The best “wins” for clients are non-adversarial. Clients incur fewer costs, and early dispute-settlement often paves the way for unexpected ongoing business relationships.
Harris believes that emotional intelligence is a far more important trait in a lawyer than research-specific or advocacy-specific skills.
While those latter skills are important, they are clearly eclipsed by a professional’s ability to forge lasting relationships, and to meaningfully disarm those who are adverse in interest.
That said, aside from securing regulatory approvals for clients and handling regulatory disciplinary matters, Harris has successfully argued a number of important cases under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 (“PCCA”) and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
In February 2019, Harris attended on a matter before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal wherein a former student had brought a case for discrimination. After prevailing on a motion to conflict out the Applicant’s representative both as Expert Witness and Representative, the case was dismissed against the Applicant as abandoned, but an express and indeed rare finding of discrimination was also made as against the Applicant’s representative.
Harris has had successful outcomes on a significant number of Freedom of Information requests in Ontario. He has acted for requesters and affected Third Parties under provincial and (less frequently) federal freedom of information legislation.
Most significantly, Harris has settled many more discipline files involving private career colleges at the pre-hearing stage and informally with the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges, and without resort to litigation. The overwhelming majority of PCCA, 2005 cases over which he has had carriage, have been negotiated. An important fact since it is desirable for registrants and non-registrants to maintain a relationship with the regulator following such disagreements or disputes.