Special to South Florida Times

The Florida Prosecuting Attorney’s Association has presented Broward Chief Assistant State Attorney Charles B. “Chuck” Morton with its lifetime achievement award for legal education.

Throughout his 33-year career, Morton has traveled around the state teaching classes on effective litigation to prosecutors from Florida’s 20 circuits. He also is a part-time adjunct professor in trial advocacy at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center.
At the award presentation during the state association’s annual meeting in Lake Buena Vista, the group recognized Morton for “service in furthering prosecution education in Florida.”

Morton, a graduate of Rollins College and the University of Florida law school,  was humbled to receive the statewide award during the Aug. 3 gathering.

“Whenever I lecture or teach, my only goal is to help my colleagues become better and more knowledgeable prosecutors,” he said. “My professional colleagues are truly some of the best and most honorable people in this country, and I am truly humbled and honored to be recognized by them for my efforts.”

Morton has been chief assistant state attorney in the 17th Circuit in Broward since 2005. Before that, he served as head of the office’s Homicide unit for 16 years.

“It’s no surprise that Chuck has been recognized by his peers across the state for his efforts,” State Attorney Satz said. “This is a most deserved honor.” 
Morton was the first prosecutor Satz hired after taking office.

“To this day, I consider it one of the best decisions I ever made,” Satz said when he promoted Morton. “Chuck is a valuable member of my staff, a true professional and a leader among leaders in this community. Most important, he is a fine person, a man of impeccable integrity and great character.”

After graduating from UF law school in 1975, Morton worked for Legal Aid of Broward County and as an associate in the law offices of W. George Allen before joining the Broward State Attorney’s Office in 1977.

As an assistant state attorney, he prosecuted misdemeanor cases in the County Court Division and later handled economic crime and political corruption cases before  a four-year stint as head of the County Court Division and four years as a homicide prosecutor.

In 1989, he was named assistant state attorney in charge of the Capital Crimes/Homicide division, where he and his staff successfully prosecuted defendants accused of some of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

Professionally, Morton is a member of the Florida Bar, the American Bar Association, the Broward County Bar Association, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the National District Attorneys Association.

Morton’s other positions have included chairman of the Florida Governor’s Task Force on Capital Cases;  the Florida Bar Code and Rules of Evidence Committee; the Florida Bar Criminal Procedure Rules Committee; the Florida Bar Grievance Committee; the Florida Bail Bond Regulatory Board; the Florida Supreme Court Racial and Ethnic Bias Study Commission; the board of directors of the Broward County Bar Association; the board of directors of  Legal Aid of Broward County, Inc.; the  Florida Bar Criminal Law Section; the American Bar Association Criminal Law Section Committee on Gun Violence; and the Florida Parole Qualifications Committee.

Morton also serves as a deacon at New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, as well as a board member of the United Way of Broward County and the United Way’s Substance Abuse Commission.

Being recognized for his teaching efforts was likely an extension of his upbringing, he said.

“Both my parents were effective and respected educators,” he said. “I guess it’s in my blood.”