• Civil Litigation
• Criminal Defense
• Constitutional Law
• First Amendment (Free Speech)
• Georgia Transfers to Minors Act
• Uniform Transfers to Minors A
With over 30 years of experience in the law and higher education, J. Joshua Wheeler (“Josh”) brings many assets to Cobb Law Group. Upon graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, Josh worked as an associate in the litigation department of Parker, Milliken, Clark, O’Hara and Samuelian in Los Angeles, California. After several years, Josh returned to Virginia where he continued to represent clients in both civil and criminal matters. At the same time, Josh began an over 20-year association with The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression where he wrote or co-wrote over 200 legal briefs and memorandums filed in state and federal courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, in cases involving the First Amendment right of free speech. He has personally argued cases before the Virginia Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Eventually becoming the Center’s Director, Josh’s responsibilities included many outside the courtroom designed to foster greater public appreciation for the critical role that free speech plays in American society. Among these responsibilities were organizing educational programs (including one that reunited former legal adversaries Jerry Falwell and Larry Flynt to discuss their landmark U.S. Supreme Court case), and public speaking engagements (including media appearances on NBC Nightly News, AL Jazeera America, CNN, C-Span, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, BBC Radio, CBS Radio, NPR, and The Bob Edwards Show on Sirius Radio). For over 20 years, Josh also co-directed a First Amendment Clinic as an adjunct at the University of Virginia School of Law, and then co-directed a similar clinic as a First Amendment Fellow at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Josh now teaches constitutional law and political science at Sweet Briar College in Virginia while maintaining his private legal practice.
In addition to working with the Cobb Law Group, Josh has had a life-long connection to Thomasville, Georgia. His great grandfather, his grandfather, and father were all born here. Although his father moved from Thomasville after graduating from Florida State University, he returned upon his retirement in 1997. As a child, Josh spent many summer vacations and Christmas holidays in Thomasville visiting with his grandparents, and then again visiting with his parents when they returned in 1997. Although his father, John P. Wheeler, Jr., passed away in 2011, Josh still visits Thomasville frequently to see his mother Trudy, his brother Zach, and his sister, Amy. Josh is the father of two daughters, an avid reader, and a huge baseball fan, both major and minor league. The first major league game he saw was in Fulton County Stadium and has been a Braves fan ever since (“Long before it was popular to be a Braves fan,” he says.)
- University of North Carolina, B.A., History, 1982
- Hollins University, M.A., Liberal Studies, 1989
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1992
- Free Speech, Elections, and Judicial Integrity in an Age of Exceptionalism (Co-Author Clay Hansen), Journal of Law & Politics—University of Virginia School of Law–(included in the 2017 edition of The First Amendment Law Handbook published by Thomson Reuters)
- The First Amendment Right of Freedom of the Press: Fact or Fiction (September 2017) George Washington’s Mount Vernon Third Annual Constitutional Law Institute
- “Seem familiar?” and other random musings on the Supreme Court Decision in Williams-Yulee, (May 2015, The SCOTUSBLOG)
- Free Speech, Fear, and Facebook: The Evolving Boundary Between the First Amendment and “True Threats” in the 21st Century (2015 Virginia Continuing Legal Education)
- The Road Not Taken: How the Fourth Circuit Reached the Right Result for the Wrong Reason in Snyder v. Phelps, 2010 Cardozo Law Review De Novo 273 (Summer 2010)
- Robert O’Neil: A Tribute, 93 Virginia Law Review 841 (June 2007)
- A Thousand Words are Worth a Few Pictures:
A visual record of expression on Charlottesville’s First Amendment Monument, 2007, (published by The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression).
- Art on Trial, A virtual exhibit of images and text on works of art that were at the center of actual courtroom battles.
- State Bar of California 1992
- State Bar of Virginia 1994
- State Bar of the District of Columbia 1996
(admitted to practice in numerous federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court)