John S. Morris, III

Admitted to the Practice of Law in 1974, Virginia.

Education: University of Virginia (B.A., 1971; J.D., 1974).

Professional Experience: Law Clerk to Justice Albertis S. Harrison, Jr., Supreme Court of Virginia, 1974-1975.  Assistant Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia, 1976-1986.


  • Virginia State Bar
  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation:
    • Member, Council 2014 to Present,
    • Managing Director,  2012 – 2013
    • Co-Director,  Divison V – Substantive – 2010 – 2011, 2013 – 2014,
    • Managing Director,  2012 – 2013
    • Co-chair: Real Estate Litigation Committee,  2007 – 2010
    • Co-chair: Solo and Small Firm Committee,  2003 – 2005
    • Co-chair: Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Litigation Committee,  2000-2003
    • Co-chair:  Construction Litigation Committee,  1996 – 1999.
  • Richmond Bar Association

Recognition: Included in the Best Lawyers in America since 2009 for the Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law area.  

Practice Emphasis: Construction Law, Eminent Domain, Real Estate Litigation, Civil Litigation, Contracts, Transportation and Highways.

Mr. Morris is the president and a principal shareholder in the law firm of Beale, Davidson, Etherington & Morris P.C.  He has practiced in the Richmond area for over 35 years.  He specializes in civil litigation with an emphasis in construction and real property litigation.

Mr. Morris was the law clerk to the Honorable Albertis S. Harrison, Jr., Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  He served as an Assistant Attorney General in Richmond for ten years, spending the first six years in the Transportation Division and the last four years in the Civil Litigation Section.  While he was in the Transportation Division, he represented VDOT in all legal matters arising in the Salem and Bristol Districts of Virginia, including oversight and appellate responsibility for all eminent domain cases in those districts.  He also helped rewrite the manual for outside fee counsel in eminent domain cases.  While he was in the Civil Litigation Section, he represented the Commonwealth in numerous civil litigation matters, including major construction litigation, a statewide employment discrimination suit against a state agency, constitutional claims against judges, asbestos litigation and a housing discrimination suit.

Subsequently, Mr. Morris practiced law for ten years in the Richmond office of McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe (now McGuire, Woods), where he was a member of the Real Property and Construction Litigation Group.  He tried numerous civil cases during his ten years at McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe.

Mr. Morris has been a partner of this firm for 19 years, where he has tried numerous civil cases.  The real estate cases he has tried include boundary line cases, a major downzoning case, mechanics’ liens cases and title disputes.  He has also tried numerous condemnation, construction and commercial cases, as well as cases involving constitutional issues and personal injuries.  He conducted extensive title searches and analyzed title issues regarding road endings and public landings for a public access authority.

Mr. Morris is admitted to practice in all courts in Virginia, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.  He recently served as Managing Director of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association.  He is presently a member of the Section’s Council.  He previously served as Co-chair of the Construction Litigation, Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Litigation, Solo and Small Firm and Real Estate Litigation Committees of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation.

Mr. Morris has authored papers and lectured on a variety of eminent domain, construction litigation, real property and other real estate issues in Virginia and across the United States.

John S. Morris, III is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell.