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Michael T. Murphy

Partner
+1.713.815.7353
Fax +1.713.815.7301
Michael Murphy concentrates his practice on a broad range of energy and complex commercial disputes. He also has significant experience in the defense of toxic tort (including claims of asbestos and benzene exposure), environmental, and catastrophic event litigation. Mr. Murphy has significant trial experience, having served as first and second chair in multiple jury trials, arbitrations, bench trials, and administrative hearings.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Murphy was a litigator at an international law firm headquartered in Houston. In addition, he was a judicial intern for the Honorable Vanessa Gilmore of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Achievements

  • Selected to the Texas Rising Stars List, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2016

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member: Houston Bar Association; American Bar Association Litigation Section; Houston Young Lawyers Association; Defense Research Institute
  • 2013 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow
  • United Way Young Leaders
  • Admitted to State Bar Pro Bono College, 2007
  • Former Ambassador: Greater Houston Partnership
  • Graduate: United Way Project Blueprint Class XXX
  • Fellow: Texas Bar Foundation

Energy Litigation 

  • Successfully defended a large midstream company in class action arising from a crude oil spill; suit involved claims of strict liability for ultra-hazardous activity, violations of the Oil Pollution Act, trespass, negligence, negligence per se, public nuisance, continuing private nuisance, and a prayer for permanent injunction
  • Represented the purchaser of a natural gas storage facility in a dispute arising from misrepresentations made in connection with the acquisition; obtained favorable pre-suit settlement
  • Represented an exploration and production company in a dispute arising from loss of well in the course of well completion activities
  • Advised a private equity portfolio company concerning litigation matters in connection with its acquisition of an international exploration and production company
  • Represented upstream and midstream energy clients in disputes involving the Texas Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act
  • Represented a midstream oil and gas company in multiple personal injury disputes arising from a fire and explosion that occurred at a midpoint pump station

Commercial Litigation 

  • Represented an industrial air supplier in multiple disputes arising from its customer bulk purchase agreements
  • Defended a former light heavyweight boxing champion in a contractual dispute brought by a purported advisor
  • Defended a movie producer in two-week jury trial against breach of contract and business tort claims by a co-investor/lead actor arising from a failed movie venture
  • Obtained take-nothing summary judgment on behalf of an international automobile manufacturer in a suit arising from allegations of breach of contract, violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act; in subsequent jury trial, obtained full recovery of all attorneys’ fees on DTPA counterclaim (first-chair trial attorney)
  • Obtained take-nothing judgment on behalf of an international automobile manufacturer in AAA arbitration arising from allegations of breach of contract and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (first-chair trial attorney)
  • Represented an international automobile manufacturer in two administrative hearings before State Office of Administrative Hearings; both matters were settled on terms favorable to the client following cross-examination of claimants (first-chair trial attorney)

Environmental/Toxic Tort Litigation

  • Represented oil and gas companies in multiple lawsuits pending in Texas MDL arising from alleged occupational exposure to asbestos
  • Defended a Fortune 100 oil and gas company in multiple lawsuits arising from alleged occupational exposure to benzene and related products
  • Defended clients in multiple matters pending in Texas MDL involving allegations of harmful exposure to silica
  • Defended a midstream oil and gas company against claims arising from alleged exposure to hydrogen sulfide during work-over operations; obtained non-suit of all claims prior to hearing on motion for summary judgment
  • Represented a chemical manufacturer in a mass action brought by a gasoline retailer arising from leaks from underground storage tanks

Construction Litigation

  • Defended an engineering and construction firm as third party in a dispute between arefiner and pipe fabricator arising from refinery expansion

Other Litigation

  • Represented a mechanical pump seal manufacturer in a copyright and trade secrets lawsuit arising from the misappropriation of its mechanical drawings by a competitor in connection with a third-party bid process
  • Defended the former chief executive of an offshore seismic company in a lawsuit brought by a former company for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of covenant not to compete, breach of nondisclosure agreement, and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Member of team that obtained summary judgment on behalf of a media conglomerate and its subsidiary in a defamation action brought by a record promoter arising from a nationally televised broadcast and related commercial advertisements

Pro Bono Matters

  • Successfully represented a Muslim asylum-seeker in obtaining asylum from India on account of religious persecution (first-chair trial attorney)
  • Represented an adult daycare center in administrative licensure proceedings, including a two-day administrative hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (first-chair trial attorney)
  • Tried more than fifteen jury trials to verdict as a volunteer prosecutor for the City of Houston
  • Represented multiple pro bono clients in family law disputes referred via the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program