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James Hedrick Harmon, 1940 - 2015

Education/Professional Background

B.A. in History from USC in 1962. J.D. from USC in 1965. Riverside County deputy county counsel from 1967 to 1968. Imperial County County Counsel from 1968 through 1983. Private practice with Byrd, Sturdevant, Harmon & Pace in El Centro, Ca. from 1983 to 1988. Elected to the California Superior Court in 1988. Retired from the bench in 2003.


University of Southern California, 1965

University of Southern California, 1962
Major: History

Honors and Awards

Elected to the California Superior Court, 1988

Published writings

"A Former County Counsel's Collection of Cases and Controversies" self published 2008

Published Cases

Quechan Tribe of Indians vs. Raymond Rowe, et al. (1976) 531 F2d 408.
Turner vs Calexico Board of Trustees (1976) 16 Cal 3d 818
IT Corp. vs County of Imperial (1983) 35 Cal 3d 63
Corenevsky vs Titsworth (1984) 36 Cal 3d 307
County of Imperila vs McDougal (1977) 19 Cal 3d 505
County of Imperial vs Munoz (1980) 449 U.S. 54 - Argued before the US Supreme Court
James H. Harmon


James Hendrick Harmon, former County Counsel of Imperial County, makes winning argument before the U.S. Supreme Court


Jim Harmon was born June 17, 1940 in East Los Angeles to James C. and Ruth Harmon. He attended elementary school at Lorena St. School. Jim attended Rosemead High School where he was elected Student Body President. Jim also played basketball and tennis in high school. He graduated with honors and was admitted to the University of Southern California. He was active at USC and was elected President of his class and played freshman tennis. He graduated with a bachelor's degree cum laude in 1962. He stayed on at SC and earned his law degree in 1965. Jim served a brief stint in the Air Force Reserves, followed by employment in the offices of Los Angeles and Riverside County Counsels. He was particularly happy when he landed the job as Deputy County Counsel for Imperial County in 1968. Within a year he was named County Counsel and became the youngest person (29 years old) to hold such a position in the state of California. Jim was voted President of the California County Counsel Association and remained actively involved with this elite group for many years. In 1983, he left county service to enter private practice with William Byrd and Patrick Pace. With the encouragement of his wife Mary, Jim successfully ran for judge in 1988. In 1999, Jim presided over the swear-in ceremony for his eldest son, James Hale Harmon. He served for 15 years until complications from Parkinson's Disease forced his retirement in 2003. It is believed that Jim was one of only two local attorneys to actually present a case before the United States Supreme Court. (The late Reginald Knox also shared this distinction.) A summary of landmark cases handled by the County Counsel's office, under Jim's supervision, are contained in his book "A Former County Counsel's Collection of Cases and Controversies." (Pub. 2008.) In 2003 Jim began providing legal and research support to The Harmon Firm, the private law practice founded by his son James Hale Harmon



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