Hon. Paul F. Harris, Jr. See Rating Details
Associate Judge
Circuit Court
Anne Arundel County
5th Circuit
See Comments

Attorney Average Rating:   4.5 - 16 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   2.0 - 26 rating(s)
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General Rating Criteria

* Temperament (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Scholarship (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Industriousness (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
* Ability to Handle Complex Litigation (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Punctuality (1=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)


Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)


Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)
Comments




What others have said about Hon. Paul F. Harris, Jr.


Comments


Litigant

Comment #: MD3084
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
It is my personal opinion that this jude is prejudice against mothers and women in general. He shows serious favoritism to specific lawyers and is down right rude.

Other

Comment #: MD2757
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Reasonable and justifiable resources have come forward demanding an investigation commence into the machinations / collusion amongst the Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judges. This in conjunction with a local Annapolis firm. Referencing the very limited positive comments here regarding the conduct of this particular Judge, any reasonable observer, litigant, court staff, criminal defense lawyer, prosecutor, first year law student, & reporter, present as a court watcher during any proceedings this judge presides, would swiftly ascertain his complete disregard for applicable law and evidence before the court. Historical record extracts and civil case records for numerous cases will confirm this thematic occurrence. With presence in the trial court, researching inactive / closed, final judgements and pending cases, the clear and evident judicial and attorney unethical behavior is evident. The favoritism for a particular Annapolis Counselor, associates in his firm, and clients, is beyond compelling and worthy of investigation. - JW

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD2362
Rating:10.0
Comments:
As a female attorney representing g a female in a protective order case I must say this Judge was very kind and compassionate. It was a erasure to be before him. My client was emotional on the stand and he verbally recognized how difficult the situation was for her to come into court. I was so pleased with this judge and his ability to consider what is best for the child. This judge does not like parents, male or female, to play games with children. It was a pleasure going before this judge

Other

Comment #: MD2355
Rating:1.0
Comments:
In observing Judge Paul Harris in trial court, primarily for Family Law Cases, his conduct from the beginning resonates embarrassment to the citizens in Anne Arundel County. Recently, he argued a case without allowing the Defendant's testimony. A case that was to be dismissed when trial commenced. He forced the Defendant to settle with prejudice and exercised extreme favoritism toward Opposing Counsel, Samuel J. Brown. J. Harris demonstrates a consistent theme of favoring the Hillman, Brown, & Darrow firm, but primarily Sam Brown. J. Harris is also on record for not applying MD statutes & illustrates by brazen comments that he won't follow the law if presented with the law by Counsel during trial. Further, facing the unpredictability of a Judge's behavior of not allowing opening arguments to be heard, interrupting cross examination and not allowing the full scope of cross for various Counsels, except Samuel J. Brown. Over the years, enough case information has been collected confirming J. Harris's favoritism toward Sam Brown as well as extending that favoritism toward the Brown firm. This doesn't even scratch the surface of the corruption that looms our citizens in the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County. Both Harris & Brown have proven that the law is not viewed or applied in which it was intended. That under J. Harris's control, case law, credible evidence, and testimony is not allowed in various cases. That further, Harris & Brown may "barely" observe the law, but play fast and loose with the law while violating its spirit with the greatest of ease. Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a reason that Sam Brown is one of the wealthiest Attorney's in Annapolis, MD, but not generated from honesty or ethical conduct. Instead, Brown and Harris continue their quest of destroying Women, Men, Children, and extended family members via use of abusing the law as set forth. That their continuous operating in bad faith, unethical tactics, and misconduct will be exposed. The continuous machinations, backdoor maneuvers and absence of fairness for both parties in the trial court under the thumb of J. Harris will be known. This is for the protection of innocent citizens and ethical Counsels having to face the corruption under Judge Harris. J. Harris is also on record for not preparing beforehand in cases assigned and entering into delicate cases that conclude poorly under his rulings. It is time to hold J. Harris and Sam Brown accountable for their ongoing bad faith & misconduct. Various individuals have come forward expressing their preparations for a class action lawsuit and strategy to bring this injustice to an end and we thank you for your courageous efforts in contacting us in this quest.

