Reflections: Fred Harris
It’s amazing what a strong mentor can do to accelerate goal achievement. When I look back on my journey to starting my own firm, there are a number of impactful and talented people who have helped me get where I am today simply because they believed in me. Fred Harris is a reminder that every professional connection you make in your network is not only an important relationship to foster but also a meaningful stepping stone in your path to success.
I met Fred Harris when I worked at Greenberg Traurig as a rising attorney. Fred is a tax law and transactional attorney who invited me to work closely with him during my tenure at the firm. Fred helped me gain hands-on experience as it pertains to the behind the scenes processes to prepare and organize complex deal documents for legal matters while entrusting me to handle the litigation and/or bankruptcy facets of the cases he originated. He had a huge impact on my professional growth and also taught me a great deal about how to be a good person. Fred operates under the strong belief that the more good you put into the world the more good that will come back to you. I will always remember this philosophy.
Fred is essentially one part highly-qualified, successful attorney, one part laid-back free spirit. While his demeanor is relaxed, he’s extremely confident in his professional role. He believes in providing great value to the client to ensure the best outcome possible. Despite being laid-back, he has no problem vigorously representing clients in all matters, even contentious ones. He breaks the stereotype of a fervent attorney with his relaxed demeanor and eccentricities. Fred has a big personality, an agreeable sense of humor, and is an all-around cool dude. He’s good friends with members of the Rolling Stones, has attended Burning Man, plays bass guitar, and even owns an organic farm with his daughter, Katie! His karma-based approach to life results in a laundry list of good deeds and a community-driven attitude.
Beyond his impressive character, he’s a very skilled attorney. He remains cool, calm, and collected under pressure and never lets opposing counsel get under his skin. He currently focuses his practice on structuring and documenting complex business transactions, including those for renewable energy projects, public-private partnerships, taxation, corporate, and dispute resolution. He also boasts a long list of awards, accolades, and community involvement.
It was a complicated decision when I left Greenberg Traurig, but in the end, Fred encouraged me to follow my heart and do what was best for my family and future. It meant a great deal to me that mentors like Fred Harris and Barry Richard were supportive of what I set out to accomplish when I started Michael H. Moody Law.
One huge game-changer in this big life transition was the fact that Fred entrusted me with a high-stakes shareholder derivative case that I took with me to my private practice. I had worked significantly on the case before leaving but did not expect it would make the transition with me since the client was technically Fred’s client. His grand gesture was truly in line with Fred’s generous spirit and encouraging leadership. Not only was it an honor to be referred to such an important case, but it also gave Michael H. Moody Law a secure foundation to build upon financially. We successfully resolved the case and celebrated a bright future for my growing venture.
I am so grateful for the guidance and support of Fred Harris and his wife Lucy. He has been an influential leader to me both personally and professionally. I aspire to his success in the courtroom and I hope to emulate his kindness and generosity throughout my lifetime.