James (Jim) Edward Harris
Published: July 28, 2012
James (Jim) Edward Harris, 64, of Little Rock, passed away Wednesday, July 25, 2012. Jim, son of the late Judge Oren and Ruth Ross Harris, was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, on December 8, 1947. Each year when Jim was a child, he attended elementary schools in both El Dorado and Washington, D. C., where his father served as a United States Congressman, representing the 4th Congressional District of Arkansas. Jim was Valedictorian of the 1965 graduating class of the Maret School, also located in the nation's capital.
After high school, Jim attended Princeton University, graduating in 1969 as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering (with computer science emphasis). In 1972, Jim received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he was a member of the Arkansas Law Review from 1970-1972. In 1975 he completed a Master of Laws Degree (L.L.M.) in Taxation from Boston University School of Law. From 1972 to 1976, Jim served as a Captain in the United States Air Force in the positions of Judge Advocate and Area Defense Counsel.
Jim joined the law firm of Friday, Eldredge & Clark in October of 1976. At the time of his death, he was the head of the firm's Trust & Estates Practice Group and a member of the firm's Management Committee. Jim represented family businesses, high-net-worth individuals, foundations, fiduciaries, hospitals, and corporations in estate planning, trust and taxation matters.
His numerous recognitions include being listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates and for Nonprofits/Charity Law and in Mid-South Super Lawyers. Jim was a Fellow in the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel and served as the Arkansas State Chair for the organization from 2001 to 2006. He was named by The Best Lawyers in America as the Little Rock Non-Profit/Charities Law Lawyer of the Year for 2012.
Jim was a member of the American, Arkansas and Pulaski County Bar Associations and of the Tax and Probate Sections of the American and Arkansas Bar Associations. He was a frequent speaker on topics pertaining to taxes, estate planning, trusts and estates, family partnerships, foundations, and charitable giving.
His associations and memberships included P.A.R.K. Foundation Board Member, 2007-Present; Baptist Health Board of Trustees, Chairman 2004-2005; American Red Cross, Chapter Chairman, Central Arkansas Chapter 1999-2001; Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society; Rotary Club of Little Rock. Jim was a member of Second Baptist Church for 35 years, where he served in a variety of roles, including Deacon and beloved Sunday school teacher.
Jim leaves behind a host of family members, colleagues, and friends who will mourn his loss and cherish their memories of his kind, generous, loving nature. Included are Cheryl Marstellar Harris, his wife of almost 41 years; his son, Jonathan Oren Harris, his wife Sara, and their two sons, Connor James and Aidan William, Nashville, Tenn..; his daughter, Catherine Michelle Hughes and her husband, Drew, Nashville, Tenn.; his sister, Carolyn McLeod, and her husband George, Little Rock, Ark.; his nephews Scott McLeod and Matt McLeod, along with their families, Little Rock, Ark.; his niece, Mary McLeod, Little Rock, Ark.; numerous cousins and friends, all greatly loved. He was the kindest and best of men, and he will be truly missed by all.
Visitation will be held at Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth Funeral Home, 5800 W. 12th Street, from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, July 29, Little Rock, Ark. A Funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 30th, at Second Baptist Church, 8th and Cumberland, Little Rock, Ark. Interment will be at Pinecrest Memorial Park.
Flower arrangements may be sent to Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Second Baptist Church, Rotary Club Foundation of Little Rock, or P.A.R.K. Foundation. Jim's online guestbook is available at www.griffinleggetthealeyroth.com.