Joshua I. Barrett

Joshua I. Barrett is Of Counsel to the firm of DiTrapano Barrett DiPiero McGinley & Simmons, PLLC, Charleston, W.Va. Previously, he was a founding Member of DiTrapano Barrett & DiPiero, PLLC and also was a Member of DiTrapano and Jackson, having joined that firm in 1981. He was law clerk to the Hon. K.K. Hall, United States Circuit Judge for the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1979 to 1980, and also served briefly thereafter as a litigation coordinator for West Virginia Legal Services Plan, Inc. before joining DiTrapano and Jackson.

Josh received his Juris Doctor degree from West Virginia University College of Law where he was a member of Order of the Coif, Research Editor of the West Virginia Law Review, and Recipient of West Virginia Law Review Literary Award. His undergraduate degree is from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. He is admitted to practice in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a member of the American Bar Association, ABA Section of Litigation, ABA Section of Business Law, the American Association for Justice, Kanawha County Bar Association, and the W. Va. State Bar; he also has served on the West Virginia State Bar Board of Governors. He has lectured in continuing legal education seminars on numerous topics.

Josh's practice has covered a wide span of issues over more than thirty years of practice. He has handled, and continues to handle practically every type of personal injury litigation from industrial injuries and fatalities to medical malpractice and products liability. He has obtained substantial recoveries on behalf of injured miners and the families of those killed in mining fatalities. He has successfully represented landowners whose properties have been damaged by improper mining activities and represented prominent environmental groups in protecting valuable natural resources and endangered species.

Josh also has extensive experience in complex and commercial litigation in both state and federal courts and commercial arbitrations. His knowledge of the coal industry and its practices has been put to use in a variety of commercial claims involving mining contracts and relationships. In addition to handling contract disputes, he has served as trial and appellate counsel in major cases involving claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and tortious interference. His commercial litigation experience includes claims against lenders and accounting firms, securities litigation, shareholder disputes and officer and director liability, litigation over pharmaceutical business practices, and disputes involving coal, oil and gas. He has represented plaintiffs in class actions and complex litigation under the state and federal antitrust law, securities laws, consumer law, and state common law claims, and has represented the State of West Virginia in a variety of complex litigation.

An AV® Peer Review Rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®, Mr. Barrett is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He was also selected for inclusion in the 2010 West Virginia Super Lawyers in the "personal injury plaintiff" category.

Josh Barrett was named the Best Lawyers' 2013 Charleston, WV Litigation - Environmental "Lawyer of the Year".

Practice areas

  • Civil litigation
  • Complex litigation and class actions


  • J.D., West Virginia University, 1979
  • B.A., Wesleyan University, 1971

Bar admissions

  • West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • West Virginia State Bar
    • Member, Board of Governors, 2004–2008
  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Litigation Section
  • Kanawha County Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice

Published works

  • "Longwall Mining and SMCRA—Unstable Ground for Regulators and Litigants," 94 West Virginia Law Review 693, 1992
  • "Citizen Participation in the Regulation of Surface Mining," '81 West Virginia Law Review 625, 1979
  • "Valid Existing Rights in SMCRA", 5 Journal of Mineral Law and Policy 585, Co-author, 1990
  • "Pennsylvania Coal Company v. Mahan Revisited: Is the Federal Surface Mining Act a Valid Exercise of the Police Power or an Unconstitutional Taking?," 16 Tulsa Law Journal 418, 1981
  • "The Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment at Odds: Can the Federal Surface Mining Act Survive National League of Cities?," 8 Northern Kentucky Law Review 107, 1981