Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District
In August of 1994, Justice Morrison was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson, to the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District in Sacramento.
Prior to his elevation to the Court of Appeal, he was a trial judge on the Sacramento Superior and Municipal Courts for approximately nine years. While a trial judge he presided over a wide variety of both civil and criminal cases including numerous murder trials.
Before becoming a judge, Justice Morrison was an Assistant United States Attorney. He worked in the United States Attorney's Office in Sacramento and specialized in the prosecution of white collar crime for approximately four years.
Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, he was a law professor at the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, in Sacramento where he taught criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence from 1975 to 1982.
During the time he was a federal prosecutor and a judge, Justice Morrison continued to teach courses to law students, practicing attorneys and judges. He recently served as a Distinguished Special Lecturer in the University of New Haven's National Security graduate program, teaching a course on military tribunals, courts-martial and federal courts.
Justice Morrison's military service consisted of 12 years on active duty in the Army and 18 years in the California Army National Guard, serving from second lieutenant to brigadier general. He served as a platoon leader in Korea and in 1966 and 1967 he commanded a transportation company in Viet Nam.
Following his tour in Viet Nam, Justice Morrison attended law school at the College of William and Mary while in the Army's excess leave program. Upon graduating magna cum laude in 1971, he served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps for four years. In his final assignment he was an instructor and assistant staff judge advocate at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
While serving in the California National Guard as a "traditional" or part-time guardsman, Justice Morrison was the State Staff Judge Advocate for approximately 12 years. He finished his career with a tour as the National Guard Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General of the Army in the rank of brigadier general. The position of Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General is the highest ranking position available to an Army JAG officer in the National Guard.
His community activities include two years as a Cub Scout pack leader; serving as vice-president and secretary-treasurer of the Sacramento County Bar Association; being a founding member and then President for four years of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court, membership on the governing board of the California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER), and the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules for Publication of Court of Appeal Opinions from 2005-2006.
Justice Morrison and his wife, Betsy, have four grown sons and six grandchildren. They live in Carmichael, California.