Morgan and Morgan, the nation’s largest personal injury law firm, and the 69th largest law firm in the United States, is taking aggressive steps to expand its share of the lucrative “litigation support” market. The firm is specifically seeking to land contracts with state attorneys general across the nation to bolster their offices and assist with research and legal counsel in consumer protection actions filed against large corporations.
The firm raised eyebrows at the beginning of the year when it hired former Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, a Republican, and tasked him with heading up “an elite division of lawyers and support staff within the firm to specifically handle matters involving public clients.”
The hiring surprised a number of legal observers, in large part because even though Morgan and Morgan has given vast sums of money to Republicans and Democrats alike, the firm still overwhelmingly supports progressive candidates, ballot initiatives, and political causes. Just weeks before the move to hire Fox, Morgan and Morgan lawyers had donated heavily to the Biden campaign, and John Morgan himself lent a private jet to transport President Joe Biden’s brother to the inauguration.
“It turned a lot of heads to see Morgan & Morgan bring on a former Republican Attorney General in Tim Fox, given the well-known politics of the firm and its founder as well as its focus on personal injury law,” said one former high-ranking staffer for a Republican Attorney General who declined to be identified. “The hiring was pretty noteworthy, it is hard to think of a recent hire like that, where a personal injury firm brought on a Republican Attorney General right as he left office.”
Neither John Morgan nor Fox responded to an email seeking comment for this story.
Fox announced his hiring in a series of form letters, sent in February, several copies of which were obtained by The Capitolist, seeking to immediately cash-in on relationships with colleagues still serving as public officials in other states. The letters reference his work in the National Association of Attorneys General, where he likely met many of those targeted in the letters, including Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who received one of the letters. Her office said that Moody did not respond to Fox’s overture, and declined to comment for this story.
But one former Republican deputy attorney general took a shot at the move by Fox, who had sought the Montana governor’s office just over six months earlier.
“It was surprising to see former Republican AG Fox join a plaintiff’s firm like Morgan & Morgan given Fox’s fealty at Republican AG events to the rule of law, and the fact that Morgan & Morgan expends enormous sums in campaign donations to elect Democrats,” said the former staffer.
In the letter sent to Moody and other Republican AG’s around the country, Fox name-checked the former Democrat Attorney General of Kentucky, Greg Stumbo, whom Morgan and Morgan hired in 2013. But Stumbo, like Fox, was also coming off a 2019 electoral defeat after trying to win back the Kentucky Attorney General’s office that year.
Fox’s letter said he and Stumbo wanted to help state AG’s offices with some of the problems they’d experienced when they served in those roles, which included “handling large discovery obligations,” “problems identifying leading expert witnesses,” and being “frequently outmatched to ultimately impose the equalizing power of a jury trial in our most important cases.”
Then Fox explained his move: “When I realized that Morgan & Morgan can deftly fill all of these needs, my decision to join them was quite easy.”
Hiring Fox isn’t the first time Morgan and Morgan has hired a prominent Republican, though. In 2011, John Morgan famously plastered “For the People” billboards along central Florida highways with the face of former Republican and former Governor Charlie Crist, who had never actually set foot in a courtroom to try a case. Crist is now a Democrat Congressman.
Law firm vies for contracts by hiring the right person. Is this news? It would be news if they didn’t.