Justice Cottle served as Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, 6th District (San Jose), for 8 years. He served as an Associate Justice on that Court for 5 years. He authored opinions on a wide variety of issues, including business disputes, insurance coverage, environmental pollution, administrative writs, personal injury, premises liability, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, professional liability, estates and trusts, and real property. Justice Cottle earlier served as Judge in the Superior Court for Santa Cruz County. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and his law degree from Hastings College of the Law.