Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fightin' Joe back in the ring

It used to be you couldn’t pick up a copy of STYLE Weekly without reading about former Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Morrissey. In 2000 a reader’s letter to the editor said:
Joe Morrissey, Joe Morrissey, Joe Morrissey ....

I am so sick and tired of Joe Morrissey I could die. I propose that all Richmond publications cease any further articles, news briefs, editorials and the like regarding Joe Morrissey...
After his controversial stint as Richmond’s top prosecutor, Morrissey became even better known as a defense attorney whose television ads casting him as a two-fisted champion of the accused were ubiquitous.

Then it all came undone. Eventually, a few too many legal corners were cut (he was disbarred) and he engaged in at least one fight too many. Garien Wycoff, a subcontractor working on Morrissey’s property in 1999, won a million dollar judgment for a beating he took from Morrissey.

As recently as Mar. 15, 2006 Morrissey was being cast in quite a negative light in “More on Morrissey Down Under.”
Last week a Supreme Court justice in Sydney, Australia, reviewed the application of Richmond’s expatriate and pugnacious former top prosecutor, Joseph D. “Fightin’ Joe” Morrissey, to practice law in that country. When he applied to work in Australia, he had failed to mention his troubled past in Richmond to authorities.A former Richmond commonwealth’s attorney and notorious defense lawyer here, Morrissey was stripped of his license to practice law by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in 2002 for unprofessional conduct.
Then there was this June 20, 2007 article, “Broadside Joe,” published on the heels on Morrissey’s primary victory, which catapulted him back into being a headline maker again.
...Dark clouds have followed Morrissey for quite a few years now. After the sting of various stints in jail for contempt of court, the blow of his 2003 permanent disbarment, and the insult-to-injury of a million-dollar-plus judgment for taking out his aggressions on a hapless building subcontractor’s face, Morrissey traveled first across the ocean and later to the other hemisphere in an attempt to start over.

Dark clouds have always rained out his plans.

Today, Morrissey seems waterproof.
Waterproof? How about bulletproof?

After all the negative publicity that Morrissey has received in the last decade, yesterday’s victory (he ran unopposed) means he’s going to represent the 74th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Love him or hate him, to be fair, I have to say this comeback is nothing short of stunning.

What’s next for Fightin’ Joe?

Almost anything but obscurity is possible.

-- words and art by F.T. Rea

1 comment:

Brenda P said...

What next? Add to the list: last night CVRA LLC, of which Joe is Managing Partner, got the nod from Petersburg City Council to operate a B&B at the former High St. Inn in Petersburg.