The Supreme Court said McMorrow wrote 225 majority opinions and an additional 85 separate concurring and dissenting opinions. She wrote a 1997 opinion holding that limits on non-economic lawsuit damages for people injured through negligence were unconstitutional. McMorrow cited the case as an example of her desire to promote "the common good" as a judge.
She also used frequent speaking appearances to encourage lawyers to serve the poor. During her tenure as chief justice, the court raised the fee attorneys pay for licensure, Tybor said. Those funds — more than $2 million per year — help legal aid organizations serve low-income residents.
And although McMorrow said at the time of her 2006 retirement that she was proud of her accomplishments, she also told The Associated Press she never was trying to be "a first."
"I was just trying to do the best I could," she said. "I just thought this was my duty."
McMorrow is survived by her daughter, Mary Ann, and her sister, Frances. Arrangements were pending Sunday.