Starnes Davis Florie

Rick E. Harris

Of Counsel

Rick E. Harris

Rick E. Harris

Of Counsel

100 Brookwood Place
7th Floor
Birmingham, AL 35209

Rick’s practice is devoted to regulatory compliance issues affecting health care facilities. Prior to joining Starnes Davis Florie, he worked as an attorney and senior manager at the Alabama Department of Public Health. For the last fifteen years of his career there, Rick directed the agency that inspects and regulates all health care facilities in the State of Alabama.

Professional Recognition

  • Rick has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and numerous committees in the Alabama Legislature
  • He has appeared on the NPR program, “Talk of the Nation,” and has been quoted in USA Today and U.S. News & World Report on health care regulatory issues

Community Involvement

Rick is an active member of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Rick also serves as a teacher at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, where he teaches a course on “Rhetoric.”




  • Rick has taught investigative skills to the staffs of health care facility surveyors (inspectors) in Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Oregon, and has presented programs on investigative skills and assisted living regulation at the national meeting of the Association of Health Care Facility Survey Agencies, as well as the Alabama Nursing Home Association, the Assisted Living Association of Alabama, and the Alabama Medical Directors Association.
  • He crafted many of the regulations and statutes that govern health care facilities in Alabama.
  • Rick has also served as a professional consultant to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) on the issues of complaint investigation, supervisory review, guidance for declaring immediate jeopardy, and inconsistency in the citation of deficiencies.

Presentations and Publications

  • Thinking Outside the Box, Act II: Global Perspective to Risk Management, Etc, Alabama Nursing Home Association Mid-Year Conference, Orange Beach, AL, April 27, 2022.

Fun Facts

Rick and his wife Joey have hosted three exchange students, two from Northern Italy and one from Germany.  A few years ago, Joey discovered that she has several first cousins in France, a result of her grandfather’s army service during World War I.  These connections have resulted in lively visits at various times with the cousins and the former exchange students, both here in Alabama and in Europe.

Rick served in the U.S. Navy during the Cold War aboard the USS Jack (SSN 605), a nuclear submarine. In 2024, Rick will be inducted into the Holland Club, which is limited to submarine veterans who have been qualified in submarines for more than 50 years.  He is an aficionado of the Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O’Brian, which paint a vivid picture of life in the British Navy during the Napoleonic wars.  The movie, Master and Commander, was based on incidents depicted in some of these books.

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