About Harrell & Nowak

Harrell & Nowak is a law firm located in New Orleans that has experienced tremendous success throughout Louisiana handling cases that involve serious accidents and injuries, medical mistreatment, business litigation, insurance disputes, and environmental hazards.

Located in New Orleans, attorneys Shirin Harrell and Eric Nowak have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for their clients. They have a proven track record. If you want to work with a winning Louisiana law firm that will fight hard for you, make the smart choice and choose Harrell & Nowak. 

Compassionate Legal Representation

When you choose Harrell & Nowak to represent you, you can be assured that you will receive friendly, personal attention. Our goal is to achieve great results for you while at the same time making your experience as stress-free as possible. We provide you with frequent case updates and legal guidance throughout your case. Many of our clients refer their family and friends to us because they know Shirin and Eric will be with them every step of the way.

Seven Reasons to Choose Harrell & Nowak

  1. Experience We have successfully handled hundreds of Louisiana personal injury cases, business trials, and insurance disputes, collecting millions of dollars for our clients.
  2. Aggressive representation We will aggressively pursue your claim and represent your interests to get you justice.
  3. Experts We will find and hire the best medical, scientific, engineering, and economics experts for your case.
  4. No up-front legal fee We offer contingency fee arrangements. You won’t owe us any attorney fees unless we obtain a recovery for you.
  5. Personal attention You will receive personal attention from Eric and Shirin who will counsel and guide you throughout the process.
  6. Frequent case status updates We will keep you informed about the progress of your case.
  7. Focus on speedy and just resolution We will do our best to move your case along as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The Nurse-Attorney Advantage

As both a registered nurse and a New Orleans personal injury attorney, Shirin Harrell handles many malpractice cases against hospitals, doctors, and healthcare providers. Because of her vast experience in the medical field, she knows exactly what can happen and she is able to read, understand, and evaluate the medical records and the issues necessary to successfully prosecute medical lawsuits, medical negligence cases, and medical malpractice cases. Clients of our New Orleans medical malpractice attorneys benefit from the nurse-attorney advantage, which has led to many successful results.

Our Attorneys

Shirin Harrell and Eric Nowak are with you every step of the way. We will help you make the right decisions from the first day you call, and we will be with you throughout the case all the way to your day in court.

If you have a car accident injury claim, you can trust us and our extensive experience in fighting the insurance companies. If you are the victim of medical malpractice or medical mistake, you can rely on our our medical malpractice knowledge. If you have been improperly exposed to chemicals or hurt on someone’s premises, you can be confident in our experience in presenting complex issues to the court. Experience and results count. Harrell & Nowak’s lawyers know what to do at every step of the case to protect your rights, your family members, and your businesses.

Shirin Harrell

Registered Nurse and Medical Malpractice Attorney

Eric Nowak

Trial Attorney

Shirin Harrell

Registered Nurse and Medical Malpractice Attorney

Shirin Harrell is a founding partner of the law firm of Harrell & Nowak. A medical malpractice attorney serving the people of greater New Orleans, she represents individuals and businesses in cases involving medical malpractice, healthcare litigation, products liability, personal injury and insurance disputes. As an attorney and registered nurse, Ms. Harrell’s expertise spans both the medical and legal arenas. Because of her extensive healthcare background she is frequently asked to represent clients whose legal issues usually involve complex medical and healthcare matters in the New Orleans Area.

Legal Background

Prior to founding Harrell & Nowak, Ms. Harrell practiced law at the firm of Sessions Fishman & Nathan. While at the firm, she served as a key member of the legal team representing Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. in the phenylpropanolamine (PPA) litigation encompassing 900 plaintiffs in more than 90 separate lawsuits. Ms. Harrell graduated from Louisiana State University School of Law where she was a member of Moot Court Board. She is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Louisiana. She is a member of the Louisiana and New Orleans Bar Associations, the American Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association.

Educational Background

Prior to obtaining her Juris Doctor, Shirin Harrell earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Tulane University. She is a Licensed Registered Nurse in Louisiana and has extensive work experience in the healthcare field, having served in an executive capacity as a Vice President of Pan American Life Insurance Company, the largest mutual insurer in Louisiana, and as a Vice President of Mercy + Baptist Medical Center, a large local hospital.

