Mitchell K. Morris


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  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, Member, Order of the Coif, 2005
  • University of Virginia, BA, History and Foreign Affairs, with Distinction, 2002
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Member, Association of Transportation Law Professionals

Member, Defense Research Institute

Former Board Member, Federal Bar Association, Richmond Chapter

Member, Virginia Bar Association

Member, Richmond Bar Association

Past President, Junior Board, Historic Richmond Foundation, 2011-2012

Mitch is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer who represents clients as both defendant and plaintiff in complex and high-profile matters spanning the litigation spectrum. He concentrates on finding “out of the box” solutions to challenging legal problems. Mitch has represented clients in matters pending in state or federal court in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, and California.      

Mitch regularly defends clients in high-exposure traumatic injury, wrongful death, intentional tort and environmental nuisance actions, with a particular emphasis on the transportation and agribusiness industries, and the defense of punitive damages. Mitch leads the firm’s punitive damages practice, and serves as punitive damages counsel to a Fortune 250 transportation company. He has counseled and defended other Fortune 500 clients with respect to punitive damages, and regularly publishes and presents on the topic.

Mitch devotes a significant part of his practice to combatting fraud and abuse in the mass tort context. He represented one of the nation’s largest railroads as a plaintiff in groundbreaking federal RICO litigation against lawyers and a radiologist for their prosecution of fraudulent asbestos claims.  The company prevailed on all claims at trial and ultimately recovered $7.3 million. Over the course of the case Mitch obtained favorable rulings on multiple cutting-edge privilege issues, including the application of the crime-fraud exception based on lawyer misconduct, resulting in the discovery of thousands of pages of key documents originally withheld by the defendants.  Following trial, Mitch represented the client in two fraudulent transfer actions against one of the defendants. He also represented the client in obtaining the dismissal of over 1,400 asbestos claims pending before the West Virginia Mass Litigation Panel.  Mitch has counseled and represented other companies with respect to combatting fraudulent and abusive litigation practices, including through the use of RICO litigation, and is a frequent speaker on the topic.

Mitch has prosecuted contract- and negligence-based recovery actions arising from situations as varied as train derailments to maritime leases.  In addition, he has successfully defended multiple declaratory judgment and federal interpleader actions. 

In the News

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Mitchell K Morris
T: +1 804 775 4370F: +1 804 698 2129Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

Representation of Class I railroad as plaintiff in civil RICO, fraud and conspiracy and action against lawyers and doctor for prosecution of fraudulent asbestos claims.

Representation of industrial company in RICO litigation against asbestos plaintiffs’ lawyers for misrepresentation and concealment of evidence in mesothelioma litigation.

Representation of Class I railroad in mass asbestos litigation.

Representation as punitive damages counsel for Class I railroad.

Representation as lead trial counsel for corporate and individual employee defendants in action alleging false arrest, intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages.

Representation of major agribusiness in environmental nuisance litigation.

Representation of Class I railroad in high-exposure traumatic injury and wrongful death cases arising from grade crossing and derailment-related accidents.

Representation of Class I railroad as plaintiff in recovery action against commercial truck driver arising from grade crossing collision and ensuing derailment.

Representation of plaintiff in breach of contract/indemnity action arising from maritime lease.

Representation of plaintiff in breach of contract and negligence action against rail contractor arising from derailment.

Representation of company before Federal Railroad Administration in connection with civil penalty recommendation for violation of Track Safety Standards.

Representation of plaintiff in fraudulent transfer actions.

Representation of manufacturer of unmanned mail delivery system in personal injury product liability action.

Selected for inclusion as a "Leading Lawyer," Transport: Rail And Road, Virginia, Legal 500 US, 2018

Elected to Law360's Transportation Editorial Advisory Board, 2018

Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Business Litigation, Class Action, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2013-2017

Author, "Liability Doesn't Have To Mean Punitive Damages Too," Law360, August 18, 2017
Co-author, "Making 'Made In USA' Labels Great Again," Law360, December 2, 2016
Author, "Tobacco Trial Sheds Light on Punitive Damages Process," Law360, November 29, 2016
Co-author, "DOT to crack down on hazmat rail shippers," Journal of Commerce, August 17, 2016
Co-author, "The Supreme Court's Reprehensibility Factors Don't Work in Product Liability Cases," Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, March 2, 2016
Speaker, "Ethical Lessons from CSX Transportation v. Peirce," 2018 Annual Association of Transportation Lawyers Meeting, May 2018
Presenter, "Punitive Damages: Statutes, Case Law & Trends in Insurance & Risk Mitigation Practices," 2017 ATA Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, American Trucking Associations, July 18, 2017
Speaker, "When Asbestos Litigation Becomes Racketeering," DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar, November 8, 2013
Speaker, "When the Hunter Becomes the Hunted," American Association of Railroads 35th Annual General Claims Conference, October 2, 2013
Speaker, "Corporations Using Litigation as an Offensive Strategy," DRI Corporate Counsel Roundtable, January 19, 2013