Legendary Hawkins Parnell Trial Lawyer Ollie Harton Passes

May 6, 2024 – Press Release

May 6, 2024 (Atlanta, GA) – Beloved litigator Ollie M. Harton passed away on May 5, 2024. Ollie joined Hawkins Parnell & Young in Atlanta in 1988 and was a long-time shareholder. He was key in expanding the firm's footprint beyond Georgia and turning the toxic tort litigation group into a national presence.

"Ollie will be deeply missed far and wide by many across the country," said Peter York, managing partner of Hawkins Parnell. "He loved what he did and was held in the highest esteem by judges, opposing counsel, and peers alike. Despite a truly distinguished career, Ollie will be remembered best for his jovial personality and the friendship he extended to everyone. He will continue to live on with all of us at Hawkins Parnell as we join countless people mourning his death."

With a long list of accomplishments over a storied career that spanned more than 40 years, Ollie tried over 90 toxic tort cases nationwide. He was a giant in the defense of asbestos litigation and shaped its evolution. He handled many notable cases and trials for prominent companies.

"I was incredibly fortunate to not only know Ollie and his wonderful family but also work alongside him to build the firm and practice into what it has become today as something much bigger than ourselves," said retired partner Albert Parnell. "Ollie simply made everyone around him better. He minted dozens of trial lawyers and litigators at Hawkins Parnell."

Senior partner Evelyn Fletcher Davis added, "Ollie just had a way of making you feel like you had been lifelong friends, whether you were a counterpart or just starting out. He genuinely did not think he was better than anyone. I benefitted immensely from his tutelage as a young lawyer and am grateful for him being part of my life and my partner at the firm.”

Outside his practice, Ollie dedicated himself to developing the next generation of trial lawyers. He taught trial advocacy classes for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and as an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law. He also worked closely with students as a faculty member for the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University.

After graduating with two bachelor's degrees from Tulane University, Ollie obtained his J.D. from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and LL.M from Emory University School of Law. He started his career as a judicial law clerk in the Tennessee Court of Appeals and served as a trial lawyer in the Tennessee Attorney General's Office.

Ollie was a devoted husband, father to two, grandfather, and a dear friend to many. His legacy will not only continue through his family but continue to inspire generations of trial lawyers and litigators.