Mr. Morgan was born in Holdrege, Nebraska and raised primarily in the Southwestern United States. At the age of 17, Mr. Morgan enlisted and served in the United States Navy from 1970 to 1974, where his service included completing a tour of duty in Viet Nam. Upon being honorably discharged, Mr. Morgan returned to Utah to call this State his home where he found employment as a radio and television broadcast engineer. After graduating from the University of Utah in 1979, he went on to attend McGeorge School of Law and received his Juris Doctor in 1982, finally leaving the technical side of the entertainment profession behind once and for all.
Mr. Morgan passed the California Bar Exam in 1982 while he was working for Griesen and Stewart in Sacramento, California and returned to Utah to pass the Utah Bar Exam in 1983. Mr. Morgan was formerly on the other side of the aisle and served as a prosecutor in Salt Lake County until he retired from that career in 2010. Following a short stint as a prosecutor for Sandy City, Mr. Morgan became an assistant District Attorney in the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office in 1984. Dues were paid in the early years of this career where he represented the State in everything from traffic matters to burglary and armed robberies. In 1987, Mr. Morgan specialized for a time in the prosecution of arson and fraud cases until he was promoted to managing teams of prosecutors who specialized in crimes such as narcotics violations and career criminals. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Morgan became an Assistant Chief District Attorney and as a senior prosecutor, began prosecuting high profile cases including well over 20 homicides. The last decade of his career was comprised of taking to trial and obtaining convictions in 7 different capital homicides, several of which resulted in the death penalty. As the Justice Division Office Supervisor, Mr. Morgan was assigned to manage some 30+ lawyers in the newly opened District Attorney’s Office completed at the West Jordan Court Complex.
In the course of his career as a prosecutor, Mr. Morgan received the District Attorney’s Office Most Valuable Prosecutor Award in 1990, the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Integrity Award in 1992, the Sheriff’s Star in 1997, and the Utah Department of Correction’s Public Service Award in 2006. Among many other publications generated in the course of his prosecution career, Mr. Morgan authored the Fourth and Fifth Editions of the Utah Prosecutor Handbook and composed a manuscript entitled, An Introduction to the Law of Evidence for Legal Professionals.
While engaged in the legal profession, Mr. Morgan has enjoyed teaching his peers, law students, future paralegals, and law enforcement on the development of the law. Mr. Morgan is a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Certified Instructor for Utah Law Enforcement Officers, and has presented numerous case law updates for the Statewide Association of Prosecutors. He has served as an Adjunct Professor for the criminal clinic at the University of Utah Law School as well as the Salt Lake Community College where Mr. Morgan received the Teaching Excellence Award in 2008. At the College, he served as the Chairman of the Paralegal Advisory Committee for a number of years where he set goals and objectives for the paralegal division, and was instrumental in obtaining the American Bar Association’s approval for the paralegal program. At the Community College, Mr. Morgan taught a variety of courses ranging from Introduction to Law, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Ethics, Evidence, Mediation and Research and Writing.
Following his career as a prosecutor, Mr. Morgan became employed by the Dyer Law Group, a full service law firm located in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. As a general practitioner and most often, a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Morgan has earned Martindale Hubbell’s AV rating, the highest possible peer and judicial ranking in both legal ability and ethical standards. Mr. Morgan is one of the few lawyers in Utah who is qualified to serve as counsel in Capital Cases. Again, Mr. Morgan has taken on a wide range of cases including commercial litigation, corporate formation, domestic cases, arbitration matters, as he continues going to trial before judges and juries before State and Federal tribunals.
As a result of the profoundness of his career to date, Mr. Morgan has earned the respect of his peers and the state and federal judiciary throughout Utah. He is often asked to speak at various legal update gatherings and to comment for the media. As a result his expertise is recognized throughout the legal and business community in the State of Utah. For example, most recently, Mr. Morgan was included in the 2014 Utah Business magazine publication of its list of Utah's Legal Elite in the category of excellence in criminal defense.
Mr. Morgan believes that the keys to accomplishment in Utah’s legal community begin with knowledge, followed by adequate preparation, civility, and hard work. Thus far, this formula appears to have generated success.
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Utah's Legal Elite||Utah Business Magazine||2014|
|AV Preeminent Rating||Martindale Hubble||2011|
|Teaching Excellence Award||Salt Lake Community College||2008|
|Public Service Award||Utah Department of Corrections||2006|
|Sheriff's Star||Salt Lake County Sheriff||1997|
|Inspector General's Integrity Award||Health and Human Services||1992|
|District Attorney's Office Most Valuable Prosecutor||Salt Lake County||1990|
|AM JUR Awards||Traynor Society||1982|
|Viet Nam Service Award||United States Navy||1970|
|Partner||Morgan Nish and Associates||2014 - Present|
|Trial Counsel||Dyer Law Group||2010 - 2014|
|Assistant Chief District Attorney||Salt Lake County District Attorney||1984 - 2010|
|Prosecutor||Sandy City||1982 - 1984|
|Associate||Griesen and Stewart||1979 - 1982|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Utah State Bar||N/A||N/A|
|California State Bar||N/A||N/A|
|Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||N/A||N/A|
|N/A||The Law of Evidence||2005|
|Utah Prosecution Counsel||Utah Prosecution Manual||2000|
|McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific||JD - Juris Doctor||1982|
|University of Utah||BS - Bachelor of Science||1979|
|Capital Seminar||Adapting Religious Issues in Utah Capital Cases to the Colorado Method of Jury Selection||2015|
|Utah Prosecution Counsel||Caselaw Updates||2006|
|State v. Arguelles||Guilty|
|State v. MacNeill||Appeal Pending|
|State v. Decorso||Guilty|
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