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Phoenix Harris

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Phoenix Ayotte Harris was born in Florida and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, and earned her business degree in economics from Georgia State University in 2004. In 2007 she earned her Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from Stetson University College of Law in Tampa, Florida. During her law school career she was a research assistant, served on the Student Bar Association, and interned with the Navy JAG Corps, the Veteran's Administration, and the Federal Public Defender's Office.

In 2007 Phoenix relocated to Northern Virginia with her husband, a naval officer. In her first employment with the Federal Public Defender in Alexandria from 2007-2008, she oversaw a massive project obtaining hundreds of sentence reductions for inmates across the Eastern District of Virginia, and successfully gained the only greater than two-level reduction granted in this District. Phoenix then joined the well-respected Alexandria Public Defender's Office from 2008-2010, and subsequently served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Federal Public Defender's Office in Norfolk, Virginia, from 2010-2013. She moved into private practice in 2013 with Greenspun Shapiro, PC, and opened the Law Offices of Phoenix Ayotte Harris, PLLC, in 2014.

As a former dedicated public defender, Phoenix has represented hundreds of clients on matters from traffic and domestic matters to the most serious federal crimes. Her motions practice has resulted in dismissal of many cases before they reach trial, including ultimate dismissal of federal child pornography charges after a hearing she held on the violation of her client's constitutional rights, and ultimate dismissal of federal weapons charges after successfully arguing that her client was incompetent to stand trial and was not sane at the time of the offense. Her jury and bench trial experience has been positive and earned many client acquittals, including for federal marriage and immigration fraud charges, DUIs, trespass, assaults, theft offenses, domestic crimes, drug possession and distribution, and many others. Her skilled negotiations have resulted in significant sentence reductions in federal cases, and she is experienced with material witness and grand jury matters as well as cooperation with law enforcement authorities. She has briefed and argued appeals before United States District Courts, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and the Supreme Court of Virginia, and has participated in preparing appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Phoenix has served as a moot court and mock trial judge for the Capitol City Mock Trial Competition, Regent School of Law, William and Mary School of Law, George Mason School of Law, George Washington School of Law, and the Thurgood Marshall Federal Bar Association Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C.  She serves as a mentor to the many law student interns she has supervised in the past and presently, serves upon multiple boards, including that of Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL), and is active in seeking out teaching opportunities, including the 2015 Alexandria Bar Association CLE Marathon (criminal portion) as well as prior instruction of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Training (2010-2013).

Ms. Harris was recognized as a "RISING STAR" by Super Lawyers for 2017 and 2017 in the Washington Post magazine, and has received the following additional recognitions:

The National Trial Lawyers The National Trial Lawyers 

Recent Blog Posts

Recommendations

  • "She practiced what she said . . .Unbelievable!"

    My Lawyer convinced me that she had my best interest at heart. And she did practice what she said. Unbelievable! My lawyer was able to persuade the court to terminate further probation supervision imposed on Sept. 8, 2015. I am no longer on supervised probation. Thank you Mrs. Harris and of cour...
  • Very Educated and Knowledgeable!

    Very educated and knowledgeable attorney that handled my case extremely well! I will highly recommend her to all my family and friends!
  • Extremely Well-Known

    I hired Ms. Harris to handle a city violation charge of Urinating in Public. Although this was a small case for her, she was very willing to help and always got back to me in a timely manner when I attempted to reach her with questions. The office staff at Harris and Carmichael was very helpful a...
  • The Female Johnnie Cochran Best Lawyer I've Ever Seen

    I had a major case with the state of Virginia involving cocaine charges and distribution charges I was indicted and I hired Phoenix Harris she was the best Lawyer I've ever had she is very in tune with the case and she will keep you up-to-date extremely responsive not to mention I was facing some...
  • Best Lawyer Possible!

    I had never been in any sort of trouble before and my case was a typical example of a police officer taking advantage of a college student who didn't know all of his rights. Phoenix really knows her stuff and got my case dismissed with no community service needed! I didn't think it would be possi...
  • I'm Almost Certain She Can Win Any Case

    Phoenix Harris was so wonderful!!! I LOVED HER. She made me feel so welcomed and she connected with me in such a friendly manner. Phoenix is very honest and she is willing to help anyone out based on their circumstances. I'm almost certain she can win any case, she is so passionate in her work an...
  • Really cared!

