Retired Harness IP Principal and longstanding member of the Harness IP family Herman Keith Miller passed away on August 4, 2020. He was 79 years old.
Miller, who went by Keith to friends and family, was part of a rare breed of attorneys who began and finished his legal career at the same firm. He began working at Harness IP as a law clerk in September 1962 while earning his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. He then earned a law degree from the University of Detroit and became an Associate in June 1967. He was elected Principal in June 1969, and finally retired in November 2012 — bookending his career at just over the 50-year mark.
Miller served in various leadership roles during his tenure with the firm, including on the firm’s Administrative Committee and 401K Committee. He was influential in many of the firm’s important decisions throughout his 50 years at the firm, and he used his position as an admired leader to push through many of the causes that had earned his support.
Miller led with integrity and also led by example. He was a mentor to many younger attorneys and was considered by clients, his fellow lawyers, and Harness IP staff as one of the nicest, most gracious people they had ever met. He had a sizable stable of clients, both large and small, and provided all of them with outstanding legal counsel. Many of the clients that he nurtured and grew remain some of the firm’s most important clients today.
Miller also led a busy life outside of the firm. He served on numerous boards of companies and organizations, such as the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, where he carried out his love of boating. He met numerous clients and prospects through his business and social lives, and was an important and diligent ambassador for the firm for decades. Miller’s strong reputation continues to lend the firm instant credibility with business leaders in Metro Detroit and beyond.
“It is safe to say that we may never see another attorney who calls Harness IP ‘home’ for 50 straight years,” says Harness IP Principal Paul Keller. “For those who knew him, we will greatly miss Keith and the wise counsel he imparted to us and countless other lawyers, clients, and friends over the years.”
Miller is survived by his wife, Justine; sons, Graham and Blair (who was also an attorney with Harness IP for a number of years); and their families.