John Morrison, 50, was allegedly assaulted in Glasgow's city centre before he was discovered lying in the street in the early hours of Saturday.
He was found on Argyle Street at the junction of Dunlop Street at around 12.40am.
He was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where he later died.
Darren Murphy, 25, entered no plea or declaration at Glasgow Sheriff Court to the charge of assault to severe injury and was released on bail.
Tributes have been paid to the former Liberal Democrat leader of East Dunbartonshire Council.
Deputy leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Alistair Carmichael who is also MP for Orkney and Shetland met Mr Morrison as a student at Glasgow University. He said: "John Morrison's sudden and tragic death has shocked all those who knew him. For me he was not just a political colleague but a close friend whom I had first met when we were both students at Glasgow University.
"My sadness today is lifted only by many happy memories I shall always have of the fun times we shared. I am sure that this will be true of John's many friends today. My thoughts are with his partner David, his daughter Kirsty and the rest of his family."
Charles Kennedy MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said: "This shockingly sad news sees the sudden passing of a great character and a memorable personality within the party.
"I first became friends with John at Glasgow University and was pleased when he succeeded me there as chairman of the Social Democrats in university union debating.
"He went on to make his mark both in the law and local government. It was a great pity that he was never able to deploy his talents at Holyrood.
"Our thoughts go out to his family at this time of such acute distress."
Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire said: "This is shocking news and my heart goes out to John's partner, family and friends.
"John was a skilful debater and effective leader of East Dunbartonshire Council. He dedicated decades of his life to public service, both in elected politics and at Glasgow City Council. This is a tragic loss."