    Ms. Harris was great with helping me and took the time out to see how I was doing on a personal level. She also explained my case in a way that was clear. I was able to receive the best service by an outstanding lawyer.
  • "Extremely Dedicated and Diligent"

    My court case lasted close to a year. Phoenix always remained extremely dedicated and diligent to resolve the case as best as possible. And in the end, she was able to deliver a result that I was truly thankful and happy for! 11/17/14 by Andrew
  • Felony Charge Dismissed - Amazing Lawyer

    I hired Phoenix and she was able to get my felony charge in Alexandria completely dismissed. I consulted with several lawyers in Alexandria and settled on Phoenix, I'm very happy I selected her to represent me. She explored all avenues in my case, dealt with the prosecution positively with her gr...
  • The Best Lawyer You Could Ask For

    We found Phoenix Harris in searching on websites for a criminal defense lawyer. It was very scary to be charged with a crime, and we didn't know what to do. Phoenix was excellent and professional in representing us with our case every step of the way. She is very thoughtful, helpful, patient, und...
  • "Extremely Skilled Attorney"

    Phoenix Harris is a fabulous attorney and I highly recommend her!! She readily returns calls and e-mails and is an extremely skilled attorney who is very well respected in the community. Both she and her staff are very kind and caring people. The only down side is that I don't get to talk to her ...
  • She left me speechless

    I contacted Ms. Harris, among others, on a fraud allegations brought against me. She was the only lawyer who was genuinely interested in the knowing my case details instead of speaking in general terms like the others. She was the only lawyer I spoke to who logged into the court system and checke...
  • "Exceptional Attorney Who Cares About Her Clients"

    I was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia with 19 counts related to conspiracy, money laundering, tax evasion, and defrauding the government . My case was layered with many complexities yet Phoenix handled my case very meticulously. She was fully invested in working my case. As my family ...
  • Phoenix has flair and moxie

    Phoenix... Has Flair....(Look it up) and Moxie... when it calls for it! One of a kind! Pay your bill, and be thankful she represents you.
  • Remarkable Talent

    On July 2nd, I was pulled over for tinted windows and later searched because of a marijuana stench I am not familiar with. I was with two people who were the culprits in the situation while I was the innocent driver. In the eyes of the Governments at work, we are all guilty until proven innocent....
  • "A Compassionate and Dedicated Attorney!!"

    I retained Phoenix with regard to a case involving felony larceny and trespassing. Phoenix is truly a consummate professional - incisive, articulate, very knowledgeable about current law, and someone who fights for her clients. Phoenix's advice has always been sound, practical, and right on targe...
  • "Highest Standards"

    It is my privilege to recommend Phoenix Harris, an excellent attorney based on a personal knowledge of Phoenix's dedication to the highest standards of jurisprudence, her commitment to family values, and her impeccable character.
  • "Hands down the Most Professional and Caring Lawyer"

    Mrs. Harris was hands down the most professional and caring lawyer. She was willing to answer all my questions no matter what day or hour it was. She has helped me with 2 cases and got the best results possible. I highly recommend her or anybody in this firm. They work together to fight for your ...
  • "These Two Lawyers Were the Best Choice I Made"

    I first worked with Phoenix Harris on getting my case dismissed. After a lot of searching and explaining my case to several lawyers, I felt no one cared quite like Mrs. Harris. She was extremely knowledgeable, warm, and truly compassionate. She not only answered every question I asked in person, ...
  • A boy and his car . . .

    On July 2nd, I was pulled over for tinted windows and later searched because of a marijuana stench I am not familiar with. I was with two people who were the culprits in the situation while I was the innocent driver. In the eyes of the Governments at work, we are all guilty until proven innocent....
  • I trust my life/freedom in Mrs. Harris hands.

    Since I've been home from prison I've found my self in the wildest situations. Twice I've been arrested and charged for crimes I didn't commit or know anything about, and on one occasion I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. With that being said I contacted Pheonix Harris. Since the ve...
  • Mrs. Harris

    Mrs. Harris Is Amazing. She Is A Different And Unique Attorney. She Gets To Know Who You Are Which Is Great Because It Shows She Cares And Is Passionate About What She Does.
  • Charlotte Guizan Recommends Phoenix Harris

    U really know your job, you did everything you were suppose to do and thanks for everything.
  • A Compassionate and Dedicated Attorney!!

    I retained Phoenix with regard to a case involving felony larceny and trespassing. Phoenix is truly a consummate professional - incisive, articulate, very knowledgeable about current law, and someone who fights for her clients. Phoenix's advice has always been sound, practical, and right on targe...
  • Best Lawyer Ever!

    Best lawyer ever!!!!!.... Thanks for everything. .. wouldn't trade u for anyone. .
  • Really Cared!

    Ms. Harris was great with helping me and took the time out to see how I was doing on a personal level. She also explained my case in a way that was clear. I was able to receive the best service by an outstanding lawyer. 11/27/14 by Shamere
  • Focused, Passionate and Goes the Extra Mile

    I'd recommend Mrs. Harris to anyone who needs an attorney. She's focused, passionate, and willing to go the extra mile for her clients. She did an excellent job of communicating what was going on to me, and clearly had a great working relationship with the court employees and judges.

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