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Detroit Mercy honors retiring Law professors

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June 20, 2017
School of Law Adjunct Professors Richard Krisciunas and Michael Morgan were honored at a retirement celebration June 9.

Friends, family, and colleagues gathered at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law on Friday, June 9, to celebrate the retirement of Adjunct Professors Richard T. Krisciunas '72, '75 and Michael V. Morgan '69, '72. The pair has been co-teaching the School’s Criminal Trial Clinic since 2008.

Through their work, the professors have given hundreds of students the opportunity to go on the record in the courtroom. Krisciunas said his former students still call him to share their early experiences in court.

“When you win a trial and you call me, I get goosebumps,” he said. “I appreciate that, and I challenge you to continue to make a difference.”

Morgan said, “After a few weeks (in court), a light bulb goes off, and they say to themselves, ‘I can do this.’ That’s the exact moment that guys like me and Rich Krisciunas live for.”

Krisciunas received his undergraduate and law degrees from University of Detroit Mercy. Early in his career, he joined the Prosecutor’s Repeat Offenders Bureau (PROB) and handled several high-visibility trials. He was assigned to Squad 7, the Detroit Police Department’s felony murder section. He also served as the chief of the Trial Division under Prosecutor Mike Duggan.

From 2004-16 he was director of externships at Detroit Mercy Law and, in 2015, was honored with the School’s Time and Talent Award. He is married to Kathy, who was a law librarian while he was a student. Although he is retiring from the clinic, he will continue to teach Trial Practice, a course he has taught since 1982.

Morgan also received his undergraduate and law degrees from University of Detroit Mercy. He formerly practiced in the area of traffic offenses and is a former chair of the License Appeal Board of the Michigan Department of State. He coauthored the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE)'s first two books on drunk driving, "Drunk Driving Cases: A Manual for Michigan Lawyers" and "Defense of Drunk Driving Cases in Michigan." He edited several editions of ICLE’s "Michigan Drunk Driving Law and Practice," and was a contributor to the first five editions of ICLE's "Michigan Basic Practice Handbook." He lectured at the first American Bar Association Seminar on Drunk Driving in 1983.

Morgan was honored in 2004 with the State Bar of Michigan's Champion of Justice Award and in 2009 with Detroit Mercy Law’s Time and Talent Award. 

Detroit Mercy Law has established the Richard T. Krisciunas and Michael V. Morgan Scholarship Fund to commemorate the collective impact of these two outstanding educators. Contributions may be made online or sent via check to the School of Law.

By Amanda Vanover

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