Morton's Attorney to Take Part in Atticus Finch Day in Brazos County

Shane Phelps (left) and Philip Banks (Photo from Shane Phelps)
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BRYAN - Visitors to the Brazos County Courthouse or a local law office next week may end up with visions of seersucker suits, and a famed attorney will take part in the festivities.

Friday, May 2, marks the sixth annual Atticus Finch Day, where local attorneys will make the symbolic gesture of wearing the seersucker suits as an ode to the iconic character from the book and film "To Kill a Mockingbird."

As part of the day, Houston attorney John Raley will be in Bryan. He represented Michael Morton, the falsely imprisoned husband who had been accused of killing wife. With Raley's help, Morton was exonerated after 25 years behind bars. A district attorney was shown to have withheld evidence that proved Morton's innocence.

A social at the Brazos County Administrative Building on Texas Avenue in Bryan will begin on May 2 at 11:30 a.m., with Raley's program starting at noon. The event is open to the public.

Local attorneys Shane Phelps and Philip Banks created Atticus Finch Day as a way to not only sport Finch's signature attire, but to remind the legal community of their obligations to fight for justice, and do to so ethically and by following their principles.

Long seen as one of great heroes literature and the silver screen, Finch -- a widowed father of two young kids in Alabama -- defended African American Tom Robinson against a rape charge, an alleged crime against a white woman that Robinson had not committed.