues. As it appears from your comment that it is more than three years since we represented you please be aware of improved procedures put in place over time. These procedures include assigning a specific legal assistant to each matter, to assure continuity in communication with clients, and that each aspect of an individual matter receives the attention it deserves. Again I offer my personal apology that you had a negative experience with the firm.
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Posted by anonymous | March 10, 2013
Jessica was very eager to take on our case, told us "YES YES YES" to just about everything we wanted. We had great evidence to back us up too. Once she got our $5000 retainer, she waited till the last minute to process everything and eventually it was like pulling teeth to get her to fight for us. She got our money waited till the last minute, then gave up because we didn't want to pay her any more. We paid her almost $7000, to gain nothing for our children. She had us process some documents, charged us to retype them, then she never submitted them to the courts. Made us look very bad! She will nickel and dime you for everything. It's $30 dollars just to READ an email. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND JESSICA. We found her online because we were in a hurry and her reviews seemed ok. DON"T BE FOOLED! Go with a lawyer who will help you for one lump sum, no matter what happens! Above all you can be certain, the only ones that win in court are the LAWYERS!
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AVVO RATING 9.7 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter
  • 2007 - Present
  • Associate
  • The Law Firm of Bruce D. Brown, Pllc
  • 2004 - 2007
  • Associate
  • The law firm of Joseph Charles
  • 2003 - 2004


  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2002
  • Arizona State University
  • BA
  • 1998

Sample of Legal Cases

  • In re the Matter of Davis v. Davis 1-CA-CV-11-0687
  • Wife won Lower court order affirmed that there was Jurisdiction


  • Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators
  • Vice President
  • 2017 - 2018
  • West Maricopa County Bar Association
  • President
  • 2006 - 2007
  • West Maricopa County Bar Association
  • Vice President
  • 2005 - 2006
  • West Maricopa County Bar Association
  • Board Member
  • 2004 - 2012
  • West Maricopa County Bar Association
  • Treasurer
  • 2004 - 2004
  • West Maricopa County Bar Association
  • Secretary
  • 2004 - 2005
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Big Thanks Award 2013
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona
  • 2013
  • Top 50 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year
  • Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education
  • 2007
  • Attorney of the Month Award
  • Volunteer Lawyers Program of Arizona
  • 2006

Attorney endorsements

Received (22)
Given (20)
Endorse Jessica
Family Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Jessica is an strong advocate for her clients while maintaining a professional and cordial relationship with opposing counsel - enabling her to achieving optimum results."
Unknown Attorney | May 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Cotter devotes a generous amount of time answering questions on Avvo. Her contributions are thoughtful, insightful, well reasoned and detailed. Her answers indicate that she is very knowledgeable in the field of family law."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jessica is both personable and knowledgeable. She is well-respected as a skilled family law attorney."
Family Attorney | Jan 06
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Jessica is a knowledgeable and capable attorney."
Family Attorney | Nov 22
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Jessica does a great job representing her clients. When she is on the opposing side, I know that the focus will be on the client's interests and rationally presenting the facts."
Family Attorney | Aug 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ms. Cotter is an extremely talented attorney who provides great advice. Even though I have been practicing for 24 years and I am a former judge and magistrate, I learn from her every day. I would recommend her to anyone in her area."
Family Attorney | Jul 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have had many cases against Jessica and she is a very knowledgeable, aggressive and competent attorney. I think Jessica is an excellent attorney."
Family Attorney | Jul 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Cotter is a very knowledgeable and capable Attorney."
Unknown Attorney | Jun 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Truly excellent lawyer. Well respected in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Jun 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jessica is an experienced, fantastic and caring attorney. I have known her for more than a decade. She is a leader among her peers and is well known for getting results for her clients. I recommend her without hesitation."
Family Attorney | May 06
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | May 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jessica is not only a very good attorney and knows the ropes of investigating facts and applying them to the law, she is also one who truly cares about the concerns of her clients. As a family law attorney myself, I have personally had cases against Jessica and found her to be diligent in seeking resolutions to the issues rather than creating unnecessary ones. When it is necessary to take a case to trial when "reasonable persons differ", I have found her to be prepared and very able to present an effective case before the court. if you are seeking a family law attorney, then I would highly recommend that you schedule an appointment to meet with her and discus your case. I trust that you will be impressed."
Divorce and separation Attorney | May 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Apr 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jessica is goal oriented and she keeps her client's individual needs in focus."
Family Attorney | Apr 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Mar 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jessica and I went to law school together. Since that time, I have known Jessica to be a talented, hard working and knowledgeable attorney. I certainly endorse her work as an attorney."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 10
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Sep 03
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. She is an amazing lawyer and advocate."
Family Attorney | Jan 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I am particularly pleased to recommend fellow up-and-coming female attorneys in family law, where our compassionate touch and insightful intuition are sorely needed. I thoroughly enjoy reading her answers to questions posed here on and look forward to continuing wisdom from Attorney Cotter."
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