EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article appeared on ncbarblog.com. The subject, Judge Fred G. Morrison, grew up in Newport and graduated from Cocke County High School in 1957.
The North Carolina Bar Association Administrative Law Division is proud to have had Judge Fred G. Morrison, Jr. as a member since 1966. Judge Morrison has been a stalwart of service to the state of North Carolina for fifty years.
He has been recognized by Governor Roy Cooper and, most recently by Chief Justice Cheri Beasley for his five decades of civil service to our state. During that time, Judge Morrison has served our state as a board attorney with the City of Thomasville, legal counsel to the governor of North Carolina, and as an Administrative Law Judge, to name a few positions.
He has been instrumental in not only helping to bring about positive change to prisons in North Carolina but also through his work with the Jaycees. Judge Morrison has had exceptional personal support from his wife, Carolyn, and is a proud Wake Forest School of Law Alumnus.
Fred Gilbert Morrison, Jr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee and remained a Tennessee resident through graduation at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. At Maryville College, Judge Morrison received a degree in Business Administration then attended Wake Forest School of Law where he graduated cum laude in 1963.
Prior to attending Maryville College, Judge Morrison developed a passion for helping inmates develop tools so they could better themselves. His desire to help those incarcerated stemmed from visits he took to the county jail with his father on Sunday afternoons.
Judge Morrison’s father believed, through faith, that inmates could be saved and venture on the right path with proper counseling. Little did the senior Mr. Morrison know, his son would go on to positively impact countless North Carolina inmates by following in his footsteps.
In 1963, Fred Morrison, Jr. began his legal career working as an associate attorney for E.W. Hooper. Only a total of seven years of Judge Morrison’s fifty-seven-year legal career have not been devoted strictly to public service and five of those years were as a governmental consultant.
Judge Morrison has served North Carolina as a Board of Education attorney, Solicitor for Thomasville, NC Recorder’s Court, Legal Counsel for the Governor of NC, Executive Director of the NC Inmate Grievance Commission, Governmental Consultant and Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), where he is currently serving as the Senior ALJ. As previously noted, one of Judge Morrison’s many contributions to the residents of North Carolina has been his work in NC prisons.
Judge Morrison was able to work on numerous reformations of the North Carolina prison system with then N.C. Governor Bob Scott. He subsequently served as executive director of the NC Inmate Grievance Commission from 1974 to 1981.
Part of Judge Morrison’s work as executive director of the NC IGC was serving as a mediator for inmate grievances. Every year for seven consecutive years, Judge Morrison mediated over 45,000 inmate grievances. During Judge Morrison’s time working in prison reform, he was very active in the North Carolina Junior Chamber, also known as Jaycees.
Throughout the 1970s, Judge Morrison helped to form 42 Jaycee chapters in prisons throughout North Carolina. Beginning in 1967 as the Thomasville, N.C. Jaycee chapter president, Judge Morrison went on to hold five positions with the Jaycees including Legal Counsel from 1969-1972 and State President from 1972-1973. The Jaycees are near and dear to Judge Morrison’s heart and he has been instrumental in their growth throughout the state. This includes the Jaycees’ role in helping rehabilitate prisoners in North Carolina.
Judge Morrison continues to serve North Carolina as the senior Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and has been serving as an ALJ for thirty-three years. While there are thousands of public servants throughout this great state, we would be lucky to have someone commit their lives as fully to North Carolina as Fred Morrison, Jr. has. Judge Morrison credits his success and ability to be the high standard for public service to his wife, Carolyn Morrison, with whom he lives along with their golden doodle, Barrister.