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J. Scott Murphy Esq.Partner Profiles

James "Scott" Murphy
Home Office: East Hanover, New Jersey

(973) 509-7500 (Ext. 2236)
(973) 509-0414
Scott.Murphy@GarrityGraham.Com;; JSM@GarrityGraham.Com
or Click here to email me

Since 1981 Scott Murphy has worked in the insurance industry/profession as an Adjuster, TPA, Claims Manager, Litigation Claims Manager, In-House Trial Defense and Coverage Counsel, Panel Trial Defense and Coverage Counsel, Risk Manager, Underwriting Consultant, Local / Regional/National Trial Counsel, Regional and National Coordinating Counsel and participated with Underwriters (both domestic and international) in the development of insurance policy and endorsement language.  At present, Scott Murphy is the firm’s Litigation Defense Managing Partner working extensively with our domestic and international underwriting/claims clients in Casualty; Construction (defect or injury); Fire Loss and Injury Cases including explosions, detonations, deflagrations, accelerants and other burn or fire related cases; Financial Lines; General Liability; Premises Liability; Professional Liability and E & O and D & O; Hotel/Motel Hospitality Programs including Dram Shop; Recreational Vehicle (snow mobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, Water Craft, Boats), Construction/Warehouse/Dock/Farm Equipment, Retail and Consumer Products, and Brown/Blue Water Marine, Trucking & Transportation cases including cargo, container and Port incidents;   Product Liability, and Employment Practices Litigation

In the management of our insurance defense practice, we employ experienced attorneys providing effective and efficient litigation practices under the direct supervision of Mr. Murphy.  While many firms focus exclusively on the trial defense result, we take pride in a broader perspective including business management, guideline compliance, being a true partner with our institutional clients, and creating value in excess of our excellent litigation evaluation, handling and results at trial.   This results from a clear understanding and appreciation of the needs of our carrier and claims department clients - including guideline compliance, litigation and costs management, and timely and effective reporting and budgeting.  We work hard to assist our carriers and clients in bringing down overall litigation expenses as a function of their average costs per file.  We are creative and aggressive in seeking out ways to look outside the box for unique and appropriate ways to quickly evaluate and approach litigation and cost management while balancing that with the need for aggressive and successful defense litigation.  In concert with our institutional clients and carriers we perform year end performance self-evaluations and coordinate with clients regarding the sharing of metrics or information about costs and length of open files and the balance between working files for trial defense and timely business resolution.  We prefer relationships with our insurance clients that include the sharing of evaluations and metrics and the developmental improvement of the product we provide to our carrier clients from year to year.  In addition, we work extensively with our clients (and the carrier’s insureds) to develop a relationship that significantly improves the defense result and early resolution evaluation and, as compared with our Law Firm completion, our defense work fosters the relationship between Insurers and Insured and results in greater renewals for the carrier client.

We work with a large number of individual clients and corporate entities which purchase insurance or participate in programs of insurance on a routine basis and we endeavor to introduce our different category of clients so that the purchase and sale of insurance products is symbiotic among our clients and contacts.  This direct activity is informally fostered through regular associations with groups such as CLM, IAPP, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Professional Liability Underwriting  Society (PLUS) and various other claims and law firm networks, alliances, groups and associations.  We work hard to stay abreast of insurance industry products and changes - as well as the individual product lines offered by our carrier clients and programs.

On matters of complex litigation, we are specialists in large-case, extensive documentation, regional and national product/professional, construction and property litigation, and commercial business litigation.  This includes specialization in cyber, technology and computer exposures, drone exposures, Privacy Protection exposures and the use of E Discovery options. We are able to manage e-discovery costs as a component of overall litigation costs and help balance cost/benefit and improve results while reducing carrier and client loss adjustment expenses.     

We have also worked with various institutional and large insured clients in the tailored development of customized fee arrangements and programs.  
80% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Areas of Practice:

Business Owners/Operator Liability and Premises Liability

Representation of Homeowners, Property Owners, Landlords, Tenants, Manufacturers, Contractors, Retailers, Wholesalers, Property Managers or Homeowner Associations, Skilled Nursing or Assisted Living Homes, Hotels, Motels, vacation Resorts, Leisure & Hospitality, Dram Shop Liability, Grocery Stores, Convenience Stores, Shopping Malls, Big Box Stores, Health Clubs, Beauty and Tanning Salons, Health Clubs, Car Washes, Machine Shops, Industrial Shops, Restaurants, Bars, Taverns, Night Clubs, Gentlemen’s Establishments, Commercial or Industrial Business Operations, Sporting and Concert Venues, half way or rehabilitation facilities and prisons, and Amusement Park operations.

Burns and Catastrophic Injury or Damages Cases

Trial defense representation of defendants in Accelerant burn cases; Chemical burn cases, Clothing burn cases; Equipment burn cases, Electrical burn cases, Explosion or Detonation investigations and personal injury burn cases, Plumbing or Water burn cases, Product Liability burn cases, Beauty and Salon burn cases, and Playground Accidents and burn cases;

We also represent defendants in significant injury cases including those involving brain damage (closed or open) injuries, limb loss, vision loss, hearing loss, permanent disfigurement and all other life altering permanent or residual injury cases.

Our experience includes complex insurance coverage issues related to vertical and horizontal coverage trees, multiple policy disputes, allocation and stacking, additional insured, work product and other provisions and endorsements that affect significant injury cases and require sophisticated knowledge in order to appropriately handle such cases in practice areas such as Construction site accidents, Premises accidents, Products accidents, Commercial Equipment and Industrial Equipment accidents, Medical and Allied Professional or HPL accidents, and Trucking and Transportation accidents.

Construction Related Liability

Representation of Architects, Bridge Painters and Asbestos Remediation, Bridge Building and Repair Contractors, Contractors, Construction Managers, Concrete and Foundation Contractors, Developers, Earth Movers, Engineers, Excavators, Design Professionals, Inspectors, Equipment Operators, Electrical and Plumbing Contractors, Framing Contractors, Health & Safety Managers, Roofing Contractors, Window Manufacturers and Installers, Scaffold Operators, Construction Site Suppliers, Property Owners, Welders; and Insurers and Insurance Programs including CGL, PL, OCP, OCIP, Wrap-Up Programs, Completed Operations, Equipment, etc.

Our experience includes complex insurance coverage issues related to vertical and horizontal coverage trees, multiple policy disputes between owners, contractors, sub-contractors, Inspectors, Suppliers, individual policies versus programs of insurance, allocation and stacking disputes , additional insured, work product and other provisions and endorsements that affect significant injury cases in the Construction Liability context.

Data, Information and Privacy Protection

Scott has been in the forefront of managing risks and defending litigation arising from the ever more complex electronic storage and transmission of data and personal or protected information – representing and defending Manufacturers, Distributors, Employers, Health Care Facilities,  Health Care Professionals, Attorneys, Accountants, Realtors, Engineers, Excavators, Contractors, Truckers, Boat and Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers such as Snowmobiles, Watercraft, Commercial Vehicles Manufacturers and Operators such as Tractors, Loaders, Cranes, Bobcats, etc.; Licensed Professionals, Officers & Directors, Auditors, Insurers, Self-Insurer or Insureds and Captives, Claims departments, Third Party Administrators and Insurance Agents, MGS’s or Brokers.  Scott is an active Member in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, International Association of Defense Counsel, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, PLUS and CLM and often works with members of ADPO, ISO, PLUS and various private or governmental entities. Scott is also an experienced Electronic Discovery attorney working with clients on ESI discovery or discovery problem prevention which dovetails with his data and privacy protection expertise.

Drones and Unmanned Aircraft – Insurance Policy and Program Development or Interpretation As Well As Civil Liability Exposures or Professional Liability exposures or Privacy Issues

Scott is active in the developing litigation defense of those involved in the use of unmanned aircraft or Drones – assisting individuals, farmers, security professionals, investigators, maintenance professionals, property owners, business owners and insurance companies facing these exposures   The design, manufacture, distribution and use of unmanned aircraft or drones – with or without cameras or other devices – is growing faster than the FAA and civil laws can adapt.  Litigation/Claim exposures impacting commercial general liability policies and involving  bodily injury or property damage - not to mention privacy concerns – is becoming more prevalent and we have remained in the forefront.  In addition, we have seen or evaluated exposures under Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) policies for owner/operators, employers, software manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, and distributors of these relatively inexpensive products.  There are also exposures for Directors/Officers/Management. These critical issues for individuals, entities, insurers, and even reinsurers require an experienced, adaptive and creative defense counsel and we will continue to offer our quality services in this growing field.

We have also participated in various academic and professional group discussions and writings on unique problems including how the military and civilian police will deal with Drones.  Much like the problems we have encountered defending manufacturers and distributors of toy guns and play toys – similar issues are developing in the unmanned aircraft arena as to design, communication, capability, color and other issues.  We are pleased to assist you in a lawsuit, claim or consulting capacity.

Education Related Liability

Scott routinely represents Camps and Youth Programs (public, private, non-profit); Day Care Centers, Elementary & Secondary Schools; High Schools, and Colleges/Universities in a variety of litigation including operations, injury claims, contract disputes, employment related litigation, Board member E & O and D & O cases; Insurance policy/program disputes or interpretation (DJ or Bad Faith included), Molestation, Rape and Security suits; Security and Privacy litigation, School Board Legal Liability cases; and suits over Transcripts, Recommendations/Guidance Counseling and Records.  We also prepare Contract Handbooks and Forms.

Electronic Discovery – ESI

Scott has been defending individuals, businesses and insurers in complex cases involving requests for electronic discovery for many years and is a regular speaker or writer on the topic.  Whether the task is as local NJ trial defense counsel or as a regional or national trial counsel, or as a special consulting Electronic Discovery counsel, pleased reach out to Scott.  

