By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: September 2010
District Judge Linda G. Morrissey is up for reelection on November 2, 2010.
When we learn more about leaders who have exceeded our expectations, it restores our faith in them. Most of us are disturbed by the number of those whom we, and our kids, idolized – athletes, movie stars, and those elected to serve in public office – who have sorely disappointed us. I don’t know Judge Linda G. Morrissey personally, but I now know that she is a person I can admire, appreciate, and genuinely respect because of the enjoyment she takes in serving others as an elected official. Judge Morrissey seems to have made a habit of going well beyond the limits of expectations. A truly admirable quality in Judge Morrissey is that she has never wanted, desired or expected to be in the spotlight. Those who know of her dedication are probably limited to family members, close friends, and those in legal services and other organizations who work closely with her. She would rather serve our community by just doing her job behind the scenes.
Judge Morrissey was recently the recipient of the Tulsa County Bar Association’s First Quarter Golden Rule Award. She is passionate in her desire to improve the lives of others. Many who know her call her an “unsung hero.” Since taking the bench as a district court judge over 15 years ago, Judge Morrissey has helped reshape the many programs and dockets in Tulsa County. When concerned that protective order requests were assigned randomly to several different judges, resulting in little consistency in the judicial responses to protective order matters and violations, Judge Morrissey suggested that there be a designated judge who specialized in domestic violence. She then volunteered to pioneer a separate domestic violence docket, and became an expert on domestic violence patterns and solutions.
Judge Morrissey has presided over divorce and child-custody cases, and has helped the enforcement of court-ordered child support through the adoption of a zero tolerance policy for non-payment
She also worked on an innovative drug court docket. This unique docket is devoted to non-violent drug offenders who may possibly be rehabilitated without serving prison time. The judge’s tireless promotion of the concept rapidly gained widespread community support in Tulsa County, and also delivered a powerful and unforgettable anti-drug message to youth through another innovative program.
Some of the other programs Judge Morrissey has been instrumental in developing and implementing include authoring the “Judge’s Manual for the Community Sentencing Program.” She is chairperson of the Women Offender Task Force, and she frequently speaks to other lawyers and judges on numerous topics including domestic violence, family law and criminal law. She proposed and developed the Evidence Over Lunch program for the local bar, subsequently receiving comments from bar members describing the program as “exceptional,” “stupendous” and “superb.” Judge Morrissey also received the President’s Award from the Tulsa County Bar Association in appreciation for her exceptional efforts and innovative thinking.
Constantly interacting with others in our community, Judge Morrissey regularly invites young people from area schools, Girl and Boy Scout troops, and other groups to come to her courtroom to act out “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.” Children are directed through a trial of the wolf as they decide his fate. This is just one of the techniques employed by Morrissey to make her courtroom an educational tool for children and encourage public understanding of the judicial system.
Judge Morrissey has driven for Meals On Wheels, served on the executive board for the Parents-as-Teachers Program, served on the Governor’s Commission for Children and Youth, and facilitated a reading program called Great Books at a Tulsa elementary school. Judge Linda G. Morrissey’s list of educational accomplishments, professional experience, awards, professional associations, and community service only continues. She is up for re-election this year and is worthy of your consideration prior to casting your vote on November 2.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.