James Scott Murphy

James Scott Murphy

James “Scott” Murphy

Roseland, New Jersey

(973) 576-8017

(973) 509-0414

Email: scott.murphy@garritygraham.com | jsm@garritygraham.com | scott.murphy@jhu.edu


For over three decades I have been representing and worked with claims, risk management/transfer, insurance programs/underwriting/coverage and third party claims professionals providing effective and cost-efficient trial defense for academic institutions, associations, businesses, educational groups, employees, employers, security guards and extra-duty police officers, half-way or prison associated facilities/programs, individuals, industrial and commercial businesses, property owners, professionals (accountants, architects, agents, brokers, designers, doctors, engineers, inventors, lawyers, nurses, security services providers), Shopping Malls and retailers, maintenance professionals, manufacturers, Hotel, Resort or Restaurant businesses (including dram shop matters), Amusement Park and Sports Venue operations, ATV/Snowmobile/MC/Sports equipment and Boating manufacturers, suppliers, construction contractors and subcontractors, property managers, first-responders and governmental entities.

In addition to panel approved claims/risk management/underwriting and vigorous litigation/trial representation my experience also includes private retention as an outside general counsel or consultant, regional trial counsel or national trial counsel.  I have handled litigated matters in many of the States.   As a consequence, I have had the privilege of representing and working for some of the largest international/national companies, manufacturers, property owners/operators, or businesses with involvement in litigation trial defense, litigation/risk management as well as insurance and reinsurance programs.  Over the years I have also been directly and indirectly involved with many class action, multi-district or repetitive litigation cases/programs including the recent increase in False Claims Act and employment related matters. But my representation is not limited to large national/international clients – but regularly includes representing a variety of smaller, local or regional businesses, individuals, premises operators or corporations.

My experience also includes working with many domestic and international CGL and PL matters as well as CD/D&O/FL/Marine/Trucking and Transportation and custom primary policy programs and forms, excess and umbrella programs and forms, specialty insurance programs and forms, Joint Insurance Fund programs, self-insurance programs or forms, captive insurance programs and forms, risk avoidance or transfer programs, claims and risk management programs, in-house legal and claims operations, outside counsel legal and claims operations, and third party or broker administrator operations.

My retention has often been directly by the individual or business that is involved in litigation (locally, regionally or nationally) or through its insurer or insurance program (we are panel approved by many domestic and international underwriters) or third party administrators that seek to provide their insureds/clients with experienced trial defense counselthat develop and maintain a professional relationship with the insured resulting in significantly higher rates of renewal for the underwriter, lower LAE and Loss Ratios, and greater satisfaction for the defendant/insured.

At Garrity Graham Murphy Garofalo & Flinn we take pride in providing customized, individual, personal and professional legal representation that is respectful of the business or profession that the defendant engages in while managing the defense appropriately for both insured and insurer all while obtaining excellent trial defense results.

With regard to experience working as an in-house claims or legal professional, including as outside general counsel handling such tasks, a general summary of my responsibilities includes:

Insurance Industry Experience

At various points in my career I have been employed in-house at an insurance/claims entity and managed within claims departments, in-house legal departments or paralegal teams inter-phasing with underwriting, marketing, reinsurance and corporate management.  This has included responsibilities such as hiring, organizing, managing/supervising within sophisticated domestic and London market operations handling a variety of Casualty (Personal Lines & Commercial Lines), Professional Liability, Maritime, Excess and Surplus, Construction, Product Liability, Health Care Professional/Health Care Facility, Financial Lines, D&O and E&O,  EPLI/Employment/Labor/FCA claims and litigation, and a variety of collection and Financial/Fidelity Lines.  This includes municipalities, school and school districts, captives, self-insureds, TPAs or MGAs, large SIR insureds and Joint Insurance Funds.

In addition to hands on litigation and claim handling responsibilities, my experience also includes  supervision of as many as 40 professionals spread throughout multiple states and countries and often bridging claims, legal, underwriting, program development, excess and reinsurance, third party administrator oversight, defense panel counsel oversight, insured and SIR management and occasionally audit or due diligence evaluations.

