When Wesley Starrett and Kevin Harris opened their firm in early 2020, they focused on uncovering every stone for their clients’ cases.
By Lindsay Field Penticuff
Many might not think that Wesley Starrett and Kevin Harris took the traditional route to becoming attorneys. In fact, they took a bit of a different path altogether, and one they both believe helps them fight for justice and protect the little guy — or girl.
Starrett and Harris were law enforcement officers for nearly a decade before they each decided to go to law school. Starrett worked for the Douglasville Police Department, while Harris spent time at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Reserve.
“My background is very similar to Wesley’s, and I think that’s why we get along so well,” Harris says. “We were actually raised just one street over from one another, too.”
For Starrett, however, it all started with a tragedy in his family while he was a police officer. “My wife’s father was killed on Interstate 285,” he shares. “I went through the process with her in finding attorneys and getting somebody to represent her family to go after the driver of the [tractor trailer] truck.”
After that experience, Starrett switched gears and started law school. At first, he attended school at night while still working at the police department. He then later went to school full-time. “I’ve got 10 years of law enforcement experience, and during that time I worked a lot of traffic wrecks and fatalities,” Starrett adds. “This was kind of a natural fit for me to go into representing people who are injured in car crashes.”
It was a similar path for Harris. And working in law enforcement is where they both discovered their love for the practice of law, in addition to learning and understanding the importance of empathizing with their clients, showing compassion in someone’s most dire time of need.
Establishing a partnership
Starrett and Harris knew each other before starting their practice, but it wasn’t until they became attorneys that they really began crossing paths more often. After graduating from law school, Starrett worked for the Douglas County Solicitor-General Office before joining a private plaintiff’s firm. He already had started his own law firm in 2019 — Starrett Law — when he ran into Harris, who was at a defense firm at the time. The pair soon began conversations about becoming partners at a new firm.
“Whether it was in law enforcement or with the prosecutor’s office, we have always been victims’ advocates,” Starrett says. “Both Kevin and I are Plaintiff’s attorneys at heart.” “So, it worked out that when Kevin and I met up again and I explained that I needed some help in my firm after running it for a year, it seemed like a perfect fit.”
Harris joined the practice in January 2020, when they officially established Starrett and Harris Law, LLC. But it wasn’t exactly what they expected at first. The firm was making great traction the first three months of 2020, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As personal injury attorneys, including motor vehicle accidents, cases that may involve dog bites or worker’s compensation, their clients weren’t on the roads or at work any longer due to the shelter-in-place orders.
“It was just awesome, and business was looking great,” Starrett recalls. “Then, March  hit and we didn’t have a single new case until July .”
Harris and Starrett didn’t let that damper their moods, or their business. As soon as the courts started opening back up, cases started flowing once again. “We have weathered the storm since about August,” Harris says, “then things have been going as good, if not better, than it was when we started.”
Going above and beyond
The firm, which serves clients across Georgia, is dedicated to its clients. And Harris and Starrett always are willing to navigate the road less taken when it comes to the men and women they represent during litigation.
Some of their more recent, unique cases involve an employee at an oil refinery where there was an explosion, a wrongful death case for the mother of a 24-year-old who was killed in a motorcycle accident, and a patron who was allegedly shot by a security officer at an Atlanta nightclub.
“Our backgrounds have made a huge difference in cases like these,” says Harris. For example, they typically go out to the location of an accident when they can, will take their own pictures, and try to get an idea of what happened. “We’ll also go out and look at the vehicles in the tow yard, and that’s something we know how to do because of our backgrounds,” he adds.
Doing their own investigation is helpful. “We start fresh, taking a look at the police report, but that’s not it,” Starrett says. “We work with some of the best accident reconstruction specialists in Georgia, and we use the latest and greatest technology, including drone footage, 3D mapping of the scene, and ‘black box’ downloads on vehicles.”
Clients first, settlements second
Determination and perseverance are the hallmarks of the Starrett and Harris Law approach. It’s a key component of business that the pair agreed upon when they started their partnership a little over a year ago. “We want to look at people not just as a case number. So, every time I sit down in front of a client, I think, ‘If this was my brother or sister sitting there, what type of service would I give them?’” Harris says. “We try to treat them like we would treat our own families.”
Clients are often coming to Harris and Starrett at their weakest and darkest times, many facing terrible, traumatic injuries. “We have a responsibility to give them our best,” Harris continues. “If we take on a client, we are going to give them 110 percent.”
As a hometown firm, their job is to uncover every stone and take on the giant insurance companies for their clients and client families, getting millions of dollars in results. But winning isn’t just about large payouts. “It’s not always about money,” Starrett confirms. “For example, in a recent case, the prosecutor didn’t even want to prosecute in a hit and run case, but that was so important for the family. They wanted some measure of justice for their loved one.”
It felt good for Starrett and Harris to be a part of that, because they wanted to help make sure the driver was held accountable for his actions. “For a lot of these individuals, they are also just looking for their story to be heard,” Harris adds. “It’s important for them to know about what can often be a lifechanging event. We try to be a voice for those who don’t have a voice.”
Clients have been incredibly pleased with the outcomes, too. “Oftentimes, the last time you’ll see a client is when you give them their money,” Starrett says. “But that’s not always the case for our clients. They become like family. We get to know them and keep in touch.”
It’s all about getting families through to the other side. “Making sure they are getting the financial and emotional support they need — and deserve — is the most rewarding thing in the world to us,” concludes Starrett.