Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP

Professional Details

Joi L. Morris, Senior Counsel

Joi Morris is Senior Counsel in our Los Angeles office.  She has represented businesses of all sizes, charitable organizations, individuals, and trusts in complex litigation in both state and federal courts.  A graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, Joi began her legal career at an international law firm.  Her career has been consistently marked by a commitment to pro bono work and service to nonprofit organizations. 

Ms. Morris has a deep expertise in medical research grant contracts, nonprofit governance, organizational planning, reasonable compensation, fundraising compliance, and all matters relating to tax exempt public charities and private foundations. She also serves as Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary of HeritX, a nonprofit organization focused on research to prevent inherited cancer, which she co-founded in 2015.  She is a frequent speaker on topics related to nonprofit governance, inherited cancers, and research advocacy.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • HeritX, Co-Founder | Board of Trustees, Corporate Secretary | 2015-present | Senior Vice President | 2015-present
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure | Advocate in Science | 2009-present 
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute | PCORNet Data Privacy Task Force | 2014
  • Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered – FORCE | Board of Directors | Vice President and Corporate Secretary | 2012-2014
  • Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered – FORCE | Los Angeles Outreach Coordinator | 2007-2013
  • Leo Baeck Temple | Board of Trustees | 2000-2003, 2011-2013
  • The Wexner Foundation | Wexner Heritage Fellowship | 2009-2011
  • Leo Baeck Temple | Youth Education Committee | 2002-2009 | Chair | 2003-2006


Representative Clients and Matters

  • Successful plaintiff’s verdict in a commercial lender liability and fraud trial.
  • Represented successor trustee in a dispute between trust and beneficiaries regarding beneficiaries’ use of trust real property that was resolved through mediation.
  • Successful defense judgement in a complex commercial investment fraud trial involving the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 for a large brokerage firm.
  • Formation of HeritX, a 501(c)(3) public charity.  Representative activities have included applications for state and federal tax exempt status, governance and organizational structure, domestic and international research grant contracts, protection of intellectual property, state fundraising registration and compliance, audit, preparation of annual IRS Form 990 and maintenance of tax exempt status, state corporate and tax filings and compliance, and employment contracts.
  • Successful consolidation of multiple investment fraud claims under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 in multiple jurisdictions into a single class action removed to federal district court.
  • Successful pro bono representation of low-income tenants in an action against a landlord for dangerous premises that included pursuing return of defendant’s fraudulently conveyed assets through bankruptcy court to enforce and collect a multimillion-dollar judgement.  



  • “Positive Results: Making the Best Decisions When You’re at High Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer” with Ora Karp Gordon, MD | Prometheus Books, New York, New York