The Hon. Matthew S. Harris is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California. He was elected to the bench on November 4, 2014.
Harris earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University in 1980. He spent the next five years as a salesperson, working for large national companies that manufacture industrial products for commercial construction. Then, in 1985, he enrolled in the University of Notre Dame Law School, eventually completing a J.D. in 1988.
He began his legal career in 1988. He first worked as a civil litigation associate at Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold.
Three years later, he joined the Office of the District Attorney of Santa Clara County. As a deputy district attorney, he handled misdemeanors like DUIs and thefts as well as juvenile cases. He eventually advanced to the General Felony Trial Team, the Sexual Assault Team, the Economic Crimes Unit, the Special Operations Unit, the Consumer Protection Unit, and the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
During his tenure with the Office of the District Attorney, Harris was cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Office of the United States Attorney from 2003 to 2007. He was tasked with prosecuting criminal cases, which included trafficking in counterfeit software, asset forfeiture, money laundering, and wire fraud.
He is a recipient of the Robert L. Webb Award for Trial Advocacy in Misdemeanor Cases.
Harris was a competitive fencer. He won the United States National Championship in Men’s Epee Team in 1989. He also won a silver medal in the Olympic Sports Festival Epee Team event.