Thomas A. Harris

Profile picture of Justice Thomas A. HarrisJustice Thomas A. (Tom) Harris was born in Fresno, California, on September 21, 1939. Both his father and grandfather were practicing Fresno attorneys.

Harris attended the University of Southern California (B.A. 1961) and Stanford University School of Law (J.D. 1964). During college and law school vacations he worked as an investigator for the Fresno County District Attorney’s office. Harris was admitted to the California Bar on January 12, 1965.

Justice Harris served as a deputy district attorney for Fresno County (1965-1967). Thereafter he engaged in the private practice of law until mid-1985. He initially practiced criminal defense and family law, later specializing in general business, probate and estate planning.

Upon appointment by Governor Deukmejian, Harris became Judge of the Municipal Court, Consolidated Fresno Judicial District, on June 14, 1985. On March 20, 1987, Governor Deukmejian elevated Harris to the Fresno County Superior Court. While on the superior court, Harris served terms as Presiding Judge of the Family Law and Probate Departments.

On August 7, 1990, Governor Deukmejian nominated Harris as Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District. Harris was confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments on August 21, 1990, and has twice since been confirmed by the electorate.

Harris and his wife Judy have two adult children. He enjoys boating, mountain activities, mechanics, and gardening.