Litigant

Comment #: MD2331
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge is extremely abusive, narcissistic, and biased -- his mind was made up before the emergency child protective trial even began. He put the child back in the abusive household. The mother was threatened to be killed (along with everyone in the home) by her ex, who hid in the trunk of her car to get to her. She filed a restraining order for herself, not for her child. Judge Harris stated at the end of the trial that, if this had come into his courtroom in the beginning, he would have returned the child to the mother -- thereby putting her back in a situation that could have gotten her killed. He did not care if she lived or died! This man should be disbarred!

Litigant

Comment #: MD2299
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He is unfair and biased and a real bad judge, but then again, it's Anne Arundel County, so who cares?
This is the guy that was quoted as saying: "maybe she wanted to get beat up," and then the defendant got no more than a slap on the wrist.

Other

Comment #: MD2246
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge made the L.A. Times for his controversial decisions, obvious corruption and all-around laziness. He has no concern for evidence, children or abused women. Reporters trying to follow up on the L.A. Times story were evicted from the courtroom when trying to report on his bias.

Other

Comment #: MD2184
Rating:10.0
Comments:
He is a very fair judge. He does not like it if games are played with children, or with existing court orders.

Other

Comment #: MD2098
Rating:1.0
Comments:
A very biased judge. Every family lawyer in Annapolis will tell you. If you're male, he will rule in your favor. More than one decision of his has been overturned in front of a three-judge panel. Just this morning he heard a contempt case and protective order (for a 7-year-old child) case (forwarded from District Court) in which he would not hear any evidence. The person (male) which he ruled for has been indicated of neglect by DSS and he would not even read the report. This judge rules based on his mood, not the facts of the case.

Litigant

Comment #: MD1880
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Had his mind made up before the case was put on. Announced his decision before the proceedings began. Stated his brilliance in dealing with children and his ability to accurately tell if a child is telling the truth when he speaks to them in chambers.Rolled his eyes when advised of a males long term abuse emoting that mattered not in a custody situation.It's a wonder that he was able to get in a law school; a greater wonder that he graduated!

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1847
Rating:2.4
Comments:
Strong male bias, no way around it. His record against women speaks for itslef. He clearly has an axe to grind and appears to be trying to correct the perceived wrongs he suffered durrig his career as an atorney. Does not appear to have a strong knowledge of law and would rather legislate from the bench.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1770
Rating:8.3
Comments:
Despite dealing with a very hostile mother whose own family and children demonstrated that she was verbally and mentally abusive towards her children and hostile towards all the positive adults in their lives. It's disgruntled litigants that are the cause of all the negative comments about Judge Harris. I was a witness in a case recently before Judge Harris and found him to be tough but fair. I think he even stopped a few times to give opposing counsel to decide whether or not they were going to object and they chose not too and he even questioned why.

Other

Comment #: MD1769
Rating:7.0
Comments:
I spent a lot of time reviewing a case recently and was impressed with the equality he gave both the defendant and the plaintiff a lot of opportunities. It's a sad situation when a mother tries to throw her teenage sons under the bus and make up lies. Judge Harris found her to not be credible and saw through her lies. I believe she lost her case all by herself. It's people like this that give the judge's bad reviews because they are incapable of seeing their own wrong doing. The funny thing is she would have lost a lot less had she settled out of court. I thought that the judge gave the mother way to much opportunity to slander and purposely say things to tarnish her son's reputation as well as the witnesses in the case.

The point is this, you take a chance by allowing yourself to wind up in court rather then learning how to play with the toys in the sandbox with others and co parent. A parent who chooses to leave their marriage and doesn't think of anyone other then themselves and doesn't think of implications of their actions on the children are the same ones that would be trashing the judge.

Other

Comment #: MD1688
Rating:1.0
Comments:
It is my opinion that Judge Harris does not have the best interest for the children when it comes to custody cases. If a child is old enough to testify then that child should be able to testify. He didn't get all the facts. He gave a child who has anxiety when she is with her father to her father. This is not my child I am talking about nor a family members. It is just something that I had the misfortune of seeing first hand. He is definitely bias and pro male. He really needs to think more about what he is doing to the children.

Litigant

Comment #: MD1650
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Ignores the law and the evidence.

