Denver, CO (July 27, 2015) – E.G. "Gerry" Morris of Austin, Tex., was sworn in as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association's 58th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo., on July 26. Morris has served on NACDL's Board of Directors since 2001. He has served as Co-Chair of NACDL's Indigent Defense and Fourth Amendment Committees, as chair of NACDL's Familial DNA Task Force, and as Vice Chair of NACDL's Audit Committee. Last year, Morris served as President-Elect of NACDL.
Mr. Morris is a Past President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA), an NACDL state affiliate organization, and has served as the Chair of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Project. He has also served on the Board of Directors and as Presiding Director of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA).
Speaking at NACDL's annual meeting of the Membership and Board of Directors in Denver, Colo., Mr. Morris described his vision for the Association during his term as President:
- "Recently, there has been growing acknowledgment from all points on the political spectrum that our criminal justice system is in need of sweeping reform. This acknowledgement has been accompanied by a new wave of activism by broad coalitions of groups with historically diverse interests. They are now uniting for the common purpose of changing the criminal justice system to better reflect the vision of the Constitution's framers and our contemporary notions of justice. NACDL welcomes those who want to join in this effort and we will continue to offer our leadership and expertise in this undertaking."
- "The ‘promise of Gideon' has largely been an empty one. Over fifty years after that landmark decision, in many jurisdictions, the system by which lawyers are provided for indigent defendants is an embarrassment and dishonors the lofty principles set forth in the Supreme Court's decision. NACDL, in partnership with other organizations, will undertake a reform effort to include, where necessary, strategic litigation, to reform deficient systems and to secure the right of counsel for all those accused regardless of their financial means."
- "The digital age has provided the means for government intrusion into our private affairs far beyond what the framers of the Constitution could have envisioned, but the spirit of their words in the Fourth Amendment speak loudly of their intent. The government has no business monitoring and collecting data revealing our communications, our movements, and what we chose to store on our electronic devices without a warrant based on probable cause. As the technology evolves and the threat to our privacy grows, NACDL will expand its commitment to stay abreast of the changing technology and will develop new ways to assist its members in litigating the issues presented. We will also continue our efforts to shape policy to limit the statutory authorization for the use of mass data collection and other pervasive surveillance."
A certified criminal law specialist, Mr. Morris has been practicing criminal defense law for more than 36 years. His practice focuses primarily on trials in both state and federal courts, but he has also handled a number of state and federal appeals as well as post judgment actions. He has been an active presenter and lecturer over decades at dozens of continuing legal education programs. Recognized in "Best Lawyers in America" every year since 1995, Mr. Morris has also been designated by Texas Monthly Magazine as among Texas' "Super Lawyers" in the field of criminal defense every year since the inception of that award in 2003. Best Lawyers publication named him as the 2012 Lawyer of the Year in Austin in the Criminal Law, Non-White Collar category. He is AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named as among the top 100 trial lawyers in the Southern Texas Region by The National Trial Lawyers.
He is admitted to practice in the State of Texas as well as in numerous federal trial and appellate level courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. Morris is a 1977 graduate of University of Texas School of Law at Austin, and a 1973 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.
A photo of Mr. Morris is available here. © NACDL 2015, photographer: Aleksandra Apostolova — Dupont Photographers
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Law Office of E.G. Morris
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The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.