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George M. Morris

Overview

Long before earning his law degree, George Morris had an interest in local government operations. As a municipal manager and as a member of the municipal utilities authority, George gained first-hand experience of the complexities and challenges facing local government administrators. He also served as a legislative staff member in the United States House of Representatives. This practical experience provided a natural segue into municipal and government relations law.

George presently serves as township solicitor for Southampton Township, Lumberton Township and Springfield Township, board solicitor for Franklin Township Fire District #3, Haddon Township Fire District and the Tabernacle Fire Company and special counsel for North Hanover Township as well as municipal prosecutor for multiple municipalities in Burlington County. 

George has extensive experience with handling complex matters concerning all aspects of municipal, fire and school district governmental matters. He has unique expertise in multiple areas including handling open space initiatives, acquisition, and regulatory oversight helping clients work through administrative hurdles to protect and preserve open space, recreation, farmland and historic locations. George is also frequently requested to handle complex matters regarding the New Jersey Open Public Records Act and matters pertaining to New Jersey election laws.

With George’s extensive practical and legal background in municipal government he is frequently requested to intervene on complex bidding challenges and contract reviews involving government entities. He has represented both public and private clients in litigation involving public bidding and contract laws including the New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law and the Public Schools Contract Law.

George is a frequent lecturer on Open Public Meetings Act and Open Public Records Act, Election Law and other local government issues. 

Professional Activities

  • Burlington County Bar Association
  • New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys
  • New Jersey State Bar Association (Immediate Past Chair, Local Government Law Section)
  • New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors’ Association
  • Burlington County Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Government Affairs Committee; Member, Military Relations Sub-Committee

Community Activities

  • Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Maj, Wing Legal Officer, Squadron Finance, Administrative and Personnel Officer

Experience

Experience

  • Represented Southampton Township with respect to seeking invalidation of a state unfunded mandate concerning municipal payment for state rural police service. George was successful in helping convince the New Jersey Council on Local Mandates to void a section of the state budget, which would have resulted in a fiscal crisis for most rural municipalities in New Jersey.
  • Obtained State House Commission approval for complex diversion application to remove restricted lands from state encumbrance and allow for affordable housing development and preservation of historic property.

Case Studies

News

News & Speaking Engagements

Articles

Articles

Public Records

Public Records

George Morris is a recognized expert on the spectrum of issues related to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, the common law right of access and the federal Freedom of Information Act. 

Prior to joining Parker McCay, George served in a major municipal clerk/manager office.  He has years of practical first-hand knowledge to assist clients in fielding public records questions, records retention guidelines and document preservation concerns and when permitted by law, document destruction decisions.  This expertise is critical, especially in public records cases, where fee shifting provisions may result in substantial fees against the public agency where access was denied. 

He services as a frequent lecturer to municipal officials and lawyers alike on issues concerning public records issues.   George begins with the basic foundation of determining whether a request is valid through the ultimate release of responsive materials or the denial of a request.  From the initial request to cases which yield thousands of documents responsive to a request, George provides clients with critical guidance through the entire process.  He specializes in cases of first impression regarding the right to redact, student records, body cameras and multi-media electronic communications balanced against the rights of privacy of personal information that may be contained within public records.  

Photo of George M. Morris

Education

  • Rutgers University School of Law (J.D., 2005)
  • Rutgers, Graduate School of Policy and Public Administration (M.P.A., Public Administration, 1998)
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (B.A., Political Science, 1993)

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
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