Other

Comment #: MD1574
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Harris is the most biased judge on the bench in Anne Arundel County. He formulates his opinion prior to hearing any testimony, In a child custody case in which Judge Harris is hearing the case, It is highly recommend that the children have a lawyer represent them independantly. Judge Harris sways towards MEN and does not take the best interest of the child into consideration. If you are unlucky enough to have your case heard by Judge Harris, run to the court house and demand to have Harris removed from hearing your case. Judge Harris should be removed from the bench.

Other

Comment #: MD1435
Rating:2.0
Comments:
Paul Harris is a prime example of the ignorance of the Maryland electorate as are Martin O'Malley, Mike Bush, and Mike Miller. Maryland voters will get from the system what they put into it. Lately that hasn't been much.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD1410
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
Although I can't prove it, I am certain that this judge's has influenced the ligth sentence that his nephew Erik M. Harris received for a manslaughter conviction when he killed his female passenger Crystal Isaacs. Despite numerous parole vioilations Erik Harris got off probation and I believe it was because Paul Harris his uncle is a judge in that courthouse. The family of the girl that died never knew that the man who killed her daughter had his sentence lessened because his uncle is a judge in that courthouse. Look up on the maryland judiciary case search erik harris, look at his history and it will become obvious that the "normal" criminal with this history would have been in jail for a very long time.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1340
Rating:2.6
Comments:
Horrendously misogynistic. Homophobic.

When I represent men, he is the one I want.

Should not be on the bench. Worst in Anne Arundel County.

Other

Comment #: MD1235
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Biased misogynist. Had the nerve to tell a child at a custody hearing that she was a little liar and that she would do well in the acting profession. What kind of person tells that to a little girl, more or less a judge?

Court Staff

Comment #: MD1147
Rating:8.0
Comments:
There will always be an angry party after a trial before Judge Harris. THE LOSER? Judge Harris deserves a better description than what has been posted. First, he was elected by the people of Anne Arundel County! Judge Harris is completely free of any corruption and wasn’t appointed by a corrupted judicial appointing system. Prior to the bench, Judge Harris was in practice for 30+ years as a trial attorney. While in practice, Judge Harris was primarily a criminal defense attorney, yet, he has the reputation for being tough on crime. Clearly he had the best interest of his clients while in practice, and now his interest is devoted to public safety. However, Judge Harris sticks to the rule of law and ensures that criminal defendants receive a fair trial. All of the Court employees enjoy working with Judge Harris (keep in mind most clerks are female). Judge Harris treats everyone with respect and shows the little guy a fair shake. Not once have I seen Judge Harris speak down to anyone or treat them differently because they are from a specific area of the county. Furthermore, Judge Harris has presided over several weddings for employees of the Court, all on his free time. In contested divorce/custody cases Judge Harris doesn’t walk onto the bench with a preconceived notion the wife should receive custody. Judge Harris will determine all the factors set forth by law and the issues raised by counsel. He doesn’t want to hear, “...but, Johnny doesn’t want to go with his father/mother...Johnny is scared of his father/mother...” Judge Harris would respond with, “Johnny is six. Johnny doesn’t know what he wants or what is best for him.” Judge Harris is famous for making comments from the bench. These comments, however, are within the scope of the case at hand. Judge Harris doesn’t randomly make personal comments to reflect his views, rather he is responding to the cases before him. Unlike most Anne Arundel County Judges, Harris requires proper etiquette. For example, always stand when addressing the Court, never wear a bow tie, turn off your cell phone, no gum, no shorts, and show the opposing party proper courtroom respect. Judge Harris is married with three sons. One of his boys is currently serving our country overseas with special forces and has been deployed five times to date. To say Judge Harris is “corrupt, bias, misogynistic, and dishonest” is completely inaccurate to say the least. All hot air from heated litigants that lost their case. Judge Harris pledges his allegiance to the country, county, and citizens on a daily basis. Please, see for yourself!

Other

Comment #: MD1122
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Harris is so bias. He is pro male. He makes inappropriate remarks. He doesn't read any of the motions or research. He does not look out for the children best interests. Judge Harris says bias remarks. I feel the Judicial Disability committee needs to look in to this. He is a disgrace.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1120
Rating:7.8
Comments:
Since many commentators have suggested this judge has a strong gender bias I will start by saying I am a female attorney and do not get any negative bias at all appearing before Judge Harris.

