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About me

While I was in law school, I clerked for Superior Court Judge Jim Bodiford, then left his office and went to the solicitor's office. There, I worked under the Third-Year Practice Act, which means I was basically allowed to prosecute for free for the state. After I passed the Bar, I was hried as an assistant solicitor in Cobb County. A year later, the elected district attorney, Tom Charron, offered me a job, which I accepted and then began working as an assistant district attorney. I am honored to have been voted by my peers as Prosecutor of the Year at both of those positions.


I left the DA's office and entered into private practice about 13 years ago. I specialize in criminal defense. The vast majority of my work is in Cobb County. I serve as the environmental law judge in the City of Smyrna and am a past associate municipal court judge for the cities of Marietta and Woodstock. I am honored to have received the Ross Adams Younger Lawyer award, given annually by the Cobb County Bar Association.


I believe in treating people honestly and with integrity - the way you expect to be treated - and being upfront and forward with everyone. I try to treat my clients the way that I expect to be treated by professionals that I hire, whether that's my CPA or my doctor.


Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 94%
    2 years
  2. Personal Injury: 5%
    2 years
  3. Family: 1%
    2 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

5 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Ryan Young

    Joel is an extremely well respected lawyer in our legal community. He is very easy to work with and a genuinely nice person.


    Ryan Young DUI and DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Robert Frank Schnatmeier Jr.

    I have worked with Joel as a prosecutor and seen his work as a fellow defense attorney for over 15 years. Joel is known as one of the finest lawyers in the metro Atlanta area. His vast experience and ability as a trial lawyer enable him to get great results for his clients. I highly recommend Joel Pugh!


    Robert Schnatmeier DUI and DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Firm of Pugh Barrett Canale & Leslie LLC

288 Lawrence Street Northeast
Marietta, GA, 30060


GAActive Member in Good Standing 199608/05/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Ross Adams Younger Lawyer AwardCobb County Bar Association2004
Assistant District Attorney of the YearCobb County District Attorney's Office1999
Prosecutor of the YearCobb County Solicitor's Office1997
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Assistant District AttorneyCobb County District Attorney Office1997 - 2001
Assistant SolicitorCobb County Solictor's Office1996 - 1997
Prosecuting Attorney, third year practice actCobb County Solictor's Office1995 - 1996
Law Clark, InternCobb County Superior Court1994 - 1995
Association namePosition nameDuration
Cobb Chamber of CommerceN/A2003 - Present
Cobb County Bar Association, Criminal Defense SectionMember2001 - Present
Cobb County Bar AssociationBoard of Directors1997 - Present
Cobb County Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1997 - Present
State Bar of GeorgiaMember1996 - Present
Cobb County Bar Association, Young Lawyers SectionMember2001 - 2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
John Marshall Law School, AtlantaLawJD - Juris Doctor1996
University of Georgia, Kennesaw State UniversityN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1992