Joelle Sharman


Joelle Sharman is a partner at the Atlanta office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Labor & Employment, ERISA, and Appellate practice groups. She is a civil and appellate litigator with a diverse practice spanning over 25 years. Ms. Sharman has been lead counsel on a variety of cases involving employment, employee benefits, ERISA, and complex insurance coverage issues.   

Ms. Sharman has published on insurance, employee benefits, and ERISA matters, and has been a frequent speaker on those topics at seminars, such as the ACI ERISA Litigation, Employment Discrimination, and Life Insurance Litigation Conferences; the Eastern Claims Conference, the Annual Meeting of the Defense Research Institute; and the Life, Health and Disability Seminar of the Defense Research Institute.

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • Appellate
  • Labor & Employment
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Life Health Disability & ERISA
  • ERISA Litigation
  • COVID-19: Insurance Coverage
  • COVID-19: Labor & Employment

Additional Experience






Georgia Supreme Court

Georgia Court of Appeals

Florida Supreme Court

United States District Court

Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia

United States District Court

Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida

United States District Court

Western District of Tennessee

United States Court of Appeals

Eleventh Circuit

United States Supreme Court


  • Member, American Bar Association (Labor and Employment and Torts Trial and Insurance Practice Sections; Employee Benefits subcommittee; past chair of Technology Subcommittee; past Vice-Chair of Life Insurance Law Subcommittee)
  • Member, DRI: Voice of the Defense Bar (Life, Health, Disability committee, Vice-Co-Chair of Annual Meeting; Employment Committee, steering committee)
  • Member, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
  • Admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Florida and Georgia, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Awards & Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell's top ("AV") Peer Review Rating *
  • 2009 Georgia Rising Star, Law & Politics
  • * CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies

Professional Presentations

  • 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 Bootcamp, American Conference Institute, February 2010
  • “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, November 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


Duke University School of Law

Juris Doctor, 1994

University of Miami

Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, 1991

Representative Cases

  • Storfer v. Guar. Trust Life Ins. Co., 666 F.3d 1277 (11th Cir. 2012)
  • Harris v. United Auto. Ins. Group, Inc., 579 F.3d 1227 (11th Cir. 2009)
  • Joseph v. Zurich Life Ins. Co. of Am., No. 05-12948, 159 Fed. Appx. 114, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 27432, (11th Cir. Dec. 13, 2005)
  • Bende v. Provident Bank, Inc., 926 So. 2d 1287 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006) 
  • Asset Mgmt. Consultants of Va., Inc. v. City of Tamarac, 913 So. 2d 1179 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005)
  • Herskovitz v. Hershkovich, 910 So. 2d 366 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005)
  • O’Donnell v. BellSouth Adver. & Publ’g Corp., 906 So. 2d 1264 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005)
  • McCormack v. Appel, 907 So. 2d 538 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005)
  • Thompson v. Miami Firefighters Fed. Credit Union, 906 So. 2d 1076 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005)
  • Manimal Land Co. v. Randall E. Stofft Architects, P.A., 889 So. 2d 974 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005) 
  • Jacobs Wind Elec. Co. v. DOT, 892 So. 2d 1028 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) 
  • Cowins v. Landmark Learning Ctr., 885 So. 2d 421 (Fla. 1st DCA 2004) 
  • Chrysler Realty Corp. v. Davis, 877 So. 2d 903 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004) 
  • Promontory Enters. v. Southern Eng’g & Contr., Inc., 864 So. 2d 479 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004)
  • Wainger v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co., 825 So. 2d 400 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002)