His conduct towards counsel (both male and female) seems generally appropriate and evenhanded, though he will express his ire with counsel disrespect or game playing and once a witness or counsel has lost credibility they will have a hard time gaining it back. I don't see that as a negative though perhaps a certain type of litigant / attorney would feel constrained by this judge.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD1063
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Unfortunately,Judge Paul Harris lacks all of the characteristics of a good Judge.He is lazy and normally has his mind made up as to who should win before the first witness is called.He does not prepare,he does not read Motions os look at the research in any memo attached to a Motion.He clearly is pro Male in any custody or other divorce case regardless of the facts.I am surprised the Judicial Disabilities have not on their own picked up on his weaknesses,of which there are many,and failed to charge himSo much for the Judges Judging themselves.Pity and a travesty especially for the children involved who he leaves unprotected.

Litigant

Comment #: MD957
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul Harris, in a decision that has victims' rights advocates crying foul, acquitted the man charged with second-degree assault after he was accused of striking his girlfriend three times in the face. The judge said that without the woman's testimony, he could not be sure that she hadn't consented to the attack. Unfortunately for rape and domestic violence victims nationwide, this judge is not an anomaly. And his conduct throughout--the wildly inappropriate comments, the specific directions to the jury that they must prove "the defendant's actions were not consented to by the victim"--strongly suggest a few disturbing notions. That Judge Harris is a deeply misogynistic creature, for one. That Judge Harris is behaving, and ruling, unethically and even unconstitutionally, for two and three.

Litigant

Comment #: MD954
Rating:1.0
Comments:
intellectual idiot!!! He thinks he is sitting on the Arch of the Covenant, flash.. it is just a chair. He leaves a mentally retarded person in the guardianship of an abuser and surrounds her with crack heads and abusers. All the while trying to make loving sister believe she has no rights to protect the mentally retarded. Also allows court appointed attorney to wipe out tens of thousands of dollars stolen from inheritance for the mentally retarded person.Report on abuse told of months of only getting PBJ, ear grew to her head, 1set of underware filthy, not allowed to shower,brush teeth any of basic needs. Body filthy, she was given 5x the amount of Phenabarb and xanax just to keep her quiet. Yet this moron judge put her right back into their guardianship. While I was not allowed to give her the love she deserves and have no criminal record. HE HAS NO SHAME BECAUSE HE IS WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE OR SOUL!!!!!!!!!

Litigant

Comment #: MD870
Rating:1.0
Comments:
If your looking to protect an elderly father from a conning daughter who has elected to sacrifice the original family for her selfish goals and you seek the Anne Arundel County Court system to help, pray that you don't get Paul F. Harris as the judge deciding the outcome. Paul Harris truly does ignore evidence, fails to see his Order get completed and dismissed our case without evidence being presented. He obviously didn't read the Petition for the Appointment of a Guardian or the Memorandum in Opposition submitted by us. He sided with the conning daughter whose behavior is astounding, unethical, and immoral to other family members. It's a shame that they use the word Honorable before a judges name. All we have been asking for since the conning daughter began taking advantage of our father is for our side to get heard. Paul Harris denied us of that by dismissing the case on 1 March for apparently no reason. We are still waiting to hear why since we have yet to see the order dismissing the case. So like I said, if your looking to protect an elderly father from a conning daughter don't do it in Anne Arundel County. You may get Paul F. Harris.

Litigant

Comment #: MD845
Rating:Not Rated
Comments:
He is the worse judge ever. He makes up his mind before the trial start. He does not look at any evidence especially evidence that is complicated. He favors men and puts children in harms way. He does not care about best interest of the child. He is definitely anti-gay. He has said that a child should have a male and a female parent. He helps the mens side of the cases and interjects his personal opinions during testimony. he should not be on the bench and he leaves room for numerous appeals and the harm that he does to children can not be repaired.

