Seth grew up in Los Angeles, moved to New York to attend college at Columbia University, and then moved back to California to teach third grade in Compton from 2001-2003. Teaching in Compton lit a fire within him to go to law school and make a positive change in the world.
After graduating law school from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2006, Seth began his legal career working for one of the largest firms in the world, Latham & Watkins LLP. Although his career started at a well-known firm, he felt disconnected and sought something more fulfilling.
This led him to accept the role of Deputy Public Defender in Alameda County, CA, where he gained experience representing clients charged with all sorts of crimes.
He handled cases ranging from robbery and rape to human trafficking and murder. He cherished having the ability to stand in someone’s corner when they were accused of an awful crime.
As a public defender, Seth’s experience gave him room to navigate complex situations for his clients and give them hope in their lowest moments. Following his years as a public defender, he knew he wanted something bigger for himself. He became a partner at Cooper, Cooper & Morris for five years, expanding his practice to all nine Bay Area counties and beyond. In 2021, he was ready to launch his own firm and started Morris Law.
Seth has conducted over 25 jury trials, including many cases where his clients were facing a possible sentence of life in prison. A jury trial is a unique craft, combining oral advocacy, fierce cross-examination, and compelling storytelling. After his representation, Seth’s clients express deep gratitude, as the process is deeply personal and often emotionally overwhelming.
Throughout his experience, Seth has been called on to comment on current events in the legal industry and has been viewed as a thought-leader on topics like the use – or misuse – of police body cameras.
His passion is not to settle and watch the prosecution violate your rights. When the odds are stacked against you, it’s his life’s work to bring urgency and justice to your case.
- Columbia University, BA Philosophy, 2001
- Loyola Marymount University, MA Education, 2003
- University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, JD, 2006
- California, 2006 – Current, #244910
- Federal Bar, 2006 – Current
National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Alameda County Bar Association
Publications & Appearances:
- August 27, 2020, October 22, 2021: Presented on developments on the law for cases prosecuted with gang enhancements post People v. Sanchez to Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office, a public defender’s office of over 700 attorneys.
- February 2018: Presented on developments on the law for cases prosecuted with gang enhancements post People v. Sanchez to audience of approximately 300 criminal defense attorneys and public defenders from around California.
- July 23, 2015: Invited by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing to present on a panel to help develop a national Toolkit to help police agencies, district attorney offices, and public defender offices develop systems to utilize and implement police body cameras.
- November 9, 2016: Presented to public defender and private investigators on how to utilize body camera evidence to help on criminal defense cases.
- Fall 2013 – 2016: As a guest lecturer, Seth annually teaches one class on the 4th Amendment to the Constitution as it relates to challenging illegal searches and seizures by the police.
- July 2013: Trained 100-attorney office on recent updates and litigation experiences with the law of Miranda v. Arizona, highlighting police tactics to circumvent suspect’s rights and how to frame a Motion to Exclude Defendant’s Statement for successful exclusion at trial.
- April 22, 2016: NBC Bay Area interviewed Seth in a special investigation report on local police’s use and misuse of body cameras. Part 2 of 2. Link here
- Feb 11, 2016: NBC Bay Area interviewed Seth in a special investigation report on local police’s use and misuse of body cameras. Part 1 of 2. Link here.
- November 6, 2015: Guest speaker on the Body Camera Panel at The Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal symposium entitled: “21st Century Civil Rights: Community Empowerment Police Reform.”
- September 29, 2015: Guest Lecturer at Professor Nikki Jones’ class at UC Berkeley in the Dept of African American studies discussing race, poverty, and the crisis of mass incarceration in the criminal justice system.
- July 15, 2015: Seth was interviewed by Brendan Bartholomew for his SF Examiner piece regarding the lack of a public defender’s office in San Mateo County. Piece here.
- July 9, 2015: KQED (local NPR affiliate) aired a piece Seth wrote about the importance of public defenders in the conversation about police misconduct in local communities. Link here.
- May 18, 2015: The U.S. Dept. of Justice rolled out its national Toolkit on the use of police body cameras. Seth was interviewed and featured on the site, offering the public defender’s perspective on the use of body cameras.
- February 26–27, 2015: Seth was flown to Washington, D.C. by the Dept. of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to speak on their Expert Panel on the topic of body cameras.
- February 11, 2015: Seth was interviewed by Robert Gammon for his East Bay Express article “OPD’s War on the Poor Needs to End.” Link here.
- February 8, 2015: Seth wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe Magazine, thanking them for their piece “Defending those accused of unthinkable crimes” by Scott Helman (original article here). The link to his letter is here.
- February 4, 2015: Seth was a guest on KALW’s Your Call for a show entitled Should Police Wear Body Cameras? Link here.
- February 3, 2015: “23 Years After Rodney King, Victims of Police Violence Get Even Less Justice,” by Seth Morris, published by Vanity Fair.
- January 20, 2015: “Supreme Court’s police debacle: How it quietly helped cops prey on poor people” by Seth Morris. Published on Salon, link here.
- December 11, 2014: “Public defender: I could get indictments in Garner, Brown cases.” Appearance on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, link here.
- December 8, 2014: “It would have been very simple to indict Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo. Here’s how.” By Seth Morris. Published in the Washington Post, link here.