Kenneth J. Cotter, Esq.
Ken Cotter was born and raised in Long Island, New York. Ken received his undergraduate degree from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Upon completing his degree at Hofstra, he attended the University of Miami where he earned his Juris Doctorate in 1977. After completing law school, Mr. Cotter relocated to Central Florida where he was employed as an Assistant State Attorney in Orange County and transitioned into private practice in 1981. In 2018, Mr. Cotter’s law firm, Cotter & Zelman, became affiliated with Greater Orlando Family Law.
During his professional career, Mr. Cotter has gained extensive experience litigating cases in the areas of family law, criminal defense, and personal injury. Ken is also certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a family law mediator and appellate mediator. Notably, Mr. Cotter was part of the defense team in the first criminal trials in the United States which utilized DNA evidence. Though commonly used today, at the time, these cases were featured nationally on the television show 20/20 and other similar national news programs due to the groundbreaking nature of their makeup. Mr. Cotter has also been recognized by his peers for his strong legal ability and high ethical standards with the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating. The AV Preeminent Rating is the highest available peer review rating and held by just 8 percent of all attorneys nationwide.
On a personal note, Mr. Cotter has been married for over forty years to his wife, Cathy, a music teacher at the same local private school for more than thirty-five years. The Cotter’s have a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren. They all live in the Central Florida area where Mr. Cotter has been involved with sports since his children were young. He coached his daughter’s fastpitch softball team through her high school graduation and was a member of the Maitland Softball Association Board of Directors. After his daughter graduated from college, she eventually became a head coach of her own high school program where Ken served as her assistant coach. Recently, Mr. Cotter has coached his grandson’s little league team and currently serves on the Maitland Little League Board of Directors as Director of Baseball Operations.
State v. Tommy Lee Andrews
Mr. Cotter was part of the defense team in these cases which were the first criminal cases in the United States which utilized DNA evidence. These cases were featured nationally on the television show 20/20 and various other national news programs.
Mr. Cotter represented a client in a divorce proceeding in Orange County, Florida involving domestic violence issues. After trial the Judge awarded Mr. Cotter’s client a punitive damages award of $1,000,000.00.
Mr. Cotter represented a Defendant in a criminal case in Orange County, Florida who had been previously convicted of a home invasion robbery and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Mr. Cotter was successful in having the prior conviction overturned based upon newly discovered evidence and mistaken identification of the Defendant. His client was granted a new jury trial and was found not guilty and released from prison.