Harris & Gasser, LLC: Firm Overview
When it comes to criminal charges, the best defense is not being charged at all. Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser have successfully represented doctors, lawyers, professional athletes, law enforcement personnel, politicians, and working men and women from all walks of life. They always protect the privacy of their clients and treat each situation with dignity and respect. Greg and Johnny have a history and philosophy of placing their clients’ interests first. This way, they can carefully and strategically plan and execute the best outcome for almost any situation.
As former federal and state prosecutors, they specialize in handling federal and state “white collar” crime cases for companies and individuals. With over 40 years of trial court experience, they specialize in handling federal and state cases across South Carolina. They have also defended clients facing serious criminal prosecutions in the trial courts of Florida, North Carolina and New Jersey. If you, your client, or a member of your family is under state or federal investigation, contact the Law Firm of Harris & Gasser, LLC for an accurate assessment of your case.
Greg and Johnny have handled numerous cases that attracted media attention — local, state and national. They always seek strategies to minimize their clients’ exposure to the media and they are always successful.
One strategy is their own calculated aversion to trumpeting their successes to the media or the public. Some law firms and attorneys seek the limelight for themselves; however, the light always shines on their clients as well. They have found that being the subject of an investigation or a criminal charge is stressful and difficult. Publicity only exacerbates the stress and often creates inflexibility of prosecutors, judges, and investigators. Some of their most outstanding results have been in mostly empty courtrooms or behind closed doors in a conference room. The promise to their clients has been, and always will be, absolute confidentiality and the best effort to shield them from the intrusion of the media.
Prosecution Background — Greg Harris
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 crime 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.
Since entering into private practice in March 1993, Greg has represented companies and individuals in all federal and state courts. His clientele ranges from professional athletes to corporate officials to high school students. Martindale-Hubbell has consistently rated Greg an AV* lawyer, signifying the highest legal ability and ethical conduct.
Greg received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, from The Citadel in 1983. As a senior, he was a member of the Inn of Court, The Citadel’s pre-law society. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Law and received his Juris Doctor Degree, in 1986. During law school, Greg furthered his professional education by clerking for the Law Firm of Todd and Barber in Columbia.
As a family man, Greg is a husband and father of three daughters. His wife Nancy is retired from the federal court system having worked with federal judges for over 18 years. The Harris family shares their home with Charlie, their dog.
Greg and his family attend First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. He is a lecturer at many South Carolina Bar sponsored events including his annual presentation on “Recent Developments in Federal Law” at the South Carolina Bar Convention and his speech on “Attorney-Client Relations” to all incoming lawyers at the Bridge the Gap program in Columbia. He also speaks to the incoming class at the University of South Carolina School of Law each year on the topic of attorney-client relations.
In 2000, Mr. Harris was appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the South Carolina State Ethics Commission. Greg served as the Chairman of the State Ethics Commission from 2004 until his retirement from the Commission in June of 2005.
Prosecution Background — Johnny Gasser
While in law school, Johnny worked as a law clerk in the 5th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office. After graduating in 1987, Johnny became an Assistant Solicitor in the Fifth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Johnny immediately started prosecuting the most serious types of cases including murder, rape, child abuse, felony DUI, drug trafficking, and armed robbery. In 1993, then Solicitor Dick Harpootlian elevated Johnny to the number two position in the office, Deputy Solicitor. In 1995, Barney Giese became Solicitor and Johnny remained the Deputy Solicitor under Giese’s tenure. During the nine years Johnny was the Deputy Solicitor, he continued to prosecute major violent crime and narcotics cases. He also worked on public corruption matters and complex white collar criminal cases.
In 2002, Johnny was hired by then United States Attorney J. Strom Thurmond, Jr., and became a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office in Columbia. He was designated a Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of all federal violent crime prosecutions in South Carolina. In January, 2005, Johnny became the Interim U.S. Attorney in South Carolina and ultimately he was appointed U.S. Attorney by United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. Johnny served a total of thirteen months as U.S. Attorney in South Carolina (at the time, the longest interim tenure in South Carolina history) overseeing all federal prosecutions and civil matters. In February, 2006, Johnny resumed his role as the violet Crime Section Chief and shortly thereafter he was also placed in charge of the Narcotics Section, overseeing all federal drug prosecutions in the state. On August 31, 2007, Johnny left government service after more than 20 years of prosecution experience to form a law partnership with Gregory P. Harris. Very few lawyers in South Carolina have spent more time in a courtroom talking to jurors in the past 30 years than Johnny Gasser.
Since entering into private practice on September 1, 2007, Johnny has represented a variety of individuals in both federal and state court. His clients have included doctors, lawyers, corporate officials, business owners, laborers, college students, and a number of other individuals. Johnny has been able to obtain positive resolutions to complex and difficult situations for his clients.
Johnny graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Carolina in 1984. He received a University Presidential Scholarship his senior year for academic achievement and graduated cum laude. Johnny received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1987. He graduated cum laude and was a member of the Order of the Coif, having graduated in the top ten in his class. During law school, Johnny furthered his professional education by clerking for the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office in Columbia.
Johnny is married to Sandy Scholl Gasser and they have two daughters and a son. Sandy received her law degree in 1992 from the University of South Carolina and practiced in the area of criminal and real estate law for 9 years. She took inactive status with the state bar so she could spend more time with their children.
Johnny and his family are members of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Columbia, SC where Johnny served on the Parish Advisory Council for many years. Johnny is on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands and he has served in that capacity since 2000. He is also on the Board of Directors of Crimestoppers of the Midlands. He has lectured and taught various legal courses at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, at National District Attorney’s Association seminars around the country, and at South Carolina Bar Continuing Legal Education events throughout the state.
Contact a criminal litigation lawyer for an initial consultation.
*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.