D.L. Morriss concentrates his practice on the representation and defense of regional and Fortune 500 financial institutions in commercial litigation claims involving tort, contract and statutory violations involving complex commercial foreclosure, guaranty and loan liability actions, as well as post-judgment collections. He also has handled matters involving UCC litigation, contract disputes and bankruptcy and creditors' rights.
D.L. also regularly represents companies in general litigation matters, such as commercial landlords and tenants in property management disputes; and national loan servicers in workout matters.
His professional liability practice includes the defense of accountants and accounting firms, and also lawyers and law firms in their professional liability matters. He also handles director and officer liability claims.
In addition to his practice, D.L. serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Partner of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. He is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee, Associate Hiring Committee, and Hinshaw University's Planning Committee.
In 2015, D.L. was selected as a participant for the Leadership Greater Chicago Class of 2016 Fellowship. In 2013, he was selected as a participant for the Chicago Committee's inaugural "Rate My Pitch" program.
D.L. joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as an associate in September 2008. Previously he was a summer associate with the firm during the summer of 2007 and a law clerk since September 2007.
In addition to clerking at Hinshaw, D.L. was a law clerk for one year with the Office of the General Counsel at DePaul University.
Among his law school achievements, D.L. was a member of the Black Law Student Association and a recipient of a CALI Award for Judicial & Scholarly Writing.
During his undergraduate studies, he was a teaching assistant in the areas of social and cross-cultural psychology. He was also the President of the William Osborne Society of Wheaton College from 2002 to 2003.
- The Economic Club of Chicago, Member, 2019 – Present
- The Joffrey Ballet, Board of Directors, 2016 – Present
- Leadership Greater Chicago, Fellow, 2016
- Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2014 – 2016
- Chicago Chamber of Commerce, Emerging Leaders, 2014 – Present
- Chicago Inn of Court, Member, 2014 – Present
Honors & Awards
- Recognized as a "Notable Black Leader and Executive" by Crain's Chicago Business, 2021
- Recognized as a "Notable Minority Lawyer" by Crain's Chicago Business, 2018
- Recognized as an "Emerging Leader" by Leading Lawyers Magazine, 2015 – 2019
A selection of D.L.'s representative matters includes:
- Obtained summary judgment and affirmed on appeal in defense of contested foreclosure action in which borrower challenged the authority of the foreclosing mortgagee based on claims of fraud, invalid assignment of mortgage and improper foreclosure.
- Obtained summary judgment in defense of contested foreclosure action in which borrower alleged deficiencies in notice of default as condition precedent to foreclosure.
- Obtained dismissal of claims against lender by bankrupt debtor asserting lack of standing and asserting rights under pooling and servicing agreement.
- Successfully defended lender interests following foreclosure deed in tax petition dispute.
- Successfully defender lender in dispute with condominium association on liability for outstanding assessments following foreclosure.
- Obtained high value judgments in large, contested, commercial foreclosure actions.
- Defends and has obtained dismissal of lender liability cases involving claims of tort, contract and UCC violations.
- Assisted a pro se criminal defendant and argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit in a case involving allegations of mail fraud and arson.
- Moderator, "Mindfulness and Mental Health: Expanding the Concept of Inclusion in the Legal Profession and Representation," New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting 2023, New York, New York, January 18, 2023
Moderator, "The Emperor Has no Clothes: Reimagining DEI Initiatives in the Legal Industry Through Mindfulness," 2022 London Global Conference, London, UK, November 30, 2022
Co-Presenter, "Looking Ahead in 2023: The Brazilian Black Legal Experience," Brazil Chapter of New York State Bar Association International Section, Virtual Event, November 17, 2022
- Panelist, "By Rule or Relationship: Exploring International Initiatives to Advance Diversity and Inclusion," New York State Bar Association's International Section Spring Meeting, Madrid, Spain, April 29, 2022
- Panelist, "Is Your Company Developing an Inclusive Culture?," From Day One Chicago 2022 Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 29, 2022
- Co-Presenter, "Love and Let Love: Breaking Down the Barriers to LGBTQ Equality," NYSBA's International Section Webinar, June 24, 2021
- Panelist, "Mindfulness as a DEI Strategy," Chicago Bar Association, Virtual Event, May 14, 2021
- Moderator, "A Breath of Fresh Air: 2020's Impact on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | How the Global Legal Community Has Been Impacted and is Responding to Proactively Advance the Landscape and Promote Inclusion," NYSBA Webinar, Virtual Event, January 27, 2021
- Panelist, "How Employee Resource Groups Drive Diversity," From Day One Webinar, May 28, 2020
- Co-Presenter, "Updates on U.S. v. South Africa Experience of COVID-19," NYSBA Webinar, April 22, 2020
- Panelist, "Should Lady Justice Be Blind," NYSBA International Section's Global Conference 2019, Tokyo, Japan, November 8, 2019
- "The ROI on D&I," Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 6, 2019
- "Hot Topics in Lending," Commercial Loans - Planning for Summer Heat Seminar, Video Conference, July 2013
- "Without A Leg To Stand On: Establishing Standing in Illinois Commercial Foreclosures," In-house Client Presentation, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, March 2013
- "Checks, Fraud and the UCC," In-house Client Presentation, Dallas, Texas, February 2012
D.L. has assisted in writing several Hinshaw Employment Law Alerts. Additional publications include:
- Co-Author, "Diversity & Inclusion: Harnessing Tomorrow's Opportunities," White Paper, presented at the NYSBA International Section's Global Conference 2019, November 8, 2019
- Co-Author, "Key Issues With Employee Dishonesty and Employee Theft Coverage," White Paper, presented at the Fidelity Bond & Crime Coverage Conference, December 2004
- October 18, 2022
- October 14, 2022
- Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Joins Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certification Process, Expands Commitment to Proactive Diversity and Inclusion EffortsAugust 16, 2022
- March 24, 2022"The sum of the parts makes up the whole"
- Hinshaw Partner D.L. Morriss Named to Crain’s Chicago Business 2021 Notable Black Leaders and ExecutivesDecember 13, 2021
- November 10, 2021
- Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Joins Mansfield Rule 5.0 Certification Process, Deepens Commitment to Proactive Diversity and Inclusion EffortsJune 30, 2021
- March 10, 2021Report Provides a Transparent Account of DEI Metrics and Initiatives
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys & Girls Club
- Board Member (2010 – 2013)
- Programming Chair (2013)
- Breakthrough Young Professionals
- Board Member (2015 – Present)
- Events Committee
J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 2008
- Recipient, Black Law Student Association Scholarship and Law Achievement Scholarship
- Member, Dean’s List
B.A., Psychology, Wheaton College, 2005
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois