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Michael Murphy is a board certified construction lawyer who focuses his practice on defects, design claims, delay, disruption and acceleration claims, lien foreclosures, and arbitration on behalf of owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors. He reviews and draft construction contacts. He advises clients in the construction industry on OSHA compliance issues, workplace accident and fatality investigations, and contest of citations through trial. He also practices in the area of commercial litigation.

Michael has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (Structures Emphasis) and a Master of Science (Structures and Foundations). He is a registered professional engineer in Florida. He has a wide range of experience in all phases of design and construction, including industrial and commercial structural design, fabrication and inspection, and roadway and bridge construction and inspection. He worked as an engineer for 10 years prior to practicing law and has applied that experience to advantage in his law practice. He often focuses on the technical and engineering aspects of cases working closely with retained engineering experts to develop a strong presentation of the client’s case and using engineering insight to establish the weaknesses in other party’s case. He brings his real world experience and his 15 years of litigation experience together to prepare and negotiate contracts focusing on the most important areas related to contract performance and protection of the client’s position if the project would end up in litigation.


  • Construction litigation, contract drafting and review
  • OSHA advice and litigation
  • Commercial litigation
  • Global energy and infrastructure
  • Catastrophe planning and response



  • Rodriguez v. HDR Engineering, Inc. Lead trial counsel in a four week jury trial obtaining a defense verdict for a company performing construction engineering and inspection work. The claim was related to alleged soil settlement and defective inspection of earth work and structures on a water transmission pipeline project in the Florida Keys. Wide-ranging work related to examining and presenting at trial the various design standards, the requirements of the plans and specifications, the interpretation of the design requirements, and the respective project duties of the designer, contractor, inspector and maintenance contractor.
  • CityCenter Construction and Lien Master Litigation. Represented the Owner against the general contractor and lienors on the multibillion dollar CityCenter project in Las Vegas. Focused on the structural engineering aspects of the construction defects and claimed design defects related to the Harmon Tower. Worked closely with the owner’s retained experts related to the investigation and development of testing protocols and expert reports. Deep investigation into the facts surrounding the conceptual design, design development and design and structural analysis performed by the structural engineer. Investigation and fact and expert development of the requirements of earthquake engineering including methods of structural analysis, building code requirements, and development and changes to the building codes for earthquake resistance requirements. Analysis of the reinforced concrete fabrication and construction techniques for the earthquake resistant features of the building.
  • CalOSHA v. TTM. Represented at final hearing a manufacturer of electronic components for a citation from CalOSHA related to employee injury at its manufacturing plant.
  • Secretary of Labor v. Post Buckley Schuh and Jernigan, Inc. Lead trial counsel defending an engineering services company in an OSHA citation related to a fatality on a jobsite in Texas.
  • Secretary of Labor v. DeWitt Excavating, Inc. Lead trial counsel representing an underground and utility contractor in a contest of OSHA citation related to trenching for a utility installation project.
  • Residences at Ocean Grande, Inc. v. Executive Drywall, US Gypsum, et. al. Represented the developer of a high-rise condominium related to claims of defective drywall and mold issues.
  • Represented a major tobacco company in numerous cases in state courts throughout Florida as a result of the Florida Supreme Court's decertification of a class of plaintiffs, in its decision in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 845 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006), seeking damages for injuries allegedly caused by smoking cigarettes.
  • Acted as member of team that represented MAT Concessionaire, LLC and its sponsors, Meridiam Infrastructure Fund and Bouygues Travaux Publics, S.A., in the Port of Miami Tunnel project, one of the first greenfield public-private partnerships in the United States.
  • Smith & Company v. FDOT, 2 cases, Hernando County, Hillsborough County. Acted as second chair trial counsel for the Florida Department of Transportation for two cases that were tried to a jury. In the first, FDOT obtained an eve-of-trial summary judgment on the contractor's claim for over $10 million. In the second, FDOT obtained a jury verdict, defeating the contractor's claims for lost profit due to impaired bonding capacity and a measured mile claim, totaling over $40 million with interest exposure.
  • Secretary of Labor v. Bridges Hauling & Grading, Inc. Lead trial counsel in contest of OSHA citation resulting in verdict for an underground utility and site work contractor on some of the items related to the excavation standard and a subsequent award of attorney's fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act.
  • Secretary of Labor v. Davis Brothers Construction Co. Lead trial counsel in contest of OSHA citation for a shell contractor related to the fall protection standard resulting in verdict for the contractor at trial.
  • Hillsborough County School Board v. M.C and L.R. on behalf of M.C v. Hillsborough County School Board. Acted as pro bono lead trial counsel and finding for the defense in an administrative proceeding pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Acted as lead counsel in subsequent federal court Action to recover attorney's fees and costs which were awarded totaling over $122,000.
  • LTJG, U.S. Naval Reserve, 1986-1989
  • Professional Engineer, Florida

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2009-2023
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Product Liability Practice Group of the Year," 2011, 2021
  • Team Member, Daily Business Review's "Real Estate Litigation Department of the Year," 2015
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Employment Practice Group of the Year," 2011 and 2013
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Member, Construction Industry Forum, 1998-Present
    • Member, Division 6
      • Chair, 2005-2007
      • Steering Committee, 2001-2005
  • Member, Chi Epsilon
  • Member, Leadership Orlando Class 78
  • Member, Tau Beta Pi


  • J.D., Rutgers School of Law - Camden, 1998
  • M.S., Structures and Foundations, University of Central Florida, 1992
  • B.S., Civil Engineering (Structures), Drexel University, 1988
  • Florida