John Morrison is a public official, trial attorney, businessman, teacher and writer. A former Montana State Auditor, he is the senior partner of the law firm Morrison Sherwood Wilson Deola PLLP (www.mswdlaw.com) and has recently served as chairman, president or director of a number of state and national business and non-profit organizations.
John grew up in Whitefish, Montana. His dad was a small-town lawyer and his mother, the first in her family to go to college, was a part-time school teacher. In addition to fishing, hiking, camping, and school sports, John worked from the age of 13 as a lawn mower, a dishwasher, and a timber and construction laborer. During college, John worked on a gravel crusher, troweled cement, operated construction machinery, ran a landscaping business and worked the graveyard shift as a radio announcer.
John is an AV rated lawyer and has handled historic and record setting cases in state and federal court. He was recently named Montana Appellate Lawyer of the Year, is a past President of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association and a long-time member of the Montana Bar Association Ethics Committee. He is listed in US News Best Lawyers in America, SuperLawyers, and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. John is an adjunct professor of insurance law at the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III Law School and he has lectured at numerous other schools including Harvard, Stanford and Peking Universities. John has testified multiple times before both houses of Congress and is a consulting expert on ERISA to the US Department of Labor. He has written many articles and one book, Mavericks, the Lives and Battles of Montana’s Political Legends, which he co-authored with his wife Cathy. John created the Safe Kids and Families Fund that has provided thousands of bicycle helmets to low-income children in Montana.
As Montana’s State Auditor, John served as Commissioner of Insurance and Securities. John wrote and led creation of Insure Montana and Healthy Montana Kids, health plans that have provided coverage to tens of thousands of Montanans and have been followed nationally. He banned discretionary clauses in ERISA plans, led creation of a national model and defended the ban successfully in state and federal courts, helping millions of Americans get their health and disability insurance claims paid. He also led creation of the captive insurance industry in Montana, which has brought nearly 300 new companies and hundreds of business leaders to Montana, and the State Land Bank, which has increased public access to school trust lands. A leader in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, he chaired two of the four principal NAIC committees, Health Insurance and Managed Care and Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs, where he cracked down on fake health insurance scams and required American insurance companies to report data annually about how they treat their customers. John also served as the NAIC’s International Vice-Chairman for Asia, representing U.S. Insurance regulators in China on many occasions, and chaired the special emergency committee that responded to catastrophic insurance issues related to the September 11 attacks.
John Morrison has been covered by and/or published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News, The Times (London), Money, Forbes, Smart Money, Consumer Reports, Best’s Review, CNN, Good Morning America and other national publications and broadcasts.
John and Cathy have been married for 27 years. They have two daughters, Allison (25) and Amanda (22). Both attended Title I public schools in Helena, Montana. Allison, a D-1 All-Academic American track and filed athlete, received her AB from Harvard in 2016. Amanda, a U.S. Presidential Scholar and Schwarzman Scholar, received her BA summa cum laude from Princeton in 2019. John and his family enjoy the full range of sports and activities in Montana’s great and spectacular outdoors. An avid distance runner, John competed in the 2018 and 2019 Boston Marathons. John and his daughters also enjoy mountain climbing and have summited most of the state high-points in the American West and New England.