Harlan I. Prater, IV

Harlan I. Prater, IV



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Birmingham, AL

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  • A.B., Duke University, 1983 magna cum laude
  • J.D., Duke University School of Law, 1987 with honors


  • Alabama, 1987

An honors graduate of Duke University (magna cum laude) and Duke University School of Law (with honors), Mr. Prater’s twenty-six year law practice has been devoted to all types of high-stakes civil trial work. Focusing on product liability and pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, Mr. Prater also has extensive experience in business litigation, including consumer fraud, antitrust, and patent cases, and environmental litigation. In the past few years, Mr. Prater has obtained jury verdicts for defendant product manufacturers in multi-million dollar cases in all parts of the state, including the first verdict rendered in favor of a defendant product manufacturer in Lowndes County in over a decade. He also was trial counsel in an environmental contamination case filed by thousands of plaintiffs that tried for over nineteen months – – the largest and longest-running trial in Alabama history.  Mr. Prater also represented a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a highly-publicized trial where the State of Alabama alleged Medicaid fraud, a case that the Alabama Supreme Court reversed and rendered for Mr. Prater’s client.

Mr. Prater is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation and the Alabama Law Foundation, and he is a Life Fellow of the Birmingham Bar Foundation. Mr. Prater has served as national counsel for various product manufacturers, and he is one of twelve Alabama lawyers selected as members of the Product Liability Advisory Council. Mr. Prater has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America by Woodward White, Inc. as the 2018 Birmingham Lawyer of the year for Litigation – Environmental, and he has been included among the Top 50 lawyers in Alabama Super Lawyers magazine. Chambers USA recognizes Mr. Prater as a Leading Individual for Litigation (Alabama), Benchmark Litigation names him as a “Litigation Star,” and Super Lawyers selected him as a “2017 Mid-South Super Lawyer”.

Mr. Prater has served on the Executive Committee of the Birmingham Bar Association, and he has chaired a Grievance Committee of the Birmingham Bar Association. At the state level, he is the Chair of the Alabama State Bar Committee on Disciplinary Rules of Enforcement, which evaluates the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct and the Alabama Rules of Disciplinary Procedure and makes recommendations to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Married for thirty years and the father of two daughters, Mr. Prater has served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Birmingham YMCA, and he also serves on the Board of Trustees of both Canterbury United Methodist Church and the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church.

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