Monica Cothran has been practicing law in Panama City, Florida since 1991. She spent most of her childhood living in various cities due to frequent location with a military family, but finally settled in Prattville Alabama where her father retired from the military. She earned an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Auburn University in 1984 and her law degree from the University of Alabama in 1987. Ms. Cothran is admitted to practice law in four states including Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Texas. She currently is actively practicing law in Florida only.

Before opening her own law practice, Ms. Cothran clerked for a Circuit Court Judge in Montgomery, Alabama; worked for a commercial litigation firm in Jacksonville, Florida; opened a satellite office in Panama City for the Birmingham law firm of Trimmier Atchison & Hayley; and worked in Panama City for Hilton Hilton Kolk Penson & Roesh. She opened her own practice in a historical house on Jenks Avenue in Panama City in 1996 and remains in practice in that same location. Her main areas of practice are family law, corporate and business organizations, wills & trusts and probate.

 

Since moving to Panama City in 1991, Ms. Cothran has been active in local and community activities. She has dedicated countless hours coaching the Mosley High School Mock Trial Team which she coached from 1991 through 1996. The team won the state competition twice and placed ninth in the nation. In 2006 Ms. Cothran coached the Arnold High School Mock Trial Team. She has finally retired from coaching.

Additionally, Ms Cothran is the co-founder of the local Business and Professional Women’s organization. She has been on the board of the Bay Arts Alliance, an ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce and even a Brownie troop leader. She is past president of the Bay County Bar Association and a member of the Inn of Court. Ms. Cothran is a member of the Downtown Rotary and is actively involved in that organization.

 

The Focus of Ms. Cothran’s practice over the last fifteen years is Family Law. She has handled hundreds of trials with issues ranging from custody, property distribution, alimony, equitable distribution of assets and debts, retirement, temporary and permanent alimony, child support, distribution of retirement and investments and all issues related to military divorce.

 

Ms. Cothran is dedicated to her practice and has the time and ability to fully litigate any case. While Ms. Cothran is in the office nearly every day she maintains her case load and is familiar with all of her clients. Ms. Cothran’s legal assistant has over 14 years of legal experiences and is very knowledgeable regarding cases. All phone calls, emails and other inquiries are answered in a timely manner and you will maintain first hand knowledge of the status of your case.

 

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The original structure was build in approximately 1940. At that time the residence was located at the corner of Harrison Avenue and 11th Street. The home was originally built by W.J. Blackshear, a local doctor. At the time it was built the building was square and consisted of two bedrooms, 1 bath, a living room, dining room and kitchen. It was then passed down to his son and his son’s wife, Joe and Louise Blackshear. The building stayed at the location on Harrison until approximately 1952 and then it was moved to its current location on Jenks Avenue. At that time the neighborhood was zoned residential.

 

The building sits in the middle of 3 lots. After moving to Jenks Avenue the Blackshears added 1 bedroom and a bath and a sitting area/ study off of the living room. A few years later a Florida Room was added.

 

Joe Blackshear passed away in 1992. He and Louise had been married for over 40 years. Mr. Blackshear was retired from Real Estate. Ms. Blackshear was a music teacher at Bay High School and then gave private piano lessons upon retirement. Ms. Blackshear lived in the home until November of 1995 when Ms. Cothran and business associates purchased the home to use as a law office.

 

In 1995, the area was zoned multi use. Which means that it can be a residence or permission can be granted to use the property as a low impact business. The office was re-modeled over a 5 month period. Several walls were moved to add a hallway and enlarge a bathroom for handicap access. New electrical and new heating and air conditioning were added to the office. All the carpet was removed and the wood floors were restored to their original condition. The goal of remodeling was to keep as much of the original character of the building as possible. Most of the original trim work was restored as well as the windows and window sills. Unfortunately, all of the doors in the building were replaced for fire safety reasons. One door frame has the heights and ages of the Joe and Louise’s grandchildren still etched.

 

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Monica L. Cothran, P.A. © 2014

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