Josh Kolsrud has practiced criminal law since 2006, when he began prosecuting juveniles as a third-year law student. Since then, Josh has tried over 100 trials, including winning jury trials in Maricopa County, Coconino County, U.S. Federal District Court of Arizona, and internationally in the Republic of Palau.
Josh began his legal career handling thousands of felony cases at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for over five years. Josh was awarded the “Attorney of the Month” award several times for his outstanding trial work. Josh was promoted to Major Crimes and spent two years at the Repetitive Offender Bureau.
Josh then headed to the South Pacific working for the tiny island-nation of the Republic of Palau. Palau’s attorney general heard about Josh’s reputation as an aggressive trial attorney and recruited Josh to spearhead an anti-human sex trafficking operation. The operation was successful as Josh helped save hundreds of Filipino girls from sexual slavery. Josh also successfully tried the only second jury trial in Palau’s history while helping bring Palau into the modern legal system.
The Coconino County Attorney’s Office recruited Josh as its Senior Trial Attorney handling all high-profile cases as well as training and supervising less experienced attorneys. Josh handled most homicide, capital cases, sex crimes, and white-collar crimes in Coconino County.
The United States Attorney’s Office later recruited Josh to work on a variety of cases including drug trafficking, illegal reentry, human smuggling, gun crimes, white-collar, undeclared cash, and Fish and Wildlife crimes. Josh spent over five and a half years as an Assistant United States Attorney working closely with federal agencies on complex criminal cases. Josh also worked in the “ACE” unit prosecuting complex civil fraud cases.
Josh is a talented legal writer authoring and winning two complicated appeals before the Ninth Circuit. Josh also has an excellent reputation from his peers, including many judges and attorneys. It is no surprise that Josh has received numerous awards and accommodations for his outstanding trial work.
Josh is a leader at the State Bar of Arizona, which began in 2007 after he volunteered and was accepted by the Young Lawyer’s Division. Josh was later accepted and graduated from the prestigious Bar Leadership Institute. Josh passionately volunteers much of his time helping the disabled. Josh is a member of the Bar’s Council on Persons with Disabilities in the Legal Profession, which he chaired for three years. During Josh’s time as chair, the Bar recognized Josh’s outstanding leadership by rewarding him and his Council the prestigious “Presidential Award” twice for outstanding leadership, and excellence in the legal community for its seminar at the annual Arizona Bar Convention. Josh is an outstanding public speaker as noted by his trial experience, and the Bar’s frequent requests to have Josh serve as a faculty member giving motivational speeches.
Josh is a native Phoenician and graduated from Central High School in 1999. Josh later graduated, summa cum laude, from ASU’s Barrett Honors College in 2004. Josh received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 2007.
• Arizona, 2007
• U.S. District Court of Arizona, 2016
• U.S. District Court of Colorado, 2021
• Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2016
• Republic of Palau (2013-2018)
Awards and Honors:
• Awarded “The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Defense 2022”
• American Institute of Trial Lawyers awarded Josh “Litigator of the Year 2022.” An attorney who is selected as Litigator of the Year possesses the knowledge, skill, experience, and success of a seasoned litigator. Very few attorneys from each region will receive such recognition. In fact, less than .03% of attorneys will even be nominated.
• Attorney of the Month, four times at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
• Numerous Visa gift card awards for outstanding trial work, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
• Chairman for the Arizona State Bar’s Council on Persons with Disabilities in the Legal Profession, 2020, 2021, 2022
• Law School Dean’s List, University of Miami School of Law
• CALI Excellence for the Future Award, University of Miami School of Law
• Summa Cum Laude, ASU Undergrad
• Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society