J. Brett Harrison

Brett Harrison

Location: Tyler, Texas
Phone: 903-730-6287
Toll Free: 888-250-2634
Fax: 903-597-7322
E-mail: E-mail Me

Brett has tried well over 200 jury trials. He is a former prosecutor and First Assistant District Attorney where he prosecuted for ten years. Brett has been defending citizens accused of criminal conduct for the last 11 years. He is double board certified. Brett has been Board Certified in Criminal Law since 2005 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has been Board Certified in Criminal Trial Advocacy since 2006 by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In 2016, he was appointed as a Board Member to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Brett has defended all types of state cases ranging from DWI and small quantity marijuana to capital murder where the state was seeking to impose the death penalty. He has defended cases in federal court ranging from drug conspiracies to all types of white collar crimes.

Brett has been named a Rising Star and a Super Lawyer by Texas Lawyer.

Brett has spoken and taught for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Tyler Area Association of Legal Professionals and the Tyler Junior College Police Academy.

Brett’s office is in Tyler, Texas, the county seat of Smith County, but he regularly practices all over East Texas. He makes regular court appearances in Longview, Gregg County; Palestine, Anderson County; Rusk, Cherokee County; Henderson, Rusk County; Quitman, Wood County; Athens, Henderson County; and Canton, Van Zandt County. He also takes cases in Rains County, Hopkins County, Franklin County, Camp County, Upshur County, Panola County, Angelina County, Houston County, and Freestone County.

  • texas-foundation
  • texas-association
  • board-certified
  • accredited-business
  • college
  • peer-review-rated
  • national-association
  • NBTA

Areas of Practice

  • 100% Criminal Law and Civil Rights

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Criminal Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2005
  • Criminal Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 2006

Bar Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • St. Mary’s University School of Law, San Antonio, Texas
    • J.D. – 1995
  • Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
    • B.A. – 1992

Published Works

  • “Defending DUI Vehicular Homicide Cases”, 2014
  • “The Current State of Confrontation,” College Bar Bulletin, State Bar of Texas, Spring 2011
  • “DWI Myths and Reality, Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in Texas,” 2008, Aspatore
  • “Inside Deanna Laney’s Capital Murder Trial,” The Texas Prosecutor
  • “Strategies for Defending DWI Cases in Texas”, 2014


  • “Top Ten Traps Every Pre-teen Should Know to Avoid,” Tyler Area Association of Legal Professionals, 2012
  • “Top Ten Traps Every Pre-teen Should Know to Avoid,” All Saints Episcopal School, 2012
  • Speaker, “The Confrontation Clause,” Texas Criminal Defense Association’s Downtown Bill of Rights Review – Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments, Fort Worth, September 6, 2007 – September 7, 2007
  • Instructor, “Courtroom Demeanor/Report Writing”, Tyler Junior College Police Academy, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • “Crawford and the Confrontation Clause Update”, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • “Obtaining the Release of Adults and Juveniles”, 2006

Honors and Awards

  • Texas Lawyer Rising Star, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Texas Super Lawyer, 2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Smith County Bar Foundation
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • College of the State Bar
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Member, 2016
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization Criminal Law Exam Commission, 2007 – 2009
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy Exam Commission, 2007 – 2008
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Smith County Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • First Assistant Criminal District Attorney, Smith County District Attorney’s Office, 2004 – 2005
  • Smith County, Assistant Criminal District Attorney, 1996 – 2004