Eugene Patterson Harris

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Pat Harris
Pat Harris Headshot.jpg
Born (1958-08-16) August 16, 1958 (age 61)
Other namesEugene Patterson Harris
Alma materUniversity of Arkansas (BA) University of Michigan (JD)
OccupationU.S. Senate Candidate, Criminal Defense Lawyer, Author.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Carol Welsman

Pat Harris (born Eugene Patterson Harris, August 16, 1958) is a United States Senate Candidate, criminal defense and civil rights attorney, and author.

In July 2017, Harris entered the race to represent California in the United States Senate in 2018.[1][2] The seat is currently held by Senator Dianne Feinstein, who announced her intentions to run for re-election on October 9, 2017.

Early life[edit]

Harris grew up in Clarksville, Arkansas where he attended the University of Arkansas, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in History with honors.[3] His father was an industrial engineer at the local shoe factory and his mother was an eighth-grade history teacher. He was selected as the J. William Fulbright award winner for outstanding history student in his senior year of college. He was also selected as Phi Beta Kappa and as a Rhodes Scholar state finalist.[4] Upon graduating from college, he worked in Washington D.C. as a legislative assistant for Bill Alexander, former democratic congressman from Arkansas.

After leaving Washington D.C., Harris had a number of jobs including working in real estate development, driving a taxi, and working for the Texas Rangers baseball team. In 1993, Harris received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Upon graduating from law school, Pat turned down a number of lucrative law firm offers to take a job in the Davidson County Public Defender's Office for two years before joining Geragos & Geragos in 1996 as a criminal defense lawyer.[5]

Harris was a lawyer with Geragos and Geragos[6] based in Los Angeles, California for 15 years. In 2012, he set up his own practice, The Law Offices of Pat Harris, which specialized in criminal defense and civil rights cases. In addition to successfully representing a number of high-profile clients, Harris has won over $20 million for his clients in wrongful death and police misconduct cases.

From 1996 through 1998, Harris was co-counsel to Whitewater defendant Susan McDougal in two separate cases. The first one was in Los Angeles, California, and the second in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was found not guilty in both cases. The verdict in the second case was often cited as the beginning of the downfall for Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr.[7][8]

In 2010, Harris successfully sued the Glendale Police Department for falsely arresting his client, Edmond Ovasapyan, for murder. The jury awarded Ovasapyan over $2 million (the award was reduced to $1.2 million by the judge). Ovasapyan had been kept in Mens Central Jail in Downtown Los Angeles, on a wing reserved for defendants accused of murder, for over nine months. When DNA conclusively proved he was not the murderer, he was still not immediately released.[9]

In 2013, Harris represented Will Lynch who was accused of beating a priest who he said molested him and his brother 40 years earlier.[10] Lynch pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges against Father Jerold Lindner at the Los Gatos Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in May 2010.[6] A two week trial was held in the San Jose courthouse, in which Lynch admitted that he had assaulted the priest who had molested him. Despite the admission, Lynch was acquitted of the charges.[10]

2018 U.S. Senate Race[edit]

Harris announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate from California in 2017.[11] He ran as a Democrat.


Harris co-authored Susan McDougal's autobiography, Susan McDougal: The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk[5][12] and Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works ... and Sometimes Doesn't with Mark Geragos.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Harris resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife Carol Welsman, a world-class jazz vocalist and pianist and their two dogs Boomer and Lucy.[14][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PAT HARRIS FOR SENATE 2018 - committee overview -". Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  2. ^ "Home". Pat Harris for U.S. Senate. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  3. ^ "Meet Pat". Pat Harris for U.S. Senate. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  4. ^ a b "CAROL WELSMAN". CAROL WELSMAN. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  5. ^ a b "Eugene Patterson Harris".
  6. ^ a b Sanchez, Sheila (14 May 2012). "Jury Selection Begins in Los Gatos Priest Beating Case". Los Gatos Patch. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  7. ^ "McDougal breaks her court silence, supports Clinton testimony in case | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal". Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  8. ^ Susan., McDougal (2004) [2003]. The woman who wouldn't talk. Harris, Pat (Patrick) (1st trade pbk. ed.). New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 078671302X. OCLC 55799358.
  9. ^ 1957-, Geragos, Mark (2013). Mistrial : an inside look at how the criminal justice system works ... and sometimes doesn't. Harris, Pat (Patrick). New York, New York. ISBN 1592408443. OCLC 809186914.
  10. ^ a b DeSocio, Jeffrey Thomas (9 July 2012). "Attorney Pat Harris discusses Will Lynch's acquittal for beating a priest". Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  11. ^ "HARRIS, EUGENE PATTERSON - Candidate overview -". Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  12. ^ Gormley, Ken (1 June 2003). "The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk by Susan McDougal with Pat Harris". Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  13. ^ Lat, David (10 April 2013). "A Few Good Defense Lawyers". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Meet Pat". Pat Harris for U.S. Senate. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-08-15.

External links[edit]