Outlaw Firm Interior Reception Area


The Outlaw Firm

Shelby Outlaw founded The Outlaw Firm, LLC in Decatur in 1985, following a career in education, teaching French language and literature at Emory University. This career change was dictated by the financial realities of her own divorce. Her first-born son, Blue Spruell, returned from Japan in 1992 to assist her as Business Manager and paralegal in the Cherry Estate litigation. Shelby ultimately  prevailed upon Blue to leave his award-winning specialty boutique of Japanese art and craft, Shiki Handcrafted Japan, and join the firm in 2006 after graduating with high honors from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. Shelby says litigation strategy is not that much different from the war games Blue and his childhood friend Wayd (who also became an attorney) played 40 years ago, except now they strategize their battles in the conference room instead of on the kitchen table. Our staff—Dana Patterson and Mitsuko Spruell—were too shy to be photographed, but they are an essential part of our family and our team and our clients’ closest contact with the Firm.
Outlaw Firm Attorney Blue Spruell

Lead Counsel

Blue Spruell

Blue Spruell joined the Georgia Bar in 2006 after graduating in the top of his class at John Marshall Law School Atlanta, receiving the Georgia State Bar Tax Award, the Constitutional Law Award, and the Criminal Procedure Award and representing John Marshall Law School as a National Moot Court State Finalist in 2005. 

In addition to his legal training, Blue is a Georgia certified mediator. He is admitted to practice in all Georgia State Courts, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the Decatur Business Association, the Atlanta Bar Association, the DeKalb Bar Association, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and the State Bar of Georgia.

Prior to obtaining his doctorate in law, Blue managed the business side of The Outlaw Firm for over 20 years and assisted in numerous civil trials and appeals. Blue has also owned and managed two other separate successful Atlanta area businesses. Together with his wife Mitsuko, he owned and operated Shiki Handcrafted Japan, a gallery of imported Japanese art and crafts twice voted Best of Atlanta by Atlanta Magazine, before pursuing his career in law. An internationally certified black belt instructor in 3 Japanese martial arts, Blue currently owns and operates a martial arts school: www.peachtreeaikikai.com He teaches martial arts seminars annually, both nationally and internationally. Blue received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Emory University and edited for Mercer University Press in Macon, Georgia,  relocating to Japan where he made his home and trained Japanese executives in English language skills for 5 years before returning to Atlanta. He is fluent in Japanese and also French. Blue currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and 2 children.


B.A | J.D., 2006

B.A., English

Bar Admissions


Activities, Awards & Affiliations

Founder & of Counsel

Shelby Outlaw

Shelby was born and raised in East Tennessee and earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Tennessee. She brings a wealth of life experiences, a precision for detail and the intellectual formation that uniquely qualify her to help people caught in the crisis of divorce and other legal problems. 

Shelby received a Rotary International Fellowship and spent a year addressing civic and educational groups as a student ambassador while studying at the University of Poitiers in France.A resident of Atlanta since 1967, Shelby received her Ph.D. and J.D. degrees from Emory University. 

After teaching French language and literature at Emory, the issues Shelby faced in her own divorce sparked her realization that she wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to championing the rights of people facing the personal trauma of divorce and other legal problems.

After only 10 years in practice, Shelby won the largest legal malpractice jury verdict ($5.2 million dollars) in the State of Georgia’s history. 5 years later, she established precedent for substantial actual and punitive damages for victims of fraudulent conveyances with a $4.1 million dollar verdict. Shelby has successfully defended these verdicts and many other judgments in the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Courts of Georgia and the United States. Shelby believes her previous careers in advertising and education were a springboard to her success in trial practice. “Winning lawsuits is a matter of educating and persuading the judge or the jury on the facts and the law that support our client’s position.” Shelby is rated 5.0 (AV), the highest rating accorded by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory. She is admitted to practice in all Georgia State Courts, the U.S. District Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia and the U.S. Supreme Court. The Georgia Supreme Court also appointed her to serve as Special Master in attorney disciplinary actions. Shelby is a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, the Atlanta Trial Lawyers Society, the Atlanta Bar Association, the DeKalb Bar Association, and the State Bar of Georgia. She has been honored as a Fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia.


B.A., M.A. 

Ph.D., J.D.

Bar Admissions


Activities & Affiliations

Licensed in Georgia

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