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The Howard Law Firm

James W. Howard

James W. Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was in the first graduating class of School Without Walls, an innovative, experimental public high school in Washington, D.C. James received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University with a double major in journalism and psychology. In 1980, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the American University law school.

James was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1980, where he initially practiced law with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. In 1981, he was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia. As a public defender in Fulton County, Georgia, James represented minors in juvenile court, drafted appellate briefs to the Georgia Court of Appeals and represented a wide range of felony defendants in Fulton Superior Court. In 1984, he went into private practice as a partner in an Atlanta law firm. James was a principal member of several related law firms in downtown Atlanta until he and his wife, Sharon, became the principal attorneys in the Howard Law Firm.

James has conducted nearly 100 civil and criminal jury trials in state and federal courts. The courts granted him permission to handle individual civil and criminal cases in other jurisdictions, including Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, New York, and New Jersey. Many of James’ civil cases involve catastrophic injuries, but he has also taken the lead role in the successful litigation of consumer fraud and malicious prosecution claims.

James is recognized for his criminal defense work throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. He has successfully defended and resolved a large number of felony cases in the federal district court in Atlanta, Fulton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County and Clayton County. He is experienced in defending a wide variety of criminal prosecutions that include drug trafficking, murder, armed robbery, rape, aggravated assault, kidnapping, Medicaid fraud, theft and extortion. In 2016, Mr. Howard received the annual “Award of the Sword” from the Federal Defender Program in recognition of his extensive and effective criminal defense work in the Northern District of Georgia.

Comments and reviews from James’ previous clients are available here.


American University (Juris Doctor, 1980)
Syracuse University (B.A. Double Major: Journalism & Psychology, 1977)
Earlham College (1973-75)

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Georgia
Supreme Court of Florida
Court of Appeals of Georgia
All Georgia courts
All Florida courts
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Pro hac vice admissions in Alabama, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee

Professional Memberships

State Bar of Georgia
The Florida Bar
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Gate City Bar Association
DeKalb Lawyers Association
Georgia Alliance of African-American Attorneys
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
The National Trial Lawyers (The Top 100 Trial Lawyers)
National Association of Distinguished Counsel (Fellow)