Alan E. Morrill

Alan E. Morrill
Alan E. Morrill

Alan E. Morrill, 89, of The Villages, Florida, died Sept. 19, 2014, with his family by his side. Alan was born to the late Gladys and Byron Morrill, Aug. 30, 1925, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and lived in Chicago, Illinois during his later childhood and throughout his career, before retiring to Ft. Myers and then The Villages, Florida, with his devoted wife Doris. Alan graduated from Sullivan High School in 1943 before enlisting in the U.S. Navy to serve in WWII, where he served on the USS La Salle, the lead ship of a class of transports, and participated in major battles including those of Leyte, Luzon and Okinawa. Following the war, on the GI Bill and while working to support a young family, Alan graduated from John Marshall Law School, which later honored him with its “Distinguished Alumnus Award.” Alan was an accomplished trial lawyer, judge, author and educator. He founded the Chicago law firm of Morrill, Koutsky, Klomann & Chuhak, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, and practicing at all levels of the Illinois state and federal courts. He authored numerous articles for a wide range of legal publications, founded and served as publisher of the Trial Diplomacy Journal, and wrote two groundbreaking books on the art of courtroom advocacy: Anatomy of a Trial (1968, 1971) and Trial Diplomacy (1971, 1974, 1976, 1978), the later having served as a classroom text in most of the nation’s law schools. He founded Court Practice Institute, a trailblazing organization that conducted weeklong seminars throughout the country, to teach practicing lawyers the art of trial advocacy. He served as an Adjunct Professor at John Marshall Law School, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and Chicago-Kent College of Law, and lectured at numerous law schools and bar associations throughout the United States. During the last decade of his distinguished career, before devoting his attention more fully to golf, travel and friends in retirement, Alan brought his considerable legal talents to the bench, serving as a highly regarded judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. “Dad was a lawyer’s lawyer, with a distinctive deep voice and commanding physical presence, and his unshakable integrity was apparent to all who knew him,” said his son Stephen S. Morrill, an attorney in Chicago. “He had a tremendously organized and logical mind and could quickly master any subject and then explain it simply and clearly to a lay person.” In addition to his wife Doris, Alan is survived by his four children and seven grandchildren: Richard (Mary) Morrill of Ft. Myers, FL [Matthew, Robert and John]; Stephen (Christine) Morrill of Glenview, IL [Luke and Isabelle]; John (Driola) Morrill of the District of Columbia [Marcie and Terra]; and Patricia (Stephen Tippie) Morrill of Chicago, IL. The past couple of years brought Alan two great-grandchildren: Ryker (Matt and Kelly) Morrill, and Keely (Bob and Tina) Morrill. Doris’ two children and their spouses, along with her two grandchildren, considered Alan to be family, and he them: Karen Davie (James) McHale of Aurora, IL; and John (Anne) Davie of Geneva, NY [Jennifer Davie (Paul) Battaglia and J. Edward (Anessa) Davie III]. Doris has been blessed with four great-grandchildren: Ben, Charlie and Allie (Jennifer and Paul) Battaglia, and Paige (Edward and Anessa) Davie. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 1511 Buenos Aires Blvd, the Villages, Florida. Alan will be interred with military honors at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.