Other

Comment #: MD843
Rating:1.0
Comments:
This judge DOES NOT have any concern for children! He even stated in a recent case that it doesn't matter how the child feels! This judge did not take into consideration anything the childs councelor said. He wasn't looking out for the best interests of the children. This judge favors men. Yes, I said it. He did not look into any of the prior abuse records, he did not allow anyone to check on the living conditions, he did not allow supervised visitation even though the father has a well documented history of abuse that goes back almost 15 years AND that the child said he wanted (remember it doesn't matter what the child wants) someone there when visiting (umm, maybe so he could feel safe!?). The backing and the evidence that is so missing for Commentor MD821 is that his lawyer said that the agreement the mother was proposing is reasonable and that she wouldn't even try the case UNLESS she got Harris as the judge. If something happens to this child, or any other that the "Hon" Paul F. Harris put back into an abusive situation he will have their blood on his hands.

Other

Comment #: MD821
Rating:9.0
Comments:
No judge deserves a 10...no one is perfect. However, this judge is humanly fair. The negative comments by some reviewers can't be taken seriously, they protest too much, simple words without backing or evidence. One complained of bias towards Glen Burnie lawyers while another complained of bias towards Annapolis firms. Tells me the opposite, Judge Harris lacks bias.
Judge Harris' concern for children is impressive, he goes above and beyond for their well being. Parents, don't use your children to get back at your spouse in Harris' courtroom.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD760
Rating:1.1
Comments:
Lazy,mean and always ill prepared is a bad combination, which makes for a very bad judge. The only good thing is that he leaves everyday at 2 o'clock. That way he's not screwing up cases in the afternoon as well. Overall, a total disaster.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: MD693
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He also falls asleep on the bench.....

Other

Comment #: MD692
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Harris is an embarrasment to the bench. He is biased and makes up his mind before the trial and ignores the evidence presented. it is not a suprise alot of his cases are appealed and reveresed. Harris has no business being apart of Maryland's judicial system. When his term is up I only hope he will face the same fate as some of the victims he has victimized. For anyone to say he is fair, grab a book on Maryland Law and do some research. The man is a joke and should never have been put on the bench. This is coming froma party that won on appeal of one of Harris' cases.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD546
Rating:9.6
Comments:
Very fair in evaluating all evidence and all angles of case. Very respectful of parties and counsel while not tolerating bad behavior from either. I have won and lost my share in front of him but always came out feeling like everyone had an equal opportunity.

Other

Comment #: MD525
Rating:10.0
Comments:
very fair judge

Litigant

Comment #: MD411
Rating:1.0
Comments:
Judge Harris is dishonest and biased. He ignores evidence in order to manipulate an outcome that suits his agenda. He should not be on the bench.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD403
Rating:1.9
Comments:
More suited to District Court where he gets to be the Judge and the one who ultimately decide "who wins" Unable to accept his role as a trial judge and repeatedly interjects personal opinion and bias throughout trials. Agree: unable to understand matters that are factually or legally complex and doesn't care enough to try.

Other

Comment #: MD392
Rating:10.0
Comments:
Judge Harris is fair and reasonable. He saw throught the smoke and mirrors. Judge Harris shared his opinion in both parties and saw who the favorable parent was. I am pleased with verdict. He did not show bias toward my female attorney.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD345
Rating:1.8
Comments:
Very misogynistic -- clearly biased against female attorneys and parties. Tends to favor lawyers from Glen Burnie. Cannot accept any disagreement with his opinions.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD343
Rating:9.8
Comments:
Judge Harris is fair and reasonable. He has not lost sight of what it is like to practice law. I have never had a bad experience when before him (yes, I have lost my share of cases). Judge Harris does not show bias towards anyone or any law firm, he is all about doing what is right and following the law.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD336
Rating:8.6
Comments:
I have seen the comments of others, and I could not disagree with them more. I have had favorable and unfavorable decisions from this judge, but never thought that the other side was getting the upper hand. (And, no, I do not work with Sam Brown.)

Other

Comment #: MD181
Rating:1.0
Comments:
He apparently makes his mind up prior to the case being presented. Favors certain law offices in Annapolis, most of all Sam Brown's. Dismisses testimony whenever it suits him. Believes he is godlike and untouchable. How did he ever become a judge?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: MD155
Rating:1.3
Comments:
Judge Harris appears to believe there is no limit to his authority. He does not appear to be able to comprehend complex legal principles.