Joelle C. Sharman

Managing Partner of Atlanta

Office: Atlanta

Direct: 770-891-0213

  • Professional Overview
    Joelle Sharman, a civil and appellate litigator with a diverse practice spanning 30 years, is the Managing Partner for the Atlanta office of O’Hagan Meyer, and the head of its ERISA litigation practice group.

    Joelle’s national practice covers the full range of in traditional employment and employee benefit litigation matters. In the ERISA context, Joelle has been admitted pro hac vice in federal courts across the country to represent clients in both individual and class actions alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions, excessive fees, misrepresentation claims, benefit claims, and ERISA interference/retaliation matters. She also has defended ERISA plan fiduciaries in audits by the Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service; has served as a consulting expert in litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty in the administration of an employee retirement plan; and has drafted and revised employee handbooks, summary plan descriptions for ERISA welfare plans; and other employer disclosures. Joelle also routinely defends clients in Title VII, ADEA, ADA, FMLA, and FLSA matters.

    In law school, Joelle served on Moot Court Board and won Best Brief in the Dean’s Cup.

    Joelle is admitted to all federal and state courts in Georgia and Florida.
  • Practice Areas
  • Education and Admissions


    • B.S. from the University of Miami.
    • J.D. from Duke University School of Law.


    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
    • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee

    States Licensed

    • Florida
    • Georgia
  • News, Honors, Publications & Speeches
    Speaking Engagements:
    • Corporate Counsel Institute (December 2023)
    • ACI Life Insurance Litigation Conference (July 2013)
    • ACI Employment Discrimination Conference (July 2013)
    • ACI ERISA Litigation Conferences (2010 and 2011)
    • Interview regarding Detroit ADA settlement, CBS Early Show (March 16, 2010)
    • “ERISA Boot Camp,” American Conference Institute’s Premier Forum on Defending and Managing Employment Discrimination Litigation - New York, NY (February 25, 2010)
    • “Hot Topics in Employment Law” Breakfast Briefing - Chicago, Illinois (October 22, 2009)
    • “Advanced Techniques in Depositions,” Eastern Claims Conference (February 2009)
    • “Fiduciary Responsibilities under ERISA,” Small Firm Study Group of Georgia Chapter for the Association of Legal Administrators (Nov. 2008)
    • “Fiduciary Responsibilities under ERISA,” Meeting of the New York Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (October 2008)
    • “ERISA § 404(c) and Pending Litigation,” Annual Fly-In of the Southern Employee Benefits Conference (October 2008)
    • “Techniques for Using Medical and Vocational Experts to Prove or Refute the Claimed Disability,” 11th Nat’l Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute (June 2008)
    • “Supreme Court’s 401(k) Ruling: What It Means to Employers,” HR Hero Audio Conference (April 2008)
    • “Hot Topics in Disability Insurance Law,” Annual Conference of the Life, Health, Disability Committee of the Defense Research Institute (April 2007)
    • “Gifts from the IRS: Maximize Your Tax Benefits, Retain Employees, and Grow Your Business through Various Employee Benefit and Retirement Solutions,” Meeting of the Technology Association of Georgia (May 2006)
    • “Are you Compliant?—Updates on ERISA, HIPAA, and COBRA for the Health Insurance Industry,” Annual Meeting of the International Claim Association (September 2005)
    • “The ‘Own Occupation’ Distinction in Disability Insurance Policies,” 8th Nat’l Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Claims, American Conference Institute (June 2005)
    • “Motions to Vacate and Confirm Arbitration Awards and Appeals,” CLE Conference sponsored by the Construction Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association (February 2005)
    • “Hot Topics in ERISA,” Lorman’s (2004 and 2005)
    • Various webinars on ERISA and employee benefits topics
    • Practical Guidance, Paying ERISA Plan Expenses (LexisNexis)
    • Practical Guidance, Attorney Fees in ERISA Litigation (LexisNexis)
    • Updated 33 Chapters of LexisNexis Treatise on Employee Benefits (2013-2014)
    • “Case a Wake-Up Call on COBRA Coverage,” Benefits & Compensation Digest (Jan. 1, 2010)
    • “Federal Court Finds ERISA-Covered Plan May Be Comprised of Individual Rather Than Group Insurance Policies,” (Oct. 28, 2009)
    • “Where 'O Where Are the Regulations for the Mental Health Parity Act?,” National Law Review (Oct. 26, 2009)
    • ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits (2d Ed. 2007) – co-authored Chapter 11
    • ERISA Compendium, 11th Circuit
    • “Finding Ambiguity Where None Exists: Mental Illness Limitations in Disability Policies,” For the Defense (DRI Feb. 2007)
    • Martindale-Hubbell “AV” Rating
    • 2009 Georgia Rising Star, Law & Politics Magazine