William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr.
Founder, Senior Partner
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy
Billy Murphy was raised in a family committed to fighting for what was right, and it wasn’t until he was older that he realized not everyone was used to telling truth to power.
“I had the benefit of their guidance and they were absolutely fearless,” Murphy said, speaking to Sloane Brown for The Daily Record’s Off the Record in May 2021.
He would go on to join his father in private practice, and both men later served as judges.
Murphy has been a Baltimore trial attorney for decades and handled many major cases, as well as serving on the bench when he was elected to Baltimore’s Circuit Court in 1980. After serving as a judge, he ran for mayor and returned to practicing law, where he has insisted on justice for the underrepresented.
Murphy negotiated a $6.4 million settlement between Baltimore and the family of Freddie Gray following Gray’s death while in police custody in April 2015. He represented homeowners whose drinking wells had been contaminated by coal ash, wining a $54 million settlement against Constellation Energy. The firm also represented the family of Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player who died during practice.
What is the biggest challenge facing the legal profession today?
Competently, effectively and zealously representing poor people charged with crime.
What advice would you offer anyone interested in a legal career?
Don’t do it unless you make a total commitment to excellence and justice. Black and poor people need lawyers who have a burning desire to win.
What has been your biggest surprise during the pandemic?
The number of people who staunchly and stubbornly resist vaccination because of conspiracy theories and because they are too selfish to wear masks.