James (Jason) R. Coltharp, Jr.

James (Jason) R. Coltharp, Jr.


Jason is a Paducah native who returned to his hometown to practice law upon graduation from law school. He served as law clerk to the Hon. Thomas B. Russell, United States District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky for two years before joining Whitlow, Roberts, Houston & Straub, PLLC in 2003. Jason became a Member of the firm in 2008.


Mr. Coltharp has practiced before numerous courts throughout western Kentucky, and has represented clients before the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, the Supreme Court of Kentucky, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  He has received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell every year since 2013.

In a 2009 case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, he was selected to write the appellate brief on behalf of 10 other attorneys and their 38 clients, and was subsequently selected to present the oral argument on behalf of 23 attorneys and their 58 clients.

Licenses and Associations

  • Kentucky Bar Association, 2000
  • United States District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Kentucky
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • McCracken County Bar Association, Past President, Past President-Elect, and Past Secretary-Treasurer
  • Kentucky Defense Council, President and Past President-Elect, Past Vice President, and Past Secretary-Treasurer
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, invited to membership 2019


  • J.D., University of Kentucky, 2001 (cum laude)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Trial Advocacy Board
    • Notes Editor, Kentucky Law Journal
  • B.A., University of Kentucky, 1998 (magna cum laude)
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Philo Bennett Award (best undergraduate history paper)

Publications and Presentations

  • Kentucky Law Takes Aim At Lawsuits:  What Every Builder Should Know About Kentucky’s Notice and Opportunity to Repair Act, Constructor magazine (publication of Western Kentucky Contractors Association)
  • Time Limits on Construction Suits:  Statutes of Limitations, Statutes of Repose, and Contract-Imposed Deadlines to Filing Suit, Constructor magazine
  • Kentucky Liquor Liability – From DeStock to Jackson, (co-authored by E. Frederick Straub, Jr. of WRHS), presented at 2009 Kentucky Defense Counsel annual seminar
  • Acting Without Just Cause:  An Analysis of the Ninth Circuit’s Decision in United States v. Symington, 89 Ky. L.J. 227 (2000)
  • Former Chair, Publications Committee for Common Defense, biannual magazine of the Kentucky Defense Counsel
  • Understanding Kentucky Liquor Liability, presented to McCracken County Bar Association, April 2019

Community Service

  • Easter Seals West Kentucky, Board Chair and Past Board Vice-Chair
  • Paducah McCracken County Joint Sewer Agency, Past Secretary and Member of the Board of Directors
  • Paducah Tennis Association, Past President, Vice President, and Member of the Board of Directors
  • Leadership Paducah, Graduate, Class 20
  • University of Kentucky Alumni Association, Past President
  • Paducah Film Society/Maiden Alley Cinema, Past Secretary
  • Paducah-McCracken County Growth, Inc., Board of Directors
  • Grace Episcopal Church, Layreader and Past Vestry
  • Rotary Club of Paducah
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Attorney Advertising Commission