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Kathleen S. Murphy



Kathleen Murphy focuses her practice on litigation and labor and employment law. A veteran of more than 100 verdict trials, she brings a strong track record of careful preparation leading to successful outcomes in the defense of automobile negligence claims, personal injury actions and product liability trials.

Insurance companies and policyholders value Kate’s broad base of knowledge related to admissibility, evidentiary and substantive issues, as well as her extensive background arguing cases before the state’s appellate courts and the New Jersey Supreme Court. Her experience includes arguing a case that determined an issue of admissibility of evidence that had long divided the Appellate Courts and is now cited regularly.

Based on her skills and experience, Kate was chosen to argue in an innovative and widely reported mock trial, before an academic audience of nearly 1,000, debating the existence of God. Federal Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo presided over the event, which was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Catholic organization St. Paul Inside the Walls.

Kate has received numerous honors and appointments in recognition of her exceptional trial skills and achievements. In addition to being selected as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, she is a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). She previously served on the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Advisory Committee and Ethics Committee, was a master in the Essex County Inns of Court, and was a member of the Judicial Appointments Committee, Judicial Evaluation Committee and Civil Trial Bar Commission.



  • Lunsford v. Vizcaino v. NJM, 392 N.J. Super. 366, 920 A.2d 754 (2007) in which the Appellate Division clarified the insurance carrier’s obligation to defend an intentional act when alternatively pled with negligence, with a favorable result for the insurance carrier
  • Brenman v. DeMello, 191 N.J. 18, 921 A.2d 1110 (2007) in which the Supreme Court made a conclusive determination of the admissibility of photographs without need for expert testimony, reversing a contrary finding
  • Argent v. Brady v. NJM, 386 N.J. Super. 343, 901 A.2d 419 (2006) an insurance coverage case wherein the Appellate Division defined the business pursuits exclusion favorably to the insurance industry


Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member (June 1992-present), Secretary and Treasurer (1997-1998), and President (1999-2000); American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Member, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (May 2001)
  • Member, Supreme Court of New Jersey Ethics Committee (1985-1998)
  • Member and Liason between Bench and Bar, Essex County Bar President’s Council (June 1990-1997)
  • Member, Essex County Arbitrators Committee (1988-1995)
  • Master (1988-1993) and Barrister (1986-1988), William J. Brennan, Jr. Chapter−Essex County Inns of Court
  • Member, Essex County Judicial and County Prosecutor Appointments Committee (1988-1992)
  • Member, Essex County Judicial Evaluation Committee (1989-1992)
  • Executive Member, Supreme Court of New Jersey, Civil Trial Bar Committee (1980-1983)
  • American