Eric Nowak

Trial Attorney

Eric Nowak is a New Orleans trial lawyer who represents individuals, families, and businesses at both the federal and state court systems in tort lawsuits for physical and mental injuries, contract disputes, business claims, and insurance litigation. He spends a significant amount of his time on cases where the issues are based on medicine and science – such as serious injury cases, business and engineering issues, defective products, and toxic exposures. Eric has been recognized by his peers — receiving recognition as a US News Top Commercial Litigation attorney, a New Orleans Magazine’s Top Personal Injury Lawyer, and as a nationally recognized top litigator based on actual case results.


Eric Nowak brings a resume of hard work, compassion, and experience to every case. Before starting his own firm, Mr. Nowak practiced at the nationally acclaimed firm of Hunton & Williams where he earned his litigation stripes. At Hunton & Williams, he handled products liability, premises liability law, and contract cases in Virginia, Texas, and Arkansas. He also participated in over 100 hearings where he represented custodial parents trying to collect child support. And, as a Legal Aide Volunteer, he successfully represented and tried cases for families with housing disputes. His trial work on behalf of the less privileged in our society, earned him the E. Randolph Williams Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service.

From Hunton & Williams, Mr. Nowak joined the law firm of Sessions, Fishman & Nathan, where he later became a litigation partner. There his practice continued to focus on products and medical liability issues, including pharmaceuticals. Mr. Nowak was counsel for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. in the phenylpropanolamine (PPA) cold medicine litigation – conducting medical and fact discovery for over 900 plaintiffs in more than 85 separate lawsuits. He also successfully defended Novartis through the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals where the Court applied and interpreted the Louisiana Products Liability Act with respect to prescription drugs. Stahl v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., 283 F.3d 254 (5th Cir. 2002).

Eric left Sessions, Fishman, & Nathan to help found Harrell & Nowak with the goal to create a top-notch law firm that represented Louisiana families and businesses in their fight for justice against big business, insurance companies, and others who harmed them.


He graduated with academic honors from the University of Texas School of Law. At the University of Arizona, he earned a Bachelor of Arts, graduated magna cum laude, and was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa key.


Mr. Nowak is licensed to practice law in all the federal and state courts of Louisiana and Virginia, as well as the Fourth and Fifth Circuits of United States Courts of Appeals. He is an active member of the Federal Bar Association of New Orleans serving on its board of directors from 2006-2014 and being elected president in 2012.  In 2014 he was appointed a National Delegate to the National Federal Bar Association.

Charles E. Valles, The Valles Law Firm, PLLC — Of Counsel to Harrell & Nowak, LLC

Trial Attorney


Charles is a native of Spring, Texas. He received a scholarship to attend Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Early in his legal career, after serving as a briefing attorney for a trial judge, Charles worked with a large toxic tort law firm in Texas where he represented hundreds of children and adults whose homes and school had been constructed immediately adjacent to a toxic waste site, and who were experiencing a variety of illnesses, some of which were fatal. The site was ultimately assigned to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List for remediation as part of the Superfund program. In 1998, he moved to a large toxic tort law firm in Dallas where he represented clients in more than 100 pharmaceutical cases — followed by a position with a nationally prominent law firm focused on victims of nursing home neglect and abuse.

In 2002, he was hired by a nationally prominent firm to represent those with mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, eventually becoming a Partner at the firm. In 2011, Charles resigned his Partnership to found the Valles Law Firm, and has continued to represent victims of asbestos exposure, as well as those who have been catastrophically injured and killed through the negligence of others.
There are often choices with respect to where a lawsuit may be filed, and Charles has personally handled and supervised lawyers handling asbestos-related mesothelioma and other cases in more than 20 states. Due to his former experience with complex medical and liability cases, for years he has regularly been asked to review and potentially handle cases which other attorneys have declined to accept.
Over the last 20 years, the cases which he has worked on and supervised have resolved for, collectively, well more than 100 million dollars.

As with any other profession or trade, all lawyers are not the same. Throughout his career, Charles has unfortunately spoken to individuals who have had prior poor experiences with their attorneys because the firm represented hundreds if not thousands of clients at a time and the clients were treated like “a number.” Unlike those firms which handle a high volume of clients, Charles limits the number of cases in which he is affiliated in order to be available to the clients and their cases during difficult and trying times. Clients whose cases he works on are given his personal cell phone number. Upon request, prospective clients are given contact information of Charles’s former clients so they can hear directly about the experience that they had when Charles was handling their case.
Charles is a member of the State Bar of Louisiana, the State Bar of Texas, the Louisiana Association of Justice, and the American Association for Justice.

