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The Outlaw Firm

Shelby Outlaw founded The Outlaw Firm in Decatur in 1985, after the harsh 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 Japanese gallery business and join the firm in 2006 after graduating with high honors from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

Shelby says litigation strategy is not so different from the war games Blue and his childhood friend Wayd (who also became an attorney and worked in the firm) played 50 years ago, except now they strategize their battles in the conference room instead of on the kitchen table.

Our staff—Maggie Palmer 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 contacts with the Firm.

Lead Counsel

Blue Spruell

Blue was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Atlanta, earning his B.A. degree at Emory University and his J.D. degree at John Marshall Law School Atlanta with high honors. He received the Georgia State Tax Award, the Constitutional Law Award, and the Criminal Procedure Award, and represented John Marshall Law School as a National Moot Court State Finalist in 2005, before his admission to the Georgia Bar in 2006.

Blue prides himself in helping people out so they can move on and find a new and better chapter in their lives, especially where there are children involved.

A very wise man once said, “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.” That wise man was Abraham Lincoln, and Blue firmly subscribes to his advice.

Blue is also a certified mediator and even though he usually wears his attorney hat, Blue truly believes in mediation to resolve disputes.

Prior to law practice, Blue lived and worked in Japan for five years before returning to Atlanta where he owned and operated two successful businesses while managing the business side of The Outlaw Firm for over 20 years and assisting in numerous civil trials and appeals. Fluent in Japanese and French, Blue is also an internationally certified black belt instructor of Japanese martial arts and an award-winning writer.


J.D., 2006

B.A., English

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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 ten years in practice, Shelby won the largest legal malpractice jury verdict ($5.2 million dollars) in the history of the State of Georgia. Five 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. The Georgia Supreme Court also appointed her to serve as Special Master in attorney disciplinary actions. 


Ph.D., J.D.

B.A., M.A. 

Bar Admissions

Activities & Affiliations