Additional responsibilities as in-house claims and litigation management regularly included:

  • Managing a team of up to 30 claims professionals; directly handling and/or managing claims involving complex litigation defense or coverage issues on multiple general and professional lines of business.
  • Formulating claims and litigation strategies, assigning, directing and managing in-house and outside counsel in defense or coverage litigation as well as claim professionals.
  • Managing discovery issues and responses, including opportunities to ensure consistency as well as identifying relevant and responsive information as well as ensuring proper and adequate preparation of company witnesses for deposition and trial testimony.
  • Participating in critical court proceedings, including mediation and settlement conferences, as well as trials and appeals.
  • Providing guidance to claims disciplines regarding defense or coverage issues; Auditing of panel counsels and TPAs.
  • Managing defense or coverage counsel and litigation costs as well as collaborating and working with the litigation and vendor management teams ensuring cost management and the development and enhancement of the counsel panels.
  • Collaborating across disciplines and business units and overseeing operational and errors & omissions issues arising from claims handling, third party administrator or run-off teams, London or Bermuda offices/teams, the underwriting and reinsurance teams and general corporate management.
  • Supporting actuarial and underwriting inquiries regarding policy construction and drafting, reporting claim trends, data analysis, and risk assessment and risk management. Participated with teams in the creation of custom programs and policy construct or language and also working with insureds to make sure that their contracts and documents supported defense and coverage issues.
  • Extensive communication with insureds, brokers, reinsurers, actuaries and auditors (both external and internal) and fostering a reputation which encouraged renewals and program expansion and associated profits.

Law Firm, In-House Legal Department And Managing Partner Experience

My experience has also included working as an in-house staff insurance defense counsel, outside panel counsel, defense or coverage counsel and also as a Managing Attorney for law firms on the East and West Coast.  These roles included activities including:

  • Managing and Supervising Associates and Junior Partners in the handling of litigation cases and/or insurance coverage matters for captive layers, retention layers, insured layers, companies/businesses, individuals, Insurance companies, Claims Administrators, Joint Insurance Funds, Self-Insureds, brokers, programs, reinsurers and underwriters in a variety of casualty, commercial, construction, dram shop, employment liability, hospitality liability, professional liability, amusement park or sports/recreational equipment litigation, combustion and detonation cases, serious burn and catastrophic injury cases, industrial accidents, personal injury matters, maritime (blue and brown water) matters, premises and security liability matters, trucking and transportation, product liability, financial lines and specialty underwriting areas.
  • Direct handling of litigation in state and federal courts nationwide from initial assignment through trial (and appellate levels, if required) – as well as applicable indemnification or insurance coverage issues;
  • Established record of exceptional litigation defense resultswhile maintaining efficient litigation and loss/risk management controls – with among the lowest aggregate defense costs within the local legal community; maintained fair and effective defense hourly rates; Complied with a variety of Litigation Guidelines.
  • Developing and supervising claims and/or litigation within risk/case management and Litigation or billing Guideline compliance;
  • Developing and maintaining an effective and vigorous defenseof the client/insured in litigation – whether an individual case/claim or a series of regional or national litigations of a repetitive nature;
  • Local Trial Counsel; Regional Coordinating/Trial Counsel or National Trial Counsel for major Defendants;
  • Litigation in state courts, federal courts, appellate courts, arbitration panels, mediation forums, mock jury exercises; all done nationwide;
  • Active Bar Licenses in California and New Jersey and under application for Massachusetts and New York.
  • Maintain and improve client and carrier loss ratios and insurance program management fostering improved renewal and risk management/loss rates for both Insured and Insurer;
  • Experienced with regional and national counsel and risk management roles – participating as requested in corporate boards, safety and catastrophic emergency response teams and governance boards directing programs and risk/exposure management and privacy protection;
  • Assisting clients with in house claims, litigation and counsel operations as well as with outside counsel or third party administrators/brokers.
  • Experienced with sophisticated layers of risk management including deductibles, retentions, fronting operations, primary and excess insurance layers, joint insurance fund layers of non-insurance and various forms of reinsurance;
  • Extensive communication with insureds, brokers, reinsurers, actuaries and auditors (both external and internal) and fostering a reputation which encouraged renewals, program expansion, reduced LAEs and increased profits while protecting the insured company’s reputation and achieving superior litigation results from the claim level through the appellate level.

In recent years my practice has expanded to include retention as a professional mediator/facilitator or private Judge/Arbitrator in cases nationwide in the Areas of Practice listed below. If you are tired of excessive mediation charges by national or regional mediation groups and local retired Judges – or the often inexperienced or ineffective local or court panel mediators, please give me a call. No exposure is too large or too small.

80% Of Practice Devoted To Litigation
20% Of Practice Devoted To Coverage, Insurance Programs And Litigation Or Claims Risk Management

General Areas Of Practice:

Business Owners/Operator Liability And Premises Liability

Homeowners, Property Owners, Landlords, Manufacturers, Contractors, Retailers, Wholesalers, Property Managers or Associations, Skilled Nursing or Assisted Living Homes, Hotels, Motels, Leisure & Hospitality, Dram Shop Liability, Grocery Stores, Convenience Stores, Shopping Malls, 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, and Amusement Park operations. 

