About Harris Meyer

Harris Meyer Articles written 24

Harris Meyer is a veteran legal and health care reporter and editor who has written for Super Lawyers, American Lawyer Media, ABA Journal, Kaiser Health News, Health Affairs, Medscape, Modern Healthcare, and many other publications. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and lives with his wife, Deborah, in Chicago.

Articles written by Harris Meyer

Randy Schaffer’s Best Decision

An uphill death row case led the litigator to a new niche—and filmmaker Errol Morris to The Thin Blue Line

In 1982, an elderly woman from Ohio entered the Houston office of criminal defense attorney Randy Schaffer with a case that changed his life. The mother of convicted cop-killer Randall Adams, who was serving a life sentence, she implored Schaffer to handle her son’s post-conviction appeal. It seemed like a lost-cause case for which she could only pay him $300 per month—the entirety of her Social Security check. He had already twice turned her down by phone. But this time, he had opened his …

Repping ‘the Boy in the Cage’

How Seth Rosenberg tackled racism in Seattle schools

Employment lawyer Seth Rosenberg had no experience with cases of discrimination against students based on race and disability until 2019, when a woman called him to complain that a Renton school had released her son after a disciplinary incident into the custody of his father, an ex-offender. The father beat up the boy, who was hospitalized with a ruptured spleen and broken arm. “My colleague and I both have kids, and we were appalled,” Rosenberg says. The Renton school officials claimed …

Relentless

Michelle Suskauer relies on persistence—and niceness—to bring people around

“Hi, detective, I thought this case was going away.” Michelle Suskauer conducts much of her criminal defense practice while navigating South Florida traffic jams in her low-slung BMW 840i coupe. She’s often on one phone call after another with cops, prosecutors, defense co-counsel, clients current and potential, and staff assistants. Sometimes her two daughters interrupt this succession of calls to discuss their adventures as actress-singers in New York. “It’s like being the BMW …

Second Chance

How Donald Lomurro and Christina Harvey got the state Supreme Court to consider a path back for disbarred lawyers

A 1979 ruling by the state Supreme Court, In re Wilson, established a strict disbarment-with-no-reinstatement policy for attorneys found to have knowingly misappropriated client funds. Pretty cut and dried, right? Not to Donald Lomurro, who has long been troubled by the ruling’s effect on New Jersey attorneys he considered skilled practitioners who faced permanent disbarment on the grounds that they had mishandled client funds—even when they hadn’t caused those clients any financial …

The Helping Habit

Lisa Kelley credits her mom with her dedication to volunteer work

Lisa Kelley’s mother has a refrigerator magnet that reads: “Stop me from volunteering again.” It’s a family joke—like mother, like daughter. Kelley, a medical malpractice plaintiff’s attorney in Tampa, is renowned in her community for her volunteer work.  Betsy Stecher raised Kelley and her two older brothers as a single mom. “She joined Junior League and she volunteered for everything,” Kelley recalls. “That was my example. As long as she’s got breath and her legs are …

The Strategist

Gerry Leeseberg knows when to go on the attack and when to rein it in

At a 2018 trial in Franklin County, Gerry Leeseberg needed a way to make the jury connect with his client, Bradley Metts, a boy who became paralyzed at age 9.  Leeseberg was arguing that the boy’s “locked-in” syndrome was due to an alleged cascade of medical errors.  A defense expert had claimed in deposition that Metts was brain-dead, which, if true, could have weakened the claim for non-economic damages. Leeseberg’s challenge: to show the jury that this was a bright, personable …

Gentleman of the Court

Persistence and composure serve Richard Mithoff well, in court and on the mountainside

It’s still a thrill for Richard Mithoff: stepping into a case on short notice, coming up to speed quickly on a complex area of law, and explaining as clearly as possible to judge and jury why his client should prevail. He’s taken on cases others thought were losers, notching hundreds of $1 million-plus personal injury and commercial verdicts and settlements. He’s also handled litigation for the Democratic Party, persuading a federal judge after the 2020 presidential election to preserve …

'That's Not Crowd Control, That's Crowd Attack'

David Perez helped lead the charge to keep Seattle officers from violating protesters’ civil rights

On May 29, 2020, four days after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, large street protests decried racist policing, and in Seattle, excessive use of force erupted. For several days, the Seattle Police Department, already under a 2012 federal consent decree over racial bias and excessive use of force, deployed a battery of “less-lethal” weapons against hundreds of demonstrators. These weapons—including tear gas, pepper spray, flash-bang grenades, pepper-filled blast balls and …

Someone People Want to Follow

Jaret Davis believes in the power of technology and the ability of humans to work together

With his career about to start, Jaret L. Davis was urged by many friends and mentors to leave his hometown of Miami and come to a city they felt had greater prestige and opportunities. Once, when he was visiting friends in New York City, they picked him up at the airport and drove through the Holland Tunnel to the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. Suddenly, his friend swerved his BMW into a parking area with a grand view of the Manhattan skyline, hit “play” on Sinatra singing “New …

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Gerald Richman danced at the LBJ White House, escorted Nixon to a swearing-in, fought for Al Gore’s elective life, and jet-setted with an international arms dealer

Rummaging through boxes on his office floor, Gerald Richman pulls out mementos from more than a half-century of legal practice, public service and political activism. Not to mention international intrigue. He calls it his “rogue’s gallery.” He shows off a few photos of himself in his 20s, when he was White House aide to President Lyndon Johnson: one with the president and Lady Bird; another standing at attention as Johnson and the Shah of Iran walk past, and one watching the president …

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