John W. Harris

Founder & Partner

“As we enter our fifth decade, Harris & Hayden Law Firm (formerly Harris & Associates) is committed to championing equality for all people. Through our litigation, we have fought racism and unfair practices that perpetuate inequalities. We are proud to lead the way in civil rights law while thoughtfully working on behalf of our clients to produce profound, long-lasting societal change.”

John is Harris & Hayden Law Firm’s founding partner. John’s career began as a civil litigator and senior trial attorney for the Chief Counsel’s Office within the Internal Revenue Service, where he worked in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to handle Tax Court litigation matters and criminal prosecutions. He’s a talented litigator who has successfully represented clients to verdict on both sides of the docket in over 500 jury and non-jury trials with a 90% success rate. John has obtained numerous million-dollar settlements and highly favorable verdicts on behalf of his clients.

Upon transitioning to private practice, John used his expert advocacy skills to represent clients in several complex litigation matters with an emphasis on Title VII civil rights claims, excessive police force cases, wage and hour class actions, and other employment law disputes, as well as product liability litigation. In addition, John has 40 years of experience in civil rights and employment law issues; he
is an expert at guiding employers through the intricacies of federal and California state employment laws to achieve favorable outcomes at trials and hearings.

In addition to litigating, John also takes an active role in preventative measures by providing clients with extensive advice, counsel services, and multi-faceted training in the areas of employment, investigative approaches, and other workplace issues. John has handled all aspects of litigated claims including pre-litigation resolution, discovery, Labor Code actions, and serious and willful misconduct claims.

John has a remarkable work ethic, attention to detail, and capacity to see the big picture beyond the detail, as well as a genuine interest in helping clients succeed legally. John’s cases often involve high-stakes, crisis-level litigation where reputations and public policy are on the line. These include high-profile police-shooting cases, an important component of the national “Black Lives Matter” movement.

John received a BS and Juris Doctor from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the UCLA School of Law, which ranks as one of the top-20 schools of law in the United States.