Hal R. Morris
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
161 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel: (312) 876-7185
Hal Morris is a partner in Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Chicago office. He is also the Deputy General Counsel of the Firm and a Vice-Chair of the Firm’s Appellate Practice Group. Hal is a seasoned appellate lawyer and has served as lead counsel in a variety of appeals in federal and state appellate courts across the United States. Hal has significant experience representing clients in the Supreme Court of Illinois, the Illinois Appellate Courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Hal has obtained on behalf of his clients numerous precedent establishing appellate opinions in the areas of municipal law, federal and state procedure, and statutory interpretation.
Hal is also an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent School of law, teaching an advanced senior honors seminar on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He founded Chicago-Kent’s “Seventh Circuit Review,” a scholarly journal discussing recent Seventh Circuit cases, and continues as the professor in charge of that journal. Hal has an additional faculty appointment at the University of Chicago Law School, teaching legal ethics.
A sampling of Hal’s appellate experience includes the representation of:
- An Illinois municipality in securing an appellate victory in a case related to a former police officer’s claim that he and his family should continue to receive statutory health insurance benefits under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act and additional damages under the Illinois Wage Act. On appeal, the court agreed with our position and with the application of Illinois state law to make the determination that the plaintiff was not actively working as an employee for the defendant.
- Representing amici curiae in appeals concerning Illinois Governor Pritzker’s Executive Orders relating to COVID-19 mitigation. This representation highlighted for various state and federal court public health concerns.
- Representing a general contractor and a subcontractor with respect to a claim for breach of contract and breach of warranty by a purchaser of the property where the construction took place. At issue on appeal was both whether the judgment was supported by the evidence and whether a contractual jury trial waiver between the purchaser and seller of the property, but not contractor or subcontractor could be enforced by those parties was enforceable. The Appellate Court ruled that both there was an insufficient showing of error and that, even if the evidence were considered, our clients did not breach. Also, the Appellate Court ruled that the contractual jury waiver applied to claims against our client as they arose out of the purchase contract containing the waiver.
- A contract pharmaceutical manufacturer in the successful appellate outcome regarding a breach of contract claim. Another pharmaceutical company and our client developed a plan to manufacture and sell a generic anti-depressant that fell apart. The other company sued our client for breach of contract. On appeal, we argued that the plaintiff waived these arguments on appeal because it agreed to a general verdict form and did not file a post-trial motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(b). The court agreed that the plaintiff had waived any argument concerning the sufficiency of the evidence. In addition, the court further concluded that the rulings on jury instructions, motions to preclude certain testimony of experts and other procedural matters were correct.
- A specialty pharmaceutical company when the United States Supreme Court rejected a plaintiff’s petition for a writ of certiorari, finalizing our win on behalf of our client in a court of appeals. The appellate court rejected the plaintiff’s attempt to impose “innovator liability” on our client, the manufacturer of a brand name medication. The plaintiff alleged he incurred a disease after taking a generic substitute of the pharmaceutical company’s medication.
- Executive Committee member of the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education
- Chair of the planning and zoning commission of Village of Vernon Hills, Illinois
- Past member and past president of Illinois School District 76’s Board of Education
- Appellate Lawyers Bar Association (Publications Committee)
- American Bar Association, and its sections of litigation, appellate practice and dispute resolution
- Illinois Home Rule Attorney’s Section of the Illinois Municipal League
- Adjunct Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Instructor, The University of Chicago Law School
Attorneys in Saul Ewing’s Appellate Practice advise clients on an array of post-trial options, including potential post-trial motions and prospective appeals, and provide detailed analyses and recommendations regarding possible outcomes, risks, and benefits. Our appellate attorneys have extensive experience serving as lead counsel in a wide variety of appeals in federal and state appellate courts across the United States.
Throughout the past 10 years, we have been lead counsel and presented oral argument in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, D.C. Circuit, and the Second, Third, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as in state appellate courts in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. As a result of our experience, our team has developed finely tuned appellate advocacy skills that anticipate and facilitate careful comprehension and response to the judges’ questions with an appreciation for the nuances of the judges’ questions and comments. We also employ cutting-edge technologies and rely upon analytical tools to help maximize the probability of strategy success with a particular judge or court.
We advise clients that we have represented before trial courts and regulatory agencies and serve as special appellate counsel in cases involving a wide range of substantive law areas, including class actions, constitutional law, energy, environmental, education, IP, negligence and nuisance law, patents, piercing the corporate veil/alter ego law, successor liability law, and white collar and administrative law.
Our appellate lawyers work together with counsel at the trial level to frame and preserve issues when anticipating an appeal. In addition, we prepare and file amicus briefs on behalf of our clients.
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP is a full-service law firm that offers clients the national reach and sophisticated experience of a large firm and the local connections and value of a boutique firm.
This combination of reach and local autonomy supports our clients with the clout of a mega-firm and the service hallmarks of a boutique. With one firm, our clients get a macro view of the law with a micro focus on their unique legal needs. With 16 offices in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr serves businesses throughout the United States and internationally. We represent recognizable names in corporate America, exciting start-ups and an array of closely held and privately held companies, as well as nonprofits, governmental and educational entities.
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys understand and anticipate the legal issues that affect clients in a wide variety of industries. We strive to immerse ourselves in our clients’ businesses and offer counsel through a cross-practice, multi-service approach with the goal of helping our clients meet legal challenges, grow, and thrive.
We’ve walked in our clients’ shoes. Our partners have been recruited to serve in high levels of government; elected and appointed positions; significant roles in the business community; and as members of a diverse range of boards. As a result, we understand the many challenges our client decision makers face on a daily basis.