Employment Related Liability

We handle all forms of Employer Legal Liability exposures including Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, breach of contract, competition and confidentiality disputes, defamation or privacy claims, Law Against Discrimination claims, CEPA and related or similar employment law claims. EEOC claims and defendant representation. EPLI policies and insurance programs. Insurance Coverage Disputes. Constitutional or Civil Rights lawsuits. We represent businesses, commercial operations, associations, individual supervisors or employers, non-profit companies, governmental agencies, law firms, claims operations, brokerage operations, retailers, service industry employers, manufacturing employers, educational employers, family business employers, and small and large employers of all types.

Financial Lines Liability; Security, Cyber, Media, Privacy Liability

Representation of ACA members, Banks, Credit Unions, Collectors, Finance Companies and Credit Card Issuers, Lenders, Loan Servicers, Third Party Debt Collectors, FDCPA class action defendants; Trust Managers, Fiduciaries, Cash Handlers and Transporters including Fidelity and Crime exposures. Litigation Defense as well as Insurance Policy Interpretation and Coverage Disputes. Representation of clients exposed to security, cyber-security, data breach or dissemination and privacy or data privacy exposures. Through consultation, litigation representation and insurance coverage analysis, we provide specialized legal representation in what is a developing field. We remain active in associations like IADC, FDCC and IAPP in this area of practice.

Professional Liability Litigation

We represent all forms of licensed professionals including: Accountants Professional Liability; Allied Professional Liability; Ambulance and EMS Professional Liability; Business and Insurance Agents and Brokers Liability; Counseling Professional Liability (counsellor, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselling, guidance counsellors); Hospital Professional Liability; Medical Stop Loss; Dental Professional Liability; Vision and Medical Professional Liability; Legal Professional Liability; Pharmacist Professional Liability; Technology and Security or Cyber Security Liability (including cyber and privacy, data risk, communications service provider, law firm, computer and software and peripherals and device manufacturer liability).

Products Liability Litigation

Product Design and Product Manufacturing/Supplier Liability: We represent product designers, manufacturers and suppliers/distributors of: Appliances, Amusement Park Rides, Athletic Equipment or Property, Beauty & Hygiene, Beverages & Food; Boiler and Machinery, Commercial or Consumer Equipment; Chemicals-Accelerants and Containers; Explosion or Combustion Cases; Clothing; Chain Saws; Electronics, Elevators and Escalators; Furniture; Heating Pads or Blankets; Medical Device, Rental or Mobile Equipment; Roller Coaster design, manufacture and set-up; Spas or bath equipment; Sports Equipment; Pharmaceuticals; Tractors-Bobcats-Excavators-and other industrial or commercial equipment;

Specialty Liability Litigation

Representation of owners/operators of Antiques and Collector Cars; Fine Art; Conversion; Cargo and Shipping; Fiduciary Losses; Recreational or Home Equipment including snowmobiles, snow skis, snow boards, watercraft, boats, jet skis; ATV’s, motorcycles or scooters, farm equipment, chain saws and leaf blowers, snow blowers, sky diving; parachutes, horseback riding or equine activities, golf courses, sports equipment, batting cages, children’s play equipment or playgrounds, vessel manufacturing, amateur clubs and associations, concert halls and performances, fireworks and firearms.


We represent defendants in litigation involving: Automobiles, Buses, Cargo claims, Container claims, Terminal disputes, Trucking and Motor Carrier accidents, Commercial Automobile or Mobile Equipment, Rental vehicle accidents, Limo and Taxi accidents, Delivery vehicle accidents, Trailer accidents including loading and unloading, Bobtail exposures; Warehouses; Garage Keepers; Blue and Brown Water Marine cases; Private Fleet cases; Short and Long Hauler cases; Mass Transit cases; Commercial and School Buss accidents; and Railway or FELA accidents.

Bar Admissions:

California, 1985
New Jersey, 1994
U.S. District Court - Central District of California - 1985
U.S. District Court - Eastern District of California - 1985
U.S. District Court - Northern District of California - 1985
U.S. District Court - Southern District of California - 1985
U.S. District Court - District of New Jersey – 1994

U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 2009

U.S. Court of Appeals – Third Circuit - 1998

U.S. Court of Appeals – Second Circuit - 2009


Pepperdine University School of Law

The Johns Hopkins University

Professional Associations and Memberships:

Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA)
Council on Litigation Management (CLM)
International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS
Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF)


Sigma Nu



The law offices of Garrity, Graham, Murphy, Garofalo & Flinn provide legal services throughout the State of New Jersey including Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Union, Middlesex and Passaic counties. Our attorneys specialize in the areas of Automobile Defense Litigation, Construction Law, Corporate Defense, Employment-Related Practices, Environmental Law, Toxic Tort and Multi-District Litigation, Estates and Trusts, Family Law and Divorce, Healthcare Malpractice, Hospital Professional Liability, Insurance and Reinsurance Coverage and Litigation, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device, Premises and Security Liability, Product Liability, Professional Liability, Real Estate and Transportation Law