H. Elizabeth Harris The Attorney Who Recommended Brian Banks’ Plea Deal is a Judge Now


Just imagine for a moment you are 17 years old.

You have been arrested and accused of raping someone. You know that you didn’t do it and you have told your defense attorney this many times and she looks at you in the eye and says.

“You’re a big black teenager and they’re automatically going to assume you are guilty and you’ll be facing 41 years to life. What do you want to do?”

“This is the offer – good for now and not later. It’s your decision and not your mom’s,”

This is what Brian Banks said his then defense attorney H. Elizabeth Harris said to him. He wanted to discuss his options with his mother, but wasn’t allowed to.

Can you blame a scared and frightened Banks for taking the plea deal?

Without hearing Ms. Harris’ side of the story it is hard to say what exactly was going on, but knowing what we know now about Wanetta Gibson’s going to trial wouldn’t have been such a bad thing. A good defense attorney would have destroyed her story on the stand.

While Banks sat in jail and Gibson and her mom was making it rain with their $1.5 million settlement, Harris continued on with her life.

In 2004 she got a promotion.

Veteran criminal defense lawyer H. Elizabeth Harris has been elected a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner by the court’s judges, a court spokesperson said Friday.

Harris, 61, was the top-ranked candidate among 35 nominated by a panel of judges, and was the only one named on a majority of the ballots in voting for two positions.

Harris is now one of the Commissioners of the court, you can verify it  here.

It appears that everyone went on to have a great life except Banks, image that……


  1. You cannot assume that her story would be torn apart. It is easy to sit back and play armchair quarterback, but when you are looking at 41 years and the offer is substantially less it is not quite so easy to not take it. Depending on the jury, her assessment was spot on, that they may see him and assume he did it. Is it fair, hell no, but it is our legal system. There are times when the risk is too great. Now should his mother have been involved in the decision?, yes she should have. But, my guess is they would have wound up in the same place.

    • There was NO match in the DNA evidence. Wanneta said he ejaculated inside of her. This a simple as it comes. A lwayer that does not have the ability to use this in his defense should not be practining any sort of law. Harris is one of the biggest dissapointments in all of human existence.

      • Plada Plza I agree with your comment…..this attorney should not be practicing if she would suggest to her client to take a plea deal when DNA evidence proved their innocence! It’s scary to think she is now a judge…corruption is written all over this, and now she’s a judge, so how many innocent people will she send to prison????

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