Francis J. Murphy

Francis J. Murphy

Partner
Location:
Wilmington, Delaware
Phone:
302-482-4381
866-939-8100
Fax:
(302) 472-8135
Email:

Frank Murphy is a trial attorney with more than 35 years of litigation experience.  He has tried cases in all of the Trial Courts in Delaware, including the Delaware Superior Court, the Court of Chancery, and the United States District Court.  He earned the highest possible “AV” rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Attorney Peer Review Rating Organization.  In a recent peer review poll, his fellow Delaware attorneys offered the following comments:

“Superb lawyer; exquisite judgment.  The best.”

“An excellent lawyer and of the absolute highest moral and ethical standard.”

“One of the best.”

“Highest caliber attorney.”

“An excellent trial attorney with the highest possible professional and ethical standards.”

COMPLEX LITIGATION AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Mr. Murphy is highly experienced in complex litigation.  He was a lead trial attorney in the two longest and most complex jury trials in Delaware history, the North American Philips and Hercules environmental insurance coverage actions, where the amounts in controversy exceeded $500 million. He also served as the Court-appointed defense coordinator in the Hercules, Burlington Northern, and Monsanto cases, among the largest commercial cases ever filed in Delaware.

Mr. Murphy routinely represents clients in the Complex Commercial Litigation Division of the Delaware Superior Court.  He also serves as Delaware counsel in intellectual property cases in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE, PERSONAL INJURY, AND OTHER LITIGATION

Although Mr. Murphy frequently represents corporate clients, including insurers and policyholders, in a wide array of litigation matters, he also dedicates substantial time to the representation of individual clients with meritorious cases. Mr. Murphy has successfully resolved numerous wrongful death, medical malpractice, insurance bad faith, and products liability cases.

Mr. Murphy's litigation successes for individual clients include:

•  A $2.4 million verdict in Caldwell v. White, a medical malpractice case
•  A $2 million verdict in Rowlands v. Lai, a medical malpractice case
•  A$1.5 million verdict in Fletcher v. Ratcliffe, an auto accident case
•  A confidential settlement in Rowlands v. PHICO, an insurance bad faith case
•  A confidential settlement of an insurance bad faith claim against Harleysville Insurance Company

In addition, Mr. Murphy has obtained confidential settlements in numerous other medical malpractice, nursing home, and personal injury actions, including claims for paralysis, spinal cord injury, severe brain injuries, wrongful death, severe facial and skull injuries, the loss of senses of taste and smell, and vocal cord injuries.

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Since 2007, Mr. Murphy has served as General Counsel to Delaware’s Sustainable Energy Utility, Inc. (“SEU”), a non-profit corporation created by Delaware law.  The SEU operates renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in Delaware, and manages the Solar Renewable Energy Credit Auction in Delaware.   

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND LEGISLATION

Mr. Murphy has served as counsel to both the Delaware State Senate and House of Representatives, and is closely familiar with the legislative process. He has helped to draft a wide array of legislation.  And Mr. Murphy successfully defended the State Senate in a redistricting and Voting Rights Act case that was litigated simultaneously in the Delaware Court of Chancery and the Superior Court.

PUBLIC UTILITY LAW

For more than fifteen years, Mr. Murphy represented the Staff of the Delaware Public Service Commission in various proceedings, including water and wastewater utility regulation, rate proceedings, and natural gas utility regulation, among others.  Mr. Murphy also helped to draft state regulations in several areas of utility regulation.  Presently, Mr. Murphy represents a number of corporate clients in proceedings before the Commission.  

OTHER INTERESTS

Mr. Murphy is an active member of the Litigation Section of the Delaware Bar Association.  Among other projects, he traveled to Moscow as the State Bar's delegate to the "Moscow Conference" the first joint conference between Soviet and American jurists.  Mr. Murphy also served as an expert witness on Delaware law in Barclays Bank v. Broad, a lawsuit in the Queen's Bench Division of England's High Court of Justice.

Mr. Murphy was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law. Admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1977, he served a year's judicial clerkship in the Delaware Superior Court. Mr. Murphy is a frequent lecturer on bad faith and insurance law litigation.  Mr. Murphy holds a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Areas of Practice

  • Litigation
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Medical Malpractice

Bar Admissions

  • Delaware, 1977
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1979
  • U.S. District Court District of Delaware, 1979
  • Supreme Court of Delaware, 1977

Education

  • The Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
    • J.D. - 1977
  • University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1974

Representative Cases

  • Johnson v. Preferred Professional Insurance Company, et al., Delaware Superior Court, 91 A.3d 944 (2014)(Denying motions to dismiss action for fraud on court in context of Medical Malpractice Action)
  • Solway v. Kent Diagnostic Radiology Associates, P.A., et al., Delaware Superior Court (Punitive damage claims in Medical Malpractice Action may proceed to trial)
  • Turner v. Delaware Surgical Group, P.A., et al., Delaware Supreme Court, 67 A.2d 426 (2013)(New trial granted in medical malpractice action due to trial court errors)
  • Tenneco, Automotive, Inc. v. El Paso Corporation, et al., Delaware Court of Chancery, 2007 Del. Ch. Lexis 4 (summary judgment opinion in corporate insurance dispute)
  • Virtual Business Enterprises, LLC et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, Delaware Superior Court, 2010 Lexis 141 (summary judgment opinion in corporate insurance dispute)
  • Reybold Group et al. v Public Service Commission of the State of Delaware, Delaware Superior Court, 2007 Del. Super. Lexis, 210 (2007) (upholding Public Service Commission decision)

Classes/Seminars

  • Frequent lecturer on bad faith and insurance law litigation

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Delaware State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Richard S. Rodney Inn of Court
  • Delaware Trial Lawyers' Association
  • American Association for Justice

Past Employment Positions

  • Judicial Clerkship in the Delaware Superior Court