Join us as we discuss how the Lake County Bar President, Don Morrison, learned the craft of personal injury work; how he has prosecuted some great cases; defended high profile criminal cases — including Mrs. Gliniewicz — and, as president of the bar association, helped spear-head the creation of a headquarters.
Don Morrison is an attorney with Morrison & Morrison, located at 32 North West Street in Waukegan, Illinois (tel. – (847) 244-2660). Morrison grew up in Lake County. His father, Don Morrison, Sr., was a prominent Lake County attorney. In addition to becoming an attorney like his father, Morrison also followed his lead in serving as the president of the LCBA (Lake County Bar Association).
Though he initially thought he would go into business after college, Morrison decided to attend law school as a fallback position. He attended John Marshall Law School in Chicago. After law school, rather than going to his father’s law firm, he worked as a prosecutor at the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office. His time there was invaluable as he gained tremendous trial experience and formed many connections in the legal community.
Morrison joined his father and siblings at Morrison & Morrison, after 5 years as a Lake County prosecutor. The transition from practicing criminal law to civil law took some adjustment. The private practice community is more cutthroat and not as collegial as the criminal law community, where prosecutors, public defenders and defense attorneys are in contact on an almost daily basis. Morrison, however, has taken on many interesting cases in private practice.
One of Morrison’s first civil cases was serving as second chair with his father representing a movie theater where the theater building was damaged by road construction leading to a loss of customers and revenue. Morrison and his father obtained a $4.75 million-dollar verdict after initially receiving only a $50,000.00 offer to settle the case. Morrison also obtained a settlement of $2.5 million dollars for a baby scalded in hotel bathtub where the water heater was set higher than industry standards. Morrison’s firm also obtained a $2.5 million-dollar verdict for a dying man whose life was shortened by dubious treatment from a quack chiropractor. The verdict is more impressive after learning that the case was turned down by other prominent law firms, mostly because Lake County juries are known to be very conservative with their verdicts. In this instance, this jury awarded the plaintiffs more money than what was asked for by the plaintiff. Currently, Morrison’s firm is handling the high-profile case of Melodie Gliniewicz of Fox Lake.
In addition to his law practice, Morrison is also serving as the president of the LCBA. Morrison is focused on the LCBA’s increased involvement with the community and the renovations to the LCBA headquarters in Waukegan. The LCBA continues to reach out to the community through its programs by providing continuing legal education, pro bono work and clinics for the public. The LCBA staff, Christopher Boadt, Virginia Elliott and Jose Gonzales, are instrumental in the day-to-day operation of those programs. The LCBA Foundation, the charitable arm of the LCBA, has raised considerable funds for renovations to its headquarters. Phase 1 of the project will be completed in mid-2017 with improved offices, board rooms and small events space. Phase 2 includes the “Patrick A. Salvi Event Center”, a large event space for the LCBA.
Morrison’s goals for the future are to stay well-grounded and always be learning. He also values and tries to balance the most important things in his life; family, career and public service.