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Jim Harris focuses his practice on regulatory litigation and counseling. He assists clients in environmental regulation compliance, including running compliance audits and developing corporate policies, as well as in due diligence.

“James Harris has a strong reputation for his record in regulatory litigation.” – Chambers USA 2019

Jim’s environmental litigation expertise includes cost recovery actions, enforcement actions, contested permits, bankruptcy claims, regulation challenges, debarment proceedings, and criminal actions.

He also represents clients in litigation challenging local government ordinances, permit decisions, and zoning actions as well as in property tax litigation regarding challenges to valuation, situs determinations, and right to exemptions.

Honors & Affiliations


  • Chambers USA by Chambers and Partners (Environmental Law), 2003-2020
  • Dallas Litigation-Environmental Lawyer of the Year, The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc. 2012
  • The Best Lawyers In America® by Woodward/White Inc. (Environmental Law, Litigation-Environmental) 1983-2021
  • Recognized Attorney, The Legal 500 United States by Legalease (Industry Focus: Energy: Regulatory; Industry Focus: Environment – Regulatory), 2015, 2018, 2020
  • Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (Environmental, Environmental Litigation, Administrative Law, Tax), 2003-2004, 2006-2019
  • Best Lawyers in Dallas (Environmental Law), D Magazine, 2017-2018
  • The International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers, 2004
  • Who’s Who Legal: Texas by Law Business Research Limited (Environmental), 2007-present
  • Criminal Justice Act Panelist since November 2001 (has handled more than half a dozen criminal matters, including a week-long trial on alleged sales of guns without a permit, resulting in an acquittal)
  • ICFM Leading Lawyers 500, InterContinental Finance magazine, 2013


  • Member, American Bar Association; Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section; Urban, State, and Local Government Law Section; Natural Resources Section; Energy Section; Environmental Law Section
  • Member, State Bar of Texas; Administrative and Public Law Section; Appellate and Advocacy Section; Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section; Co-Chair, Environmental Law Institute Planning Committee, December 1988
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Inc.
  • Member, Scribes, The American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects
  • Special Master, Gun Barrel City, Texas, 1996
  • Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dallas Heritage Village; 2007-2008
  • Former Member, Board of Trustees, Dallas County Heritage Society
  • Former Member, Ad Hoc Stormwater Panel, Water Resources Council of the North Texas Council of Governments
  • Former Secretary, 101 Club of the Dallas Historical Society
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Mental Health Association of Dallas

Education & Admissions


  • J.D., 1978, with honors, The University of Texas School of Law; Teaching Quizmaster; Phi Delta Phi
  • Bachelor of Applied Science, 1975, with high honors, Southern Methodist University; Blue Key – Cycen-Fjodr


  • Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Ct.
  • U.S. Temporary Emergency Ct. of App.
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Dist. of Columbia
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Second Circuit
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. Arkansas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. Texas