2015 Commencement Speaker- 2016 Speaker TBA
U.S. Judge Morrison England
Morrison C. England Jr. '77 '83, Chief Judge of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of California, will be the featured speaker at University of the Pacific's Commencement Ceremony May 9.
"We talk about preparing our students for lives of service and meaning," said University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck. "No Pacifican exemplifies these values more than Judge England, whose distinguished record of service to his community, state, nation - and alma mater -- inspires us all. From his days as an offensive lineman for Pacific to his current role as a Regent, he has personified the Tiger spirit and helped lead our university forward. It will be an honor and privilege to introduce him to our 2015 graduates."
Born in St. Louis, England was raised in Sacramento, where he graduated from McClatchy High School. He attended Sacramento City College before transferring to University of the Pacific on a football scholarship.
England's accomplishments on the football field led to a tryout with the New York Jets and an offer from his former offensive line coach at Pacific, Jim Colletto, to coach football at Cal State Fullerton.
England chose college coaching over pro football and enrolled in a master's degree program in counseling psychology at Fullerton, his eye on a lifelong career in coaching.
But a Pacific professor's advice to consider the law stayed with him, and England decided to apply to law school. His acceptance from Pacific McGeorge School of Law arrived at about the same time that he got an invitation to coach at Sac State.
Teaching and working as assistant football coach at Sac State during the day, England attended law school at night. He also worked the graveyard shift as a counselor at Sacramento's juvenile hall.
Football and law came together again in a position as law clerk for Gary Quattrin and Tim Clemons, two former Sac State football players who were partners in a law firm. After passing the bar in 1983, England joined them as a partner in the firm of Quattrin, Clemons & England.
England's first appointment to the bench came from California Gov. Pete Wilson, who named him to the Sacramento Municipal Court in 1996. The following year, Wilson elevated the jurist to the Sacramento Superior Court.
In 2002, England was nominated by Pres. George W. Bush to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
England was a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps for the U.S. Army Reserve from 1988 through 2002, holding the rank of Major. His last position was as Senior Defense Counsel for the 22nd LSO, USAR Trial Defense Service. During his military service, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf cluster and the Army Achievement Medal. His military service ended upon his confirmation to the federal judiciary.
England's service to the legal profession includes roles as past vice president and board member of the California Judges Association. He currently serves on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules for the United States.
He has participated in federally sponsored judicial exchanges with the judiciaries of The Republic of Georgia, Morocco, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and India, among other nations, focusing on such topics as the rule of law and intellectual property. The exchanges took place under the auspices of USAID, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trade Office and the Department of Justice.
England has three times been named "Judge of the Year," most recently by the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2014, as well as by the Sacramento County Bar Association in 2007 and Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association in 2006.
His involvement in community activities has included service on the boards of the Leukemia Society, the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Sacramento, and Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento. In addition, he has coached the Sacramento County Sheriff's team in the annual Pig Bowl charity football game.
England was elected a Regent of University of the Pacific in 2006 and serves as the current board secretary. In addition, he is the former president and a current executive board member of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court, McGeorge School of Law. He has been an adjunct professor of law at McGeorge, and served on the school's Alumni Board of Directors.