Having worked with Harrell & Nowak on cases filed in Louisiana over the last few years, in 2015, he is pleased to announce his continued affiliation with Harrell & Nowak as an attorney Of Counsel as part of their Louisiana practice.


• Asbestos Litigation
• Toxic Torts
• Birth Injury
• Pharmaceutical Litigation


• Southern Methodist University School of Law,
Dallas, Texas, J.D., 1991
• Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, B.A., 1988


• Texas, 1994
• Louisiana, 2011
• Pro Hac admissions in many states
• U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1994
• U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1998
• U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 2002

What to Expect

Shirin Harrell and Eric Nowak are with you every step of the way. These New Orleans attorneys help you make the right decisions from the first day you call, and they will be with you throughout the case to your day in court. If you are injured in a car accident, you can trust each Louisiana attorney and their experience in fighting the insurance companies. If you are the victim of medical malpractice, you can trust their medical and legal knowledge. If you have been improperly exposed to chemicals or hurt on someone’s premises, you can trust their experience in presenting complex issues to the court. Using their experience, Harrell & Nowak’s lawyers know what to do at every step of the case to protect your rights and to obtain the money you are entitled to under the law.

Video: Client Testimonial

Clients offer their testimonials regarding the outstanding legal services they received from Harrell & Nowak. Mr. Nowak took over a case from another big name firm that had not been representing the client well. With Harrell & Nowak, the clients felt well taken care of and comfortable during their legal process.

The foundation of Harrell & Nowak’s success rests with the firm’s highly skilled personal injury lawyers. As you can see from reading their resumes, the lawyers at Harrell & Nowak have the training and experience to prosecute medical malpractice, premises liability, insurance, car accident, chemical exposure, and other personal injury and accident cases. This New Orleans injury attorney team has successfully represented hundreds of people and businesses in courts throughout Louisiana. They have taken on some of the biggest Louisiana law firms and companies, and obtained justice and fairness for their clients.


When filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Orleans and the greater area, Shirin Harrell and Eric Nowak are with you every step of the way. They help you make the right decisions from the first day you call, and they will be with you throughout the case to your day in court. If you are injured in a car accident, you can trust each attorney and their experience in fighting the insurance companies. If you are the victim of medical malpractice, you can trust their medical and legal knowledge. If you have been improperly exposed to chemicals or hurt on someone’s premises, you can trust their experience in presenting complex issues to the court. Using their experience, Harrell & Nowak’s personal injury lawyers know what to do at every step of the case to protect your rights and to obtain the money you are entitled to under the law.

When you hire Harrell & Nowak, you will have an injury lawyer who will not back down and who will care about you and will not be satisfied until justice and fairness are achieved. Whether you have been injured because of a car accident, medical malpractice, toxic chemical exposure, dangerous premises, insurance company decisions, or other incidents, you can count on Harrell & Nowak’s legal expertise and experience in Louisiana courts of law. Each injury attorney provides the comprehensive representation you’ll need for personal injury cases, including claims that involve medical mistakes, premises liability, chemical exposure, or insurance disputes.

Notable Cases & Achievements

Our firm has recovered over 30 million dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Our Louisiana lawyers’ expertise has been recognized by both State and Federal courts — having been appointed sole class counsel for thousands of New Orleans residents and workers in a significant environmental exposure at Civil District Court in New Orleans and an improper wage/tipping claim at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Some of our personal injury lawyer team’s accomplishments include:

