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Joseph H. Purvis

About Joe

After more than 40 years, clients continue to turn to Joseph H. Purvis for his legal skill, sound judgment and wise counsel.

Professional Experience

He has demonstrated time and time again his commitment to providing the best guidance to his clients. His distinguished career includes arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and successfully representing a variety of employers in Arkansas and throughout the nation.

Community service has always been a priority to him. He is a graduate of Hendrix College; he served in the U.S. Air Force before earning his law degree. He served as an assistant and then deputy attorney general of Arkansas under Jim Guy Tucker as well as Bill Clinton, whom Joe has known since childhood while growing up in Hope, Arkansas. During his period of almost five years in the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, Joe was in charge of oral arguments before the Arkansas Supreme Court as well as the Arkansas Court of Appeals. He has argued a number of cases before the Federal District Court as well as the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. Joe has argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Throughout his career, Joe has donated his time to a number of professional organizations, including the Arkansas Bar Association, for which he served as a member of the House of Delegates and past chair of the workers’ compensation section. He is a current member of the Litigation, Labor and Employment Law and Tort Insurance sections of the American Bar Association, and a member of the Pulaski County Bar Association, the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. He has been a frequent and popular presenter of continuing legal education classes in Arkansas, California and Illinois and has received several “Best of CLE” awards for presentations.


Joe is nationally known for his acumen in workers’ compensation. His practice also includes general litigation and criminal law. As an AV® Preeminent™ Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell® for a number of years, Joe is respected by his peers and has been selected by them for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for more than a decade, including a Lawyer of the Year designation in 2012 for his workers’ compensation practice. Once again, Joe has also been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers for workers’ compensation.

Community Involvement

Joe is an active member of the greater central Arkansas community, having served as a member of the Arkansas Pro Bono Partnership; as a Sunday School teacher and former member of the board of stewards at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church; as a coach for Little Rock Junior Deputy Baseball Program, 1985-1998; as a co-founder of the Hillcrest Girls Softball League, 1977; and as a volunteer performer at Riverfest, 1980-1997.


Joe and his late wife, Susan, have two children. His daughter, Elizabeth, is a contract supervisor for DHS. His son, Benjamin, earned a Ph.D. in history and is an administrative specialist and instructor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Joe is an avid Razorback and St. Louis Cardinal fan and loves to visit the White and Norfork rivers to trout fish. He also sings in two local bands, Little Joe and the BK’s and the LLC Group.

Presentations & Publications

Joe has presented numerous CLE presentations on behalf of the Arkansas Bar Association and many other national organizations, including the National Workers’ Compensation Conference in Chicago and San Francisco. He received the Arkansas Bar Association’s “Best of CLE” for “Dealing with Psychological and Psychiatric Testimony” in 1993, “Status of Workers’ Compensation” in 1995 and “The Made Whole Doctrine in Arkansas” in 2008. Other presentations and publications include:

  • “Workers’ Compensation Update,” Human Resources Management Association of Arkansas Conference, March 16, 2010
  • “The Made Whole Doctrine,” Arkansas Bar Association, 2008
  • “Status of Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas,” Arkansas Bar Association, 1995
  • “Dealing with Psychological Testimony,” Arkansas Bar Association, 1993, named best CLE
  • “Saving the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg,” Arkansas Lawyer, 1993

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