Ralph E. Harwell
Ralph E. Harwell has been certified as a criminal trial specialist by both the National Trial Advocacy Board and the Tennessee Commission on Specialization. He is a past president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He served on the Tennessee Sentencing Commission, helping to draft the criminal code for Tennessee.
After graduating from law school and working as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Ralph joined the Knox County District Attorney’s Office in which he was a prosecutor for seven years. He entered into private practice in 1976.In 1980, he and Randall Nichols (now Knox County District Attorney General) founded the firm of Harwell and Nichols. After Nichols became a criminal judge, the firm was known as Harwell, Baumgartner, and Willis. More recently, the firm has been known simply as the law office of Ralph E. Harwell, before changing to Harwell & Harwell in 2009.
Ralph is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee School of Law. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar, the Florida Bar, the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Ralph has consistently been recognized for his zealous advocacy. For example, he was again honored in the Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar and DUI/DWI Defense sections of Best Lawyers in America 2011, a national survey in which lawyers evaluate other lawyers. He was also again named to the Mid-South Super Lawyers 2010 list.
He is proud of his good reputation among other members of the local bar. Indeed, many if not most of his clients come to him after being referred by other attorneys. He takes pride in the fact that a large subset of his practice involves representing attorneys when they find themselves in need of legal counsel.
Ralph lives in South Knoxville with his wife. He is pleased that both of his children have followed in his footsteps to become criminal defense attorneys. Any visit to his office will surely involve him showing photographs of his grandchildren.