Page 8 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Winter 2020- Online Magazine
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practice in Harlingen, Texas, but   award challenged aspiring        law, insurance defense, oil and
            in 1949, he and his wife, Estella,   attorneys with what he          gas, patents and property law. At
            took a driving tour of Texas to    considered essential ingredients   85, Tom was named one of five
            “find a better place.” They had    of a successful and rewarding     outstanding lawyers with over
            turned down offers in Dallas,      career. “Represent clients to the   50 years’ experience by the Texas
            Ft. Worth, San Antonio and         best of your ability. Love what   Bar Foundation. His colleagues at
            Houston. “Estella had grown up     you do. Dedicate yourself to      Underwood honored him on his
            in Spearman, so we moved to        study, to work. It’s not about self-  100th birthday Nov. 12, 2019, to
            Amarillo in September 1949 . . ..   aggrandizement but about doing   pay tribute to his storied life and
            We had a couple of lean years,     what duty demands.”               career.
            but Estella worked at the City
            Health Department to help out.”    Tom Morris still practices        Mr. Morris ended his responses
                                               what he preaches. He loves the    with this: “I want to say that
            “I joined the firm of Gibson,      law, and his devotion to it has   the most important factor in
            Ochsner & Little in 1950, and      rewarded him with respect from    my success has been my wife
            I remained there for 50 years.     colleagues throughout his career.   Estella and my family of two
            I became a good trial lawyer       He continues to show up five      daughters, Linda Willard
            and tried many successful cases    days a week at the Underwood      and Vicky Finneran, and my
            throughout the United States.                                        granddaughters. Without
            My greatest success was in the                                       Estella’s support, I never
            landmark case of Graham v.                                           would’ve made it. She died
            Deere, a patent infringement                                         September 13, 2011.”
            case. I spent nearly 10 years
            on that case alone. The major                                        It would take much more
            case was decided by the United                                       space than we have here to
            States Supreme Court in                                              accommodate praise from all of
            February 1966. It established the                                    Mr. Morris’ admirers, but we
            law on a major point of patent                                       have included a few:
            law, and it has remained the law                                     “A young lawyer could find no
            ever since, with the case being                                      better example to pattern his or
            cited as the authority more than                                     her life after than Tom Morris – a
            40,000 times.”
                                                                                 patriot, scholar, fierce advocate, and
            In April 2017, Tom Morris was                                        gentleman. I am privileged to be
            the 21st lawyer to be named                                          able to call him friend.”
            a “Texas Law Legend” by the                                          Phil Johnson, retired Justice of
            State Bar of Texas.                                                  the Texas Supreme Court

            To commemorate that award,                                           “Tom Morris has served as a role
            an article by Ben Egel in the                                        model for me and countless other
            Amarillo Globe-News on April                                         lawyers. In a society where we often
            19, 2017 paid tribute to the       Law Firm in Amarillo where        see a lack of civility, Tom has taught
            illustrious attorney, describing   he went to work at the age of     us by example that one can zealously
            the details of his career-defining   83, when Gibson, Ochsner &      advocate a position yet be polite and
            case and summarizing his storied   Adkins closed. He has focused     professional.”
            career.                                                              Tom Riney, attorney
                                               on litigation covering a broad
            Tom’s speech at the Texas Tech     spectrum of cases, including      “I was always privileged to be raised
            Law School after receiving the     commercial law, employment        in the household of my hero . . .. [It

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