Jeffrey R. Harris
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One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.
Over the course of his career, Jeff has secured hundreds of millions in jury verdicts and settlements for his clients and has helped make a variety of products, vehicles and industries safer for everyone. His cases have been featured in The New York Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, 20/20, CBS Evening News and many other national media outlets.
Jeff has obtained numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients and has been repeatedly included on the annual survey of top jury verdicts in the United States, compiled by the National Law Journal. He has been inducted to the Georgia Verdicts Hall of Fame and honored on the Georgia Super Lawyers Top 100 list, the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 list and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel’s Top One Percent list.
Jeff has earned a reputation as a strategic, aggressive litigator who takes on major corporations and wins cases on behalf of his clients. Jeff has successfully litigated cases involving product defects, business disputes, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, bad faith, aviation accidents, medical negligence and industrial accidents. His specialty is trying cases to a jury. He is routinely brought into complex cases at the request of other attorneys to handle the trial of those disputes.
Jeff excels at product liability cases and has successfully sued virtually all of the major automakers for manufacturing defective vehicles. He represented a client who was paralyzed due to an injury caused by her Ford Explorer, securing a $40 million jury verdict while demonstrating that the company knew for decades that its transmission suffered from a “false park” defect. He also secured a $47.7 million jury verdict in a case involving a 6-year-old girl who was paralyzed due to a defect in the design of the Lincoln LS sedan and obtained $16.52 million in damages against Michelin in a high-profile product liability and wrongful death case, demonstrating that tread separation on a defective tire caused his client’s death.
In addition, this talented litigator has had major wins in business tort cases. He took on the City of Atlanta and Clear Channel, winning a $17.5 million federal judgment arising from illegal bid awarding practices related to advertising contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Jeff has also earned a reputation as a fierce litigator in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. In a highly publicized Narconon-related wrongful death case, he helped shut down dangerous drug treatment facilities and secured a confidential settlement on behalf of the family of a patient who died as a result of negligent drug rehab treatment. He also represented the family of a two-year-old who tragically drowned in an unsecured pool at an unlicensed daycare facility, securing a $9.85 million jury verdict, and secured an $8 million verdict for the victim in a sexual molestation case involving a youth minister.
A sought-after plaintiff’s attorney for cases involving injuries and deaths on film and TV sets, Jeff served as the lead trial attorney on the landmark Jones v. CSX case, securing an $11.2 million verdict on behalf of the family of camera operator Sarah Jones, who was killed while working on the Midnight Rider movie. In Bernecker v. AMC et al., Jeff secured an $8.6 million verdict for the death of accomplished stunt performer John Bernecker, who was fatally injured on the set of “The Walking Dead” in Senoia, Georgia. Throughout his career, Jeff has been a strong advocate for set safety and routinely represents cast and crew members who have been injured or killed during production.
In addition, Jeff has led major courtroom victories for clients in catastrophic medical malpractice cases, including a record $18 million jury verdict in Chatham County, Georgia on behalf of a client who was paralyzed due to negligent medical treatment, a $5 million verdict against Gwinnett Hospital System as well as a $4.3 million verdict in a case involving a misdiagnosed infection.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Jeff began his legal career with a defense firm specializing in product liability cases, personal injury claims and business disputes. After working as a defense attorney, Jeff realized that his heart was on the side of representing people, and not large corporations or insurance companies.
After working with several prominent plaintiffs firms, Jeff formed the law firm of Harris Lowry Manton, LLP, along with partners Steve Lowry and Jed Manton. The firm is committed to excellence in its representation of those injured or killed by the negligence of others and prepares every case with a focus on presenting the case to a jury. The firm maintains offices in Atlanta and Savannah, and Jeff splits his time between those two cities.
Jeff is a magna cum laude graduate of Mercer Law School, where he graduated first in his law school class. In law school, Jeff served as Editor in Chief of the Mercer Law Review and was a member of the Moot Court Board. He received a number of scholastic awards in law school including the Woodruff Medal and the Order of the Barristers. Prior to attending law school, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and an MBA in finance from the Mercer Business School.
Jeff has repeatedly been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer, a member of Atlanta’s Legal Elite and listed as one of the Finest Lawyers in the South. He was also recognized by the Fulton County Daily Report as one of the top 14 lawyers under 40 practicing in Georgia.
He is a frequent speaker on evidence and trial tactics and is involved in numerous legal organizations, including: State Bar of Georgia (State Disciplinary Board, Committee on Judicial Procedure and Administration; Lawyer Advertising Task Force); Lawyers Club of Atlanta; American Bar Association; Atlanta Bar Association; American Association for Justice (Board of Governors, 2010-11); Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (Champion Member, Regional Vice President, 2005 to 2009, Legislative Committee); Savannah Trial Lawyers Association; Southern Trial Lawyers Association (Board of Directors, 1998 to present); Attorneys Information Exchange Group (Board of Directors, 2008 to present); Trial Lawyers for Public Justice; Civil Justice PAC (Board of Directors, 2007 to 2009).
Jeff is married to attorney Rebecca Franklin Harris and has two children.
Areas of Practice:
- Serious Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Product Liability
- Automotive Products Liability
- Commercial and Business Tort Litigation
- Medical Malpractice
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law, Macon, Georgia, 1999
- Honors: Magna Cum Laude
- Honors: Recipient, The Woodruff Medal (First Honor Graduate)
- Honors: Member, Brainerd Currie Honor Society
- Honors: Order of Barristers
- Honors: Moot Court Board
- Honors: National Team, Intrastate Team (Best Team, Best Brief)
- Honors: First in Class
- Law Review: Mercer Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 1998-99
- Mercer University, MBA, 1997
- University of Georgia, B.A., 1995
Honors and Awards:
- Georgia Super Lawyers Top 100
- Georgia Verdicts Hall of Fame Inductee
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers
- 10 Best Attorneys in Georgia, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys (AIOPIA)
- Top One Percent, The National Association of Distinguished Counsel
- Verdicts Hall of Fame – Product Liability, Fulton County Daily Report
- The Nestlehutt Award, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
- Georgia’s Legal Elite, Georgia Trend
- Atlanta’s Legal Elite, The Atlanta
- Finest Lawyers of the South, South Magazine
- On the Rise, 14 Top Lawyer Under 40 in Georgia, Fulton County Daily Report
- Super Lawyer
- Rising Star
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- State Bar of Georgia, Member of State Disciplinary Board
- American Association for Justice, Board of Governors
- Southern Trial Lawyers Association, Board Member
- Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Vice President and Champion Member; Membership Committee Co-Chair; Legislative Committee
- American Bar Association, Member
- American Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- AIEG, Member
- Atlanta Bar Association, Member
- Lawyers Club of Atlanta, Member
- Savannah Bar Association, Member
- International Society of Barristers, Fellow
- Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Member
- “Board of the County Commissioners v. Brown: Nepotism, Skepticism, and Causation Under 42 U.S.C.,” Mercer Law Review, 1998
- Co-Author, “Constitutional Criminal Procedure – A Two Year Survey,” Mercer Law Review, 1999
- “The Effective Use of Other Similar Incident Evidence,” The Verdict, Spring 2005
Past Employment Positions:
- Harris Penn Lowry LLP
- Scherffius, Ballard, Still & Ayres
- Butler, Wooten, Scherffius, Fryhofer, Daughtery & Sullivan LLP
- Victim-Witness Assistance Program, Athens-Clarke Solicitor General’s Office