Selection as an ACTEC Fellow is very prestigious. The honor is bestowed only by election of the regents of the College. Individual lawyers meeting the criteria for selection are nominated for membership by fellows of the College, and subjected to careful review by both state and national membership selection committees prior to consideration by the regents of the College. There are currently about 2600 active ACTEC Fellows throughout the United States and less than 200 practicing in the State of California. Individual attorneys cannot apply for membership as a Fellow in ACTEC. All ACTEC Fellows have made substantial contributions to the field of trusts and estates law through writing, teaching, and bar leadership activities.
"I was truly honored and humbled to receive such a prestigious honor." says Mr. Harris. "I am extremely fortunate to be able to be recognized by my peers for a lifetime of work that I have found so challenging and rewarding.”
Mr. Harris was further honored by his selection as a 2012 Northern California Super Lawyer in the area of Elder Law by Super Lawyers magazine. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Mr. Harris was previously selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer in Elder Law in 2010 and 2011.
When informed of both of Mr. Harris’ selections, Nicole Plottel, also an Elder Law Attorney and managing partner of Harris & Plottel, LLP, stated, "It's such an honor to work with Mr. Harris and the great staff at Harris & Plottel. After working with him for the past six years, I know that Neil deserves all of the recognition accorded him for his years of service in Northern California."
In 2000, Mr. Harris was recognized for his years of commitment and service in the area of Elder Law with his selection as a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). In order to be selected as a NAELA Fellow, an attorney must have distinguished him/herself by making exceptional contributions to meeting the needs of older people. The nominee’s contributions on a state or local level, as well as their involvement in their community, are important factors in the selection process. Selection as a Fellow is the highest honor bestowed by the Academy. Election as a Fellow signifies that his/her peers recognize the lawyer as a model for others, and as an exceptional lawyer and leader in the area of Elder Law. Selection as a NAELA Fellow is restricted to very few attorneys practicing Elder Law. To date, less than 100 Elder Law attorneys throughout the United States have been honored as Fellows by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. An even fewer 9 Fellows practice in California.
Not only has Mr. Harris received national and state recognition for his contributions to the area of Elder Law, he has long been considered the foremost authority on Elder Law in his 12 county service area of northeastern California (Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Plumas, Shasta, Trinity, Siskiyou, Lassen and Modoc). In 1995, Mr. Harris became the first and only attorney in Northeastern California to be recognized as a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF). In order to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), an attorney must demonstrate enhanced knowledge, skills, and experience in the area of Elder Law. The Elder Law certification process includes a challenging full-day certification examination administered by NELF which is designed to demonstrate their specialized Elder Law knowledge and skills. To date, there are less than 75 Certified Elder Law Attorneys practicing throughout the State of California. Mr. Harris remains the only Certified Elder Law Attorney practicing in northeastern California.