On Tuesday, December 19, 2023, the Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Supreme Court of Arizona admonished attorney Elizabeth Anne Harris based on reciprocal discipline. The order was issued after Harris failed to appeal the tribal court’s disciplinary order and did not raise any procedural defects in the tribal court proceedings.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Elizabeth Anne Harris,” with case no. 23-2379-RC.
This disciplinary action in Arizona came in response to the tribal court’s order of August 16, 2023, that had admonished Ms. Harris and imposed other requirements stemming from a complaint lodged against her. The underlying complaint involved Ms. Harris’ representation of a juvenile in a dependency matter before the tribal court. In adopting the proposed findings from special disciplinary counsel, the tribal court concluded Ms. Harris had lost her professional perspective, failed to act in the best interests of the juvenile client, made misstatements in court filings, and engaged in unprofessional conduct with court personnel on multiple occasions.
Though entitled to appeal the trial court’s order, Ms. Harris chose not to pursue an appeal to the Fort McDowell Tribal Court of Appeals, citing a lack of emotional capacity and lack of confidence in the appellate tribunal. The Presiding Disciplinary Judge determined no serious defects were present in the tribal proceedings since the appellate avenue was available to Ms. Harris.
The Presiding Disciplinary Judge’s order noted Arizona generally accords significant weight to sanctions from other jurisdictions. As an admonition was consistent with the level of discipline that could be issued in Arizona for such violations, the same sanction was reciprocated for Ms. Harris’ conduct at issue in the tribal matter. She was also ordered to pay $1,200 in costs to the state bar.
The Disposition states:
“IT IS ORDERED that Elizabeth Anne Harris, Bar No. 029336, is admonished for her conduct in violation of ER 8.4. Assuming Respondent has completed the continuing legal education requirements imposed by the tribal court and can provide proof of completion to the State Bar, no CLE requirement will be imposed in these proceedings.”
According to avvo.com, Ms. Harris is a general practice attorney. She acquired her law license in Arizona in 2012.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.