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Colonel James Bartolotto, USMCR    

Colonel Bartolotto is from Long Island, New York.  He is a 1988 graduate of St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens where he earned a B.A. in Government and Politics and a minor in both Business and Theology.  He received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1991.  He is admitted to the state bars of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, and admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and numerous U.S. District Courts nationwide. 

Colonel Bartolotto has served in the Marine Corps since 1989, with over nine of those years on active duty.  Upon completing Officer Candidates’ School, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on August 18, 1989.  After graduating The Basic School in December 1992, and Naval Justice School in March 1993, he reported to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan and then Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California.  While on active duty he held many different billets, mainly with a focus on military justice, to include Appellate Judge for the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, Senior Defense Counsel, Trial Counsel/Prosecutor, Legal Assistance Officer/Officer-in-Charge, and as the Marine Officer Instructor for the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  
Colonel Bartolotto left active duty in August 1999 and has served in the Marine Corps Reserve ever since as a Trial Judge, Appellate Government Counsel, Assistant Civil Law & Review Officer, and as the Legal Assistance Branch Director (JAL).  Since 2012, he has served in the Reserve Legal Support (RLS) section of the Judge Advocate Division (JAD) as the Military Deputy Counsel to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Branch Head for the Reserve Force Augmentation Branch (JFA), and as Branch Head for the Reserve Support Branch (JRS).  He is currently the Reserve Chief Defense Counsel of the Marine Corps and Branch Head for the Reserve Defense Services Branch (JRD).  He is a graduate of the Military Judges’ Course at the Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School, the Air Force Air War College Senior Leader Course Non-Resident Program, and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College Distance Education Program.  

In his civilian capacity Colonel Bartolotto is a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Constitutional & Specialized Tort Litigation Section, Civil Division in Washington, DC, where he defends federal employees sued personally for alleged constitutional violations.  He also defends the United States and its various agencies in similar lawsuits.  He has been with the Department of Justice since August 2002.  Previously, Colonel Bartolotto was a litigation associate in the New York City offices of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, PC.

Colonel Bartolotto’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with mobilization and bronze hourglass devices.  He is a 2017 recipient of the Judge Advocate Association’s Outstanding Career Judge Advocate Award and a 2014 recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division’s Perseverance Award.  He is married to the former Elizabeth “Betsy” Ann Godsil of Auburn, Alabama and has three sons.  



Marine Corps Defense Services Organization