HARBEN, HARTLEY & HAWKINS, LLP

Marvene T. Brooks Harold N. Eddy, Jr. Sam S. Harben, Jr. Phillip L. Hartley J. Stanley Hawkins Cory O. Kirby Beth Morris Hieu M Nguyen Martha Pearson Reagan Sauls Brian Smith
Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP
340 Jesse Jewell Parkway
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 750
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 534-7341 - PHONE
(770) 532-0399 - FAX
GET A MAP TO OUR OFFICE

Attorneys & Other Professionals


Marvene T. Brooks

Marvene T. Brooks is a retired educator who worked previously with the Ware County School System as a high school teacher, school counselor, and Assistant Superintendent for Student Services.  During her education career, she earned Bachelors, Masters and Specialist degrees in math education and additional degrees in counseling and leadership.  Marvene joined Harben & Hartley in 2000 as a non-attorney education specialist.  She presently devotes much of her time to assisting local school systems in the area of policy development.  She also conducts workshops on a variety of educational topics, including policy issues for school and system-level office support staff. 


Harold N. Eddy, Jr.

Harold N. Eddy, Jr. obtained his undergraduate degree from Washburn University of Topeka, KS in 1984 and his J.D. degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1989.  Between undergraduate and law school, he directed a state-wide community improvement program for the State of Kansas and served as an Adjunct Professor of Speech and Assistant Debate Coach at Washburn.   After graduation from law school, he practiced with an international law firm for over a decade, handling a wide range of litigation matters, including insurance coverage, environmental issues, securities and general business disputes, after which he served as General Counsel and CFO for a privately held printing company.  Since 2003, when he joined Weekes & Candler, Mr. Eddy has practiced in all areas of school law, with a concentration in special education law.


Sam S. Harben, Jr.

Sam S. Harben, Jr. earned his J.D. degree from the University of Georgia Law School in 1961 and has represented Georgia school districts for over 50 years.  He was a founding partner in the law firm of Harben & Hartley in 1980 and now serves in an of counsel capacity with the firm of Harben, Hartley & Hawkins.  Exemplifying the national reputation of the firm, Mr. Harben served as Chair of the National Council of School Attorneys for 2008-09 and for 10 years on the Board of Directors of that Council and one year on the National School Boards Association’s Board of Directors.  In Georgia, he has assumed many leadership roles, including President of the State Bar’s Section on School Law.  He has taught school law as an adjunct professor for several institutions and is well known for seminars and staff development throughout the state and nation for board members and administrators. 


Phillip L. Hartley

Phillip L. Hartley graduated with honors from the University of Georgia in 1976 and then obtained his J.D. degree with honors from the University of Georgia Law School in 1979.  He was a member of the Georgia Law Review, Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa.  After law school, he immediately began to practice law, including representing school districts, and in 1980, he became a founding partner in the law firm of Harben & Hartley.  He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases involving Georgia’s school districts in the federal and state courts. In the firm’s capacity as general counsel to the Georgia School Boards Association, he works closely with GSBA, the Georgia School Superintendents Association and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders to respond to and shape legislative and policy issues that affect public education in the state.  Known for presentations on school law to a wide variety of audiences, he has also written extensively in the area including the coordination of the firm’s creation and maintenance of the eLaw online service provided by GSBA. 


J. Stanley Hawkins

J. Stanley Hawkins graduated with honors from Florida State University in 1971 where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He received his J.D. with honors from the University Of Georgia School Of Law where he was an editor of the Law Review.  Mr. Hawkins was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1974.  The early part of his career was largely devoted to federal civil litigation throughout the country with law firms in Atlanta and New York.  Since 1986, when he joined the Decatur firm of Weekes & Candler, Mr. Hawkins has represented Georgia school districts.  In the spring of 2008, Weekes & Candler merged with Harben & Hartley, of Gainesville, forming the firm Harben, Hartley, & Hawkins, LLP.


Cory O. Kirby

Cory O. Kirby graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in History and Religion in 1992 and a M.Ed. in Higher Education in 1995.  He received his J.D. degree in 2000 from the University of South Carolina.  Before pursuing a legal career, Mr. Kirby worked in higher education, including serving as an Associate Dean for Student Services at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia. Mr. Kirby joined Harben & Hartley in 2000 and has represented public school districts throughout his legal career.  In addition to membership in the National Council of School Attorneys and the Georgia Council of School Attorneys, shared with all other attorneys in the firm, Mr. Kirby is a member of the National Bond Lawyers Association.


Beth F. Morris

Beth Morris graduated, with honors, from the University of Georgia with a B.A. degree in 1999.  She then received her J.D. degree from the University of Georgia in 2005, where she graduated with honors and served on the Moot Court team and executive board.  She joined Harben & Hartley upon graduation from law school and has represented school districts throughout her legal career.  Much of her practice has focused on issues involving children with disabilities.


Hieu M. Nguyen

Hieu M. Nguyen attended Vanderbilt University and received his B.A. in English and Philosophy in 1994.  He later received his M.A. in English in 1997 and then a M.Ed. in 1998, both from Vanderbilt.  He taught in the Gwinnett County School System for 5 years before going to law school.  He received his law degree from the University of Georgia in 2006 and joined Harben & Hartley after graduation.  He is frequently involved with litigation in state and federal courts on behalf of the firms’ clients. 


Martha M. Pearson

Martha M. Pearson graduated with honors from Vassar College in 1975 with a B.A. in Political Science, and from the University of Georgia Law School with honors in 1979 where she was a member of the Order of the Coif.  In 1980, she began private practice in Athens, Georgia with an emphasis on civil rights law including handling cases related to education law.  In 1990, she joined Harben & Hartley and has represented school districts ever since.  She supervises the firm’s litigation practice and has served as lead counsel in numerous cases involving Georgia’s school districts in the federal and state courts. 


Reagan G. Sauls

Reagan G. Sauls obtained a B.S. degree in political science from Georgia Southern University in 1999 and then her J.D. degree from American University, Washington College of Law in 2002.  She has practiced with the United States Department of Justice and with private firms in Virginia and Atlanta.  She is a member of the Georgia and Maryland bars.  Since joining Weekes & Candler in 2006, she has represented school districts in a variety of matters.


Brian C. Smith

Brian C. Smith graduated from the University of Georgia in 2001 with a B.A. in criminal justice and sociology, and obtained his J.D. degree from the University of Georgia Law School in 2004 where he served on the Editorial Board and as Senior Articles Editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law.  He joined Harben & Hartley upon leaving law school and has represented school districts in a variety of areas, including handling Fair Dismissal Act hearings, filings before the EEOC and other personnel related matters.