MOULTRIE — Local attorney and Moultrie native Robert “Robb” Howell knows about working in the big city and in small towns. His dedication to law has earned him a statewide recognition two years in a row.
Howell has been named one of the 2009 and 2010 “Rising Stars,” or outstanding lawyers under 40, in Georgia Super Lawyers magazine. The award is a honor to him because he was nominated to it by his peers outside of his firm, and he said he was humbled by it.
“It’s nice to know the lawyers for who I compete for case and who I battle against in a courtroom think that highly of me,” Howell said.
In addition to being named a Rising Star two years in a row, Howell said he and his firm received other honors. He was elected the regional vice president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association in 2009, and his firm was given a pre-eminent AV rating, the highest rating possible, from Martindale-Hubbell in January. The rating is the standard for legal ratings.
“2009 was a fantastic year for us,” Howell said. “It was the best year for us business-wise and professionally. We continue to be blessed with really good cases.”
Being born and raised in Moultrie, Howell said his family has been in Moultrie for several generations. His wife, Lauren, and her family moved to Moultrie when she was 8.
Howell said he attended Valdosta State University, playing tennis on a full tennis scholarship. He then attended law school at the University of Georgia School of Law, graduating in 1998 and developed a love of court work while serving as chairman of the school’s Moot Court Team.
Both of his parents served as educators, and Howell said they both stressed to him to earn a professional degree. He went to school to become a lawyer while his sister became a doctor, practicing in Tallahassee, Fla.
After graduating from law school, Howell said, he starting practicing with the law firm Lord, Bissell and Brook, practicing insurance defense work out of the firm’s Atlanta office. He went from there to join the Troutman Sanders law office, practicing employment law and serving as one of 600 lawyers in its Atlanta office.
Howell said he moved back to Moultrie in 2002 and joined the Fallin McIntosh law firm. He then went out on his own, forming the Howell Law Firm in February 2006, serving as one of the firm’s two lawyers. It has since become Howell and Parrott, LLP, with offices in Moultrie and in Quitman.
Howell and Parrott, LLP, focuses on personal injury cases, especially medical malpractice cases, on behalf of plaintiffs in Moultrie, Howell said. The Moultrie office is 100 percent dedicated to litigation, with 80 percent being personal injury cases. The Quitman office handles general consulting, general counseling in business law, and residential and commercial real estate closings.
Many of the cases handled by the firm are from referrals, which shows others appreciate the outcome of its efforts, Howell said. Those referrals have allowed the firm to work with law firms from across the country, including firms from Albany, Valdosta, Oregon, North Carolina, California, Washington, Florida and all over Georgia, to name a few.
“About 90 percent of our cases come from referrals from other attorneys,” Howell said. “We’re really proud of that. They’re hiring us because we can show we can get results.”
Howell said another advantage his law firm holds is it can provide its services at a fraction of the cost of other firms because of being in Moultrie. After working in Atlanta for several years, he wants to stay in Moultrie because of that and other reasons.
“We can be just as effective without nearly the cost or overhead,” Howell said. “We are able to handle the cases at half the cost because of where we are. We got enough of a taste of Atlanta to know this is a better place to live.”
Howell said most of the success of his firm comes from having a fantastic staff working with him. He thinks associate attorneys Katie Dove and Eric McGilvray, along with his other office staff, are the best around and would put them up against any other firm. It is that staff and referrals that drive him to be one of the best firms to go to in the region.
“My hope is becoming the go-to firm for serious personal injury cases in Southwest Georgia,” Howell said. “Our practice, while focusing on personal injury and medical malpractice cases, is still able to handle a variety of cases under that umbrella.”
In addition to his law firm, Howell said he and his wife are very involved in the Moultrie community. He serves as the board chairman of Serenity House and on the Moultrie Housing Authority board, the Boys and Girls Club board, the Valdosta State University board and the Moultrie Technical College Foundation board, and Lauren is an officer with the Moultrie Junior Woman’s Club and Moultrie Service League and serves on the Moultrie YMCA board, the Moultrie Tech Board of Directors and the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library board. Both are members of First Methodist Church, serving as Sunday school teachers, and they were both selected to be a part of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2006.
“We are very civic-minded,” Howell said. “We try to do a lot for the community.”
Robb and Lauren have two children, Meg, 5, and Mason, 2. In his limited free time, Howell said he enjoys fly fishing.