Mr. Cotter was born in Brooklyn, New York, and received his undergraduate degree from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Mr. Cotter then attended and graduated from the University of Miami Law School in 1977. After law school Mr. Cotter relocated to Central Florida and was employed as an Assistant State Attorney in Orange County, Florida until 1981, at which time he went into private practice. During this time Mr. Cotter was involved in the first criminal case in the United States, which utilized DNA evidence. This case was featured nationally on the television show 20/20 and various other national news programs. Since entering private practice Mr. Cotter has practiced extensively in the area of family law and is currently certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a family law mediator. Mr. Cotter has been married for 31 years to his wife, who is a music teacher. He has two grown children. Mr. Cotter's daughter is a high school teacher and the varsity girl's fast pitch softball coach. Mr. Cotter volunteers as her assistant coach. Mr. Cotter's son works while he attends community college.