Burns And Catastrophic Injury Or Damages Cases

Accelerant Burn cases; Chemical Burn Cases, Clothing burn cases; Equipment Burn Cases, Electrical Burn Cases, Explosion or Detonation Burn Cases, Factory and Warehouse Explosion investigations or cases, Plumbing or Water Burn Cases, Product Liability Burn Cases, Beauty and Salon Burn Cases, Playground Accidents and Burn Cases;

Brain injury, limb loss, vision loss, hearing loss, permanent disfigurement and all other life altering permanent or residual injury cases.

Construction Related Liability

Representation of Architects, Bridge Painters, Bridge Contractors, Contractors, Construction Managers, Concrete and Foundation Contractors, Developers, Earth Movers, Engineers, Excavators, Design Professionals, 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; Insurers and Insurance Programs including CGL, PL, OCP, OCIP, Wrap-Up Programs, Completed Operations, Equipment, etc.

Education Related Liability

Camps and Youth Programs (public, private, non-profit); Contracts and Compliance; Day Care Centers or Schools; Elementary & Secondary Schools; Employment Related Liability; E & O and D & O; High Schools, Insurance Policies and Programs; Molestation; Security and Privacy Liability; School Board Legal Liability; Teacher Liability; Transcripts and Records Liability. I handle the defense of False Claims Act and associated Whistleblower Retaliation claims involving federal and/or state allegations brought against academic or scientific research institutions – whether for profit or non-profit.

Employment Related Liability

All forms of Employer Legal Liability exposures including Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Law Against Discrimination claims, CEPA and related claims. EPLI policies and programs. Insurance Coverage Disputes. Constitutional Discrimination Claims. 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, small and large employers of all types. I also handle the defense of False Claims Act and associated Whistleblower Retaliation claims involving federal and/or state allegations brought against employers in the academic or scientific research institution setting – whether for profit or non-profit. We also perform employer investigations involving discrimination, harassment or False Claims allegations.

Financial Lines Liability

Represent ACA, Banks, Credit Unions, Collectors, Finance Companies and Credit Card Issuers, Lenders, Loan Servicers, Third Party Debt Collectors, FDCPA class action litigation; Trust Managers, Fiduciaries, Cash Handlers and Transporters including Fidelity and Crime exposures. Litigation Defense as well as Insurance Policy Interpretation and Coverage Disputes.

Professional Liability Litigation

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); 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; Appliances, Amusement Park Rides, Athletics, 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 or Product; Rental Equipment; Roller Coaster design, manufacture and set-up; Spas or bath equipment; Sports Equipment; Pharmaceutical; Tractors-Bobcats-Excavators-and other industrial or commercial equipment;

I also handle the defense of False Claims Act claims involving federal and/or state allegations brought against manufacturers, sellers or suppliers to the US government by the USA or Whistleblowers involving either military or other governmental contexts.

Specialty Liability Litigation

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, farm equipment, chain saws and leaf blowers, snow blowers, sky diving; parachutes, horseback riding or equine activities, golf courses, sport equipment, batting cages, vessel manufacturing, amateur clubs and associations, concert halls and performances, fireworks and firearms.


Automobiles, Buses, Cargo claims, Container claims, Terminal disputes, Trucking and Motor Carrier accidents, Commercial Automobile, Rental vehicles accidents, Limo and Taxi accidents, Delivery vehicle accidents, Trailer accidents including loading and unloading, Bobtail exposures; warehouse; Garage Keeper; Blue and Brown Water Marine; Private Fleets; Short and Long Haulers; Mass Transit; Commercial and School Buss accidents; Railway 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
Pro Hoc Admission before most United States District Courts and many State Courts throughout the United States.


Pepperdine University School of Law
The Johns Hopkins University

Professional Associations And Past or Present Memberships:

Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) FDCC) Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
New Jersey Defense Association (NJDA)
Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF)
Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA)


Sigma Nu

Need help with your legal issue? Contact us today.

Over 30 Years Of Litigation Defense

Practice Handling Cases Involving:
  • Business Owners / Operator Liability And Premises Liability
  • Burns And Catastrophic Injury Or Damages Cases
  • Construction Related Liability
  • Education Related Liability
  • Employment Related Liability
  • Financial Lines Liability
  • Professional Liability Litigation
  • Products Liability Litigation
  • Specialty Liability Litigation
  • Transportation