  • Our firm has recovered more than $30 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients.
  • Harrell & Nowak received the 2014 Litigators Award, a national award based on actual case results, for their success in Mesothelioma and Asbestos Litigation.
  • Our lawyers have recovered over $2.5 million in hurricane insurance cases
  • Harrell & Nowak was awarded the 2014 Litigators Award, a national award honoring the top 1% of lawyers based on actual case results, for their work as Personal Injury Lawyers.
  • Eric Nowak and Shirin Harrell were appointed as class counsel in Marshall vs. Air Liquide, an environmental hazards lawsuit in Civil District Court for Orleans Parish.
  • Shirin Harrell and Eric Nowak were appointed to Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for all Hurricane insurance cases against State Farm and Allstate in Section F, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
  • Eric Nowak was elected to the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and served from 2006-2014, and he was elected president of the New Orleans Chapter in 2012.
  • Shirin Harrell is a licensed Registered Nurse as well as an attorney.
  • Eric Nowak is the recipient of the E. Randolph Williams Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service.
  • Eric Nowak was honored in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation.
  • New Orleans Magazine recognized Eric Nowak as a Top Lawyer for Personal Injury in 2015.
  • Eric Nowak has achieved a Martindale Hubbell “AV Preeminent” rating, a peer ranking recognizing him as having achieved the highest level of professional excellence.

Notable Verdicts and Settlements

  • The firm obtained more than $8 million for the residents and workers in a neighborhood in New Orleans East.
  • Secured over $4 million in settlements for a family whose father suffered and died from malignant pleural mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure as a mechanical and pipeline inspector
  • Secured over $1.8 million for a career pipefitter and laborer who was diagnosed with asbestos related lung cancer
  • Obtained more than $1.5 million for the daughter of a shipyard worker exposed to asbestos taken home by her father, she died of mesothelioma
  • Over $1,000,000 settlement in a five-car accident in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana where our client was rear-ended.  Our client was seriously injured, required multiple back surgeries and was permanently disabled.  Following months of intensive depositions and discovery and only days before trial, the insurance company and the defendants settled this personal injury claim.
  • $682,500 recovered for the passenger in an automobile accident. Client suffered fractures to his skull, jaw, pelvis, fibula, tibia, and foot.
  • Trial Verdict for a medical malpractice for more than the $500,000 statutory cap of damages for a woman’s survival damages and her children’s wrongful death claims against a doctor for performing abdominal surgery and then not following patient over the weekend in the hospital as her health deteriorated due to surgical complications, wide spread sepsis infection, and death.
  • More than $500,000 obtained in additional insurance proceeds and a settlement after filing a lawsuit when representing a condominium for damages sustained by the building from Hurricane Katrina.  This was a breach of contract case where the policy holder sued to obtain insurance coverage it had paid premiums for, but where the insurance company denied over 75 percent of the claim made by the building owners.
  • $500,000 settlement for personal injuries in a medical malpractice case for the wrongful death and the survival damages for the husband and son of a young woman who died from a subarachnoid bleed in her brain.  Her death was caused by a medical error where the doctor prescribed an excessive amount of the pharmaceutical drug coumadin following the birth of her child.
  • $450,000 personal injury award obtained for the wrongful death and survival actions in a medical malpractice action for the parents of a  18 year old college student who died following improper treatment by the emergency room for the treatment of asthma.   He was from New Orleans attending college in Natchitoches, Louisiana when the asthma attack andmedical mistreatment occurred.
  • $375,000 obtained in a settlement for a premises liability case.  Our client had a serious personal injury – breaking his femur and requiring emergency surgery when the balcony of a building collapsed while he stood on the balcony.
  • $230,000 obtained for the personal injuries of a young woman who was the victim of medical malpractice.  The surgeon who performed an emergency cesarean section left a surgical sponge (laparotomy pad) in her body.  This medical mistake caused an abdominal infection that required abdominal surgery to remove the surgical sponge.
  • $200,000 in a settlement for a business insurance dispute where a Plaquemines Parish Louisiana business was denied property and business interruption coverage under the insurance policy.  The insurance company denied the insurance claim for wind and rain coverage from Hurricane Katrina.
  • $200,000 settlement for the personal injuries in a wrongful death and survival action for the parents of an 18 year-old young man who died following an asthma attack triggered by mold and other environmental contaminants in the building.  The building owner was sued for being responsible as the premises owner.
  • $176,000 settlement for shoulder injury, AC separation and rotator cuff tear, caused by trip and fall at a hotel during a conference.
  • Verdict in federal court against Allstate for $136,130 in damages for a hurricane insurance flood claim.  Steven Jackson v. FEMA and Allstate, USDC Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 06-4169.  Insurance company argued that there was no money owed under the policy because they believed that our client was 7 hours late paying a premium – but accepted and deposited the check.
  • Took an unrepentant property owner to trial in Jefferson Parish because the property owner built a very unsafe parking lot with a several foot ledge with no railing, markings, or warnings causing a woman to fall off the ledge and tear her ACL in her right knee – the jury awarded pain and suffering damages as well as medical costs for a total judgment with defendant paying costs for more than $76,000.
  • $75,000 settlement for a lis franc foot fracture caused by a head-on car wreck.
  • Trial Verdict for more than $70,000 against landlord who refused to fix leaking roof that caused a terrible fall for elderly tenant who suffered a cartilage and meniscus tear.
  • Recovered over $40,000 in a personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuit for a man who was improperly prescribed coumadin after cardiac surgery.  Our client was hospitalized for several days and required seven units of blood for a hemorrhage due to the coumadin toxicity.
  • $40,000 obtained for a pharmacy error and the resulting personal injury.  The pharmacy gave our client the wrong prescription causing her to be hospitalized.
  • $30,000 settlement for our client’s personal injuries from a medical misdiagnosis.  Our client suffered an ectopic pregnancy which ruptured, but the doctor misdiagnosed it as a miscarriage.
  • $10,000 settlement for our client’s personal injuries in a medical malpractice case where our client was burned by a bovie pad during surgery.


