FROM THE EDITOR
A Publication of the State Bar of Arizona
LISA BORMASTER FON TES
MIK YEILA CORDERO
DAVID H. BEN TON, CHAIR
YUSRA B. BOKHARI
HON. THEODORE CAMPAGNOLO
PAUL F. DOWDELL
GREGOR Y GAU TAM
HON. RANDALL M. HOWE
COLLEEN M. JOHNSON
KARA L. KLIMA
JOSE V. LUJAN
TERRIE S. RENDLER
K YLE SHELTON
MICHAEL F. VALENZUELA
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100
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Tucson, AZ 85701-1113
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VOLUME 53, NO. 2
Pro tip: When an editor publishes an article and wonders, Will this be the one that gets me fired – that’s
when you know you may be onto something great.
I’ve had that feeling a few times over the years, at
this and other publications. And those instances have
always arrived at my door from different authors—
except in the case of Tucson attorney Mike Morrison,
who rang that dangerous bell twice. In each instance,
we published his essays. I trusted that, if the very worst
occurred, at least I’d have time on my hands and a
friend south of the Gila.
As a writer and a person, Mike hated to bury the
lede, so I’m sorry to report that he died in late August.
And I’m sure he’d be surprised at the depth of his
(Because there are a few Arizona lawyers who are
“Mike Morrison,” it bears noting that I write today
of Michael P. Morrison, formerly of Tucson and more
recently of the San Diego environs.)
Mike wrote for us a few times, and I encourage you to return to
those pages. In “Being Human” (Dec. 2009, http://tinyurl.com/
MorrisonHuman) and “How To Be Popular” (Dec. 2004, http://
tinyurl.com/MorrisonPopular), he revealed himself, foibles and all,
while poking fun at our profession’s serious high-mindedness.
In the process of practicing law, Mike managed to get sideways with
a regulatory authority with which I am affiliated. But today, I prefer
to recall the good he did, the kindnesses he gave me when none were
expected—and the surprise he routinely engendered.
That last skill was best exemplified in Mike’s Facebook posts, the
channel that may forever remain his most brilliant canvas.
It was there that Mike would offer insights and barbs, occasionally
critical but always kind and self-deprecating. His view came from
left-field and never failed to illuminate an issue in new ways—an idiot
savant of social media, you could say. Mike would have agreed with
half of that title.
When news of Mike’s passing was posted, hundreds of
people commented with sadness. Many admitted they had
never met the smiling scribe, but they were moved by his
death more than they could have thought possible.
One person who had met Mike was Arizona Daily Star
cartoonist David Fitzsimmons. You should read his own
moving tribute to the guy who started as a critic and ended
up a friend ( http://tinyurl.com/MorrisonStar).
Earlier this year, I reminded myself to contact Mike to
urge him to write for us again. Not following through is one
of my biggest regrets. Not the biggest regret, though. The
biggest is failing to tell him once more how much I appreciated his insights, his humor, and his courage.
But maybe someone will read this and take the time to
read Mike’s own essays. He’d treasure the smiles and winces
they’ll inevitably bring.
An attorney and a human
celebration of life.