Building A Strong Defense Against Criminal Charges

Building A Strong Defense Against Criminal Charges

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Greg Harris

Columbia, SC

Greg Harris is an accomplished Columbia, South Carolina lawyer with a successful track record of resolving difficult criminal cases in courts throughout the Southeast. He is also a successful appellate advocate having successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court of South Carolina and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Greg’s federal criminal defense practice extends beyond South Carolina to several other states where he has helped his clients successfully resolve complex federal prosecutions.

If he agrees to represent you, Greg will be personally responsible for your case. Unlike some law firms, he will not hand you over to a junior associate, paralegal or “case manager.” While he has a very talented and capable staff, he believes it is important for Harris & Gasser lawyers to know exactly what is going on in each and every case they accept. Because he limits the number of clients he represents, he can afford to give those clients 100% of his attention when it is time to successfully resolve the case or go to trial.

His primary office is in downtown Columbia, but he has won criminal trials in every part of the state. He has successfully represented clients in federal and state courts in the metro areas of Greenville, Charleston, Florence, Sumter, Spartanburg, Aiken and in many smaller towns across South Carolina. He also accepts a limited number of federal criminal cases in other states. In cases outside of South Carolina, he usually associates highly qualified local counsel to assist him at no additional cost to the client.

Prosecution and Defense Background

After his graduation from law school in 1986, Greg worked for Circuit Court Judge Marion H. Kinon as his law clerk. It was during this first year of his legal career that he decided trial work would be his primary focus in the practice of law. After his clerkship with Judge Kinon, Greg worked as an Assistant Solicitor in the 5th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office under Jim Anders. During his two years with the Solicitor’s Office, he prosecuted cases ranging from driving under the influence to murder. During the last year of his tenure with the Solicitor’s Office, Greg focused primarily on violent crime, prosecuting cases involving criminal sexual assault, felony driving under the influence, rape and murder.

In 1998, Greg became a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina. After this appointment, he was named Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division by United States Attorney, E. Bart Daniel, a position that he held for over three years as a federal prosecutor.

As the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Greg specialized in the prosecution of white collar crimes including a multimillion dollar bank fraud/money laundering case, a multi-district intrastate chop shop case, as well as multi-kilo narcotics violations. Greg views his tenure as a prosecutor as a life experience that now assists him in obtaining the best results possible for all of his state and federal clients.

The other side will have many resources at their disposal. So should you. Greg utilizes a number of top-notch experts to assist him. These include forensic accountants, and investigators who formerly worked in law enforcement. From the moment he takes a case, Greg and his staff conduct their own investigation. In some cases, he is able to interview witnesses before the government does. His goal is to obtain the information needed to convince the prosecution to drop the charges. If dropping the charges is not possible, he uses the information to zealously defend his clients.

Greg only takes a few select cases. He keeps his caseload down so that he can give each of his clients the personal attention that they deserve. He is always available to address questions and concerns and returns his telephone calls within 24 hours.

Greg has represented and actively counseled individuals and corporations that have been investigated and/or prosecuted for alleged federal racketeering, securities violations, tax evasion, fraud, corruption, obstruction of justice, money laundering, environmental offenses, and customs violations. He has also represented attorneys and judges on ethical issues and in disciplinary proceedings in a number of jurisdictions in the South Carolina area.

His representations, described here without names because of the sensitivity of most of his matters, have included:

 Attorneys. Greg has represented attorneys under inquiry and investigation, both in criminal and in disciplinary proceedings, involving alleged contemptuous behavior, HUD fraud, bank fraud, estate fraud and tax violations.

 Public Officials. Greg has represented high-ranking public officials in federal, state and municipal government, as well as judges and judicial assistants who were investigated, prosecuted or required to give testimony in various proceedings. Key engagements include three Constitutional officers of the state of South Carolina, key members of Columbia city government and numerous members of the South Carolina legislature.

 Professional Athletes. Greg has represented professional athletes under investigation both in North and South Carolina for various violations of the law, including a high profile steroid distribution inquiry that resulted in a declination of charges for two athletes.

 Securities Offenses. Greg has represented individuals regarding federal and state securities offenses, including a highly publicized federal securities criminal complaint in which there was a full dismissal of the criminal charge. In many engagements, charges have been declined by the government.

 Internal Investigations. Greg has conducted internal investigations on behalf of corporations. Such representations have resulted in successful referrals to criminal authorities on behalf of the corporate entity clients of the individuals whose conduct was under scrutiny.

 Taxes. Greg has represented accounting firms and professionals under investigation for criminal violations, including tax shelters and the facilitation of money laundering. He also represented a number of individuals charged with federal and state tax violations.

 Forfeiture Proceedings. Greg has represented individuals whose funds were the subject of civil seizure orders and criminal forfeiture proceedings as a result of alleged illegal conduct in South Carolina. Many of these cases have resulted in the return of all or a significant amount of the assets seized.

 Environmental Violations. Greg has successfully represented a number of individuals and corporations in matters related to clean water and clean air violations.

 Business Consulting. Greg represents a number of business consulting entities with respect to grand jury investigations and subpoenas on an ongoing basis in various jurisdictions around the country.

Areas of Practice:
Primarily State and Federal White Collar Defense

Bar Admissions:
South Carolina, 1986


University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina, 1986

The Citadel, 1983

Classes/Seminars Taught:
Frequent Lecturer, A Recent Developments in Federal Law, South Carolina Bar Convention in Charleston

Attorney-Client Relations, Gap program in Columbia

Federal Sentencing, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association

The Attorney-Client Relationship, The University of South Carolina School of Law

Professional Associations and Memberships:
John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court

South Carolina Bar Criminal Law Section

South Carolina Judicial Invitational

Richland County Bar Association

South Carolina Bar

Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference

Past Employment Positions:
South Carolina State Ethics Commission, Chairman, 2000 – 2005

United States Attorney Office, Deputy Chief of Criminal Division, 1989 – 1993

Judge Marion Kinon, Circuit Court, Law Clerk, 1986 – 1987

Birth Information:
May 8, 1961, Asheville, North Carolina, United States of America


Professional Associations and Memberships

  • South Carolina Bar – Criminal Law Section
  • South Carolina Judicial Invitational, Member
  • John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court