Client Testimonials

A strong indicator of a firm’s success is a heartfelt testimonial from a former client. Our New Orleans personal injury attorneys and accident lawyers, serving the communities of Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, and surrounding regions, are honored by the kind sentiments expressed by individuals we’ve worked with in the past. Please read through our testimonials and contact our practice if you or a loved one is in need of legal representation.

The attorneys at Harrell & Nowak are very loyal to their clients, that’s why I recommend them to my friends.

Adelaide Wallace

I was comfortable with Eric Nowak from the very first meeting. He put me at ease.

Rose Wilson

The attorneys at Harrell & Nowak are really winners.

Harry Hildebrand

Harrell & Nowak attorneys are very professional, courteous and prompt. I would recommend Harrell & Nowak to my friends  and family members.

Theresa Grajkowski

What I like most about my experience with Harrell & Nowak was their dedication. With Harrell & Nowak you can put your faith in them to get the job done.

LaQuina Brown

Mr. Nowak explained the law so that I could understand it. I always felt up-to-date on the status of my case.

Steven M. Jackson

The staff and attorneys at Harrell & Nowak are the best. I was very happy with the results I got from Harrell & Nowak.

Erica Rau

The attorneys at Harrell & Nowak are very nice. They really worked hard for me and cared about my case.

Elizabeth Robertson
Attorney Referral

Many people find Harrell & Nowak by contacting a lawyer or attorney they know personally and that lawyer recommends Harrell & Nowak. Just like doctors specialize in certain areas of medicine, lawyers often work in only one area of the law – trial work, tax work, wills, and estates. At Harrell & Nowak, we prepare and take cases to trial.

We handle personal injury, medical malpractice, business, premises liability, wage dispute, and auto accident cases. Because of our strong track record of results throughout Louisiana, other lawyers often recommend us to their friends, families, and even their own clients. These lawyers know that they can feel good about sending their friends and family to a firm with skilled and honest lawyers.

An attorney may refer a case because he or she:

  • Does not practice in this area of law
  • Is not interested in trying cases
  • Believes local counsel has specific knowledge pertaining to the geographic area in which the case will be heard which will improve the outcome
  • Cannot take the case because of a conflict of interest
  • Believes the case should be handled by a firm capable of managing the workload and complexity of medical malpractice lawsuit cases
  • Does not wish to represent the client due to financial, personal, or other non-legal reasons

At Harrell & Nowak, we are happy to review cases recommended or referred to us from other lawyers. If we are approached with a case involving medical malpractice, automobile accident, premises injury, chemical exposure, or other personal injury, our attorneys can help. Our New Orleans law firm serves Covington, Slidell, Metairie, and other areas throughout Louisiana. We know how important it is for people and businesses to get lawyers skilled and experienced in these areas. And with Shirin Harrell being a registered nurse, as well as an attorney, we provide the nurse-attorney advantage. We know how to evaluate and try medical malpractice and personal injury cases that have complex and detailed medical records.