Profile

Attorney William T. Morton has practiced law in Erie County, Pennsylvania, for over 30 years. His practice includes business counseling and organization, bankruptcy, real estate, wills, trusts and estates, elder law, estate planning, commercial and construction litigation.

Mr. Morton spent six years as in-house counsel for Zurn Industries. His legal career also includes positions with Erie County government as an assistant district attorney and as an assistant public defender. Mr. Morton is currently a member of the Erie County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations. He is a member of the Erie County Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Committee and served a term as chairman. An Erie native, he is active in the local and regional community. Currently, he is member of and the immediate past-president of the Board of Directors of the Crime Victim Center, where he has served since 1986. He is a board member of Goodwill Industries of Ashtabula, Inc. and the St. Thomas More Society of the Erie Diocese. He is president of the Serra Club for the Diocese of Erie. In addition, he is a former board member and past president of the board of directors of both the Erie Playhouse and the Lake Erie Ballet.

Mr. Morton graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he was a member of the International Moot Court Team and received the Outstanding Advocate Award. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Pennsylvania State University. From 1968 to 1972, he served in the United States Marine Corps.


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE of Attorney William T. Morton Esq.

Bar Admission: Oct. 16, 1979

Admitted to Erie County Court of Common Pleas, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

PRIVATE PRACTICE OF LAW – Current

Mr. Morton’s practice includes the representation of business and private clients in business operation, corporation/LLC organization and acquisitions. He further handles contract and commercial law matters and related litigation; provides services in real estate development, zoning, purchase and sale; real estate financing (commercial and residential); and contracts and related litigation.

Noteworthy in his career, Mr. Morton handled the real estate acquisition, environmental, zoning, subdivision and development matters in establishing Bush Industries of Pennsylvania, Inc. in Erie County. As part of that project, he successfully negotiated with the LeBoeuf Township School Board, Summit Township and Erie County to secure Bush’s LERTA tax exemptions and worked with EIDCO to secure PIDA, MELF and Sunny Day financing.

Mr. Morton’s practice includes a substantial concentration in business and personal bankruptcy and creditor matters (Chapter 7, 13 and 11 cases). He also serves his clients in the drafting of wills and trusts as well as estate administration and elder law issues.

CORPORATE COUNSEL – ZURN INDUSTRIES, INC. – MAY 1988 – MAY 1994

In his legal capacity at Zurn Industries, Mr. Morton managed and was directly involved in product liability, environmental and business litigation; worked with Zurn’s insurance carriers on coverage issues, reserves, product liability and general liability claims and claims handling; handled asset sales and acquisitions of divisions and product lines; collaborated with and supervised counsel at law firms throughout the United States and Canada; directed environmental remediation, compliance and company audits, negotiating with the EPA and state environmental agencies; represented Zurn in Superfund, state environmental enforcement and compliance matters; conducted internal corporate investigations regarding allegations of sexual harassment, theft, and discrimination, successfully handled age discrimination claims before the EEOC and labor union arbitrations; collaborated with Zurn’s divisions on day-to-day commercial problems, contract negotiations, purchase order terms and conditions, and employee relations; and drafted corporate policies regarding substance abuse, contract administration, sexual harassment and Americans with Disabilities Act. Member of MAPI Products Liability Counsel; lectured at MAPI meetings on contractual indemnification, California’s Proposition 65, and substance abuse policies; presented seminars to Zurn divisions on contract administration, insurance, indemnification and risk management issues, anti-trust compliance, Americans with Disabilities Act, and pro-active litigation management.

PRIVATE PRACTICE OF LAW ‑ OCTOBER 1979 ‑ MAY 1988

Mr. Morton’s practice emphasized small business organization, operation, dispute resolution, litigation, contracts and commercial law, including negotiation of contracts for the sale of business properties and going businesses; financing negotiation and collections, including mortgage foreclosures; real estate law, including condominium organizations and conversions and bankruptcy law and business reorganizations under Chapter 11; and civil litigation and litigation related to representing small businesses.

PART‑TIME ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY – JANUARY 1986 – MAY 1988.

Prosecuted to verdict more than 60 criminal cases ranging from simple assault to murder; supervised criminal investigations, briefed appellate issues and argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

PART‑TIME ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER – FEBRUARY 1980 – MAY 1985.

Defended more than 800 indigent defendants on charges ranging from theft to attempted murder; participated in numerous adult jury trials and juvenile bench trials to verdict.

SOLICITOR MILLCREEK TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT – MAY 1985 -JANUARY 1986

Worked with the chief of police on operational issues and employee discipline.

SOLICITOR WEST RIDGE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT – JANUARY 1986 – 1998

Assisted the West Ridge Fire Department on an as-needed basis on corporate and operational issues; most work performed was on volunteer basis.

OTHER:

Mr. Morton currently teaches Legal Environment of Business at Gannon University.

He was appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to a three-year term on the Minor Court Civil Procedural Rules Committee, beginning October 1986.

He has been an agent for Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation from October 1984 to 1988; Agent for Chicago Title Insurance Company from 2003 – 2007.

He taught a three‑credit course in Broadcast Law at Gannon University in the fall of 1984.


EDUCATION:

Legal: University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, Juris Doctor Degree: May 1979

Activities and Awards: Outstanding Advocate Award; Member of International Moot Court Team 1978; organized and was president of Student Chapter of the Maryland Trial Lawyers 1978 ‑1979; President of Moot Court Board 1978‑1979; Student Bar Association Class Representative 1977‑1978.

Undergraduate: Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania

Degree: Bachelor of Arts ‑ March 1975

Major: General Arts and Sciences with an emphasis in social sciences.


MILITARY SERVICE:

Marine Corps: Active Duty: July 25, 1968, to July 24, 1972

Honorable Discharge: April 7, 1974

Occupational Specialty: Aviation Radio Repairman

Highest Rank: Sergeant E‑5


ACTIVITIES & MEMBERSHIPS:

Pennsylvania Bar Association; Erie County Bar Association; Member of and past chairman of the Erie County Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Committee; Former member of the Legal Advisory Committee for the Preferred Institute for Educational Services; Past president and board member of the Erie Civic Ballet; Past president and board member of the Erie Playhouse Board of Directors; Past president and current member of the Erie County Crime Victim Center Board of Directors; President of the Erie Serra Club, Member of the board of directors of Goodwill Industries of Ashtabula; Member of Erie Club, Member St. Jude Church.


The Law Offices of William T. Morton
3213 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16506

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To contact Mr. Morton, please call 814-520-8700 or e-mail him at bill@wtmortonlaw.com .