Morris Underwood Legal Legend John Deere

Tom Morris



(806) 379-0316


500 S. Taylor, Suite 1200
Amarillo, Texas 79101

P.O. Box 9158
Amarillo, Texas 79105

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Morris Underwood Legal Legend John Deere

Tom Morris



Tom Morris served nearly four years in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He returned to the University of Texas Law School in October 1945 and in his senior year received the highest award for writing on the Texas Law Review. 

He was a member of the Chancellors and Order of the Coif and served on the editorial staff of the Texas Law Review. After graduation with an LLD in 1946, he served two years on the faculty, teaching torts, property and legal argument and writing. He also served as faculty director of the Texas Law Review. He taught two years in the first and only separate but equal law school for blacks at UT. He commenced the practice of law in Harlingen, Texas in June 1948 and moved to Amarillo in September 1949.

Since that time, Mr. Morris has been primarily a litigation lawyer, covering a broad spectrum of cases, including commercial law, employment law, insurance defense, oil and gas, patents and property law. His most famous case on appeal is Graham v. Deere, 383 U.S. 1 (1966), a major patent decision of the United States Supreme Court. That decision established the law under Section 103 of the 1952 Patent Act and has remained a law up to present day. It has been cited more than 40,000 times.

Mr. Morris was elected to Fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1973; in 2001 he received the Chief Justice Charles L. Reynolds Lifetime Achievement Award; and in 2005 he was honored by the Texas Bar Foundation as one of five outstanding Texas lawyers with more than 50 years practice. In 2017, he was honored by the Litigation Section of the Texas State Bar as a Texas Legal Legend, and he has now been selected by the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Section as its IP Legend for 2019.

Tom will be 100 years old on November 12, 2019, and hopes to be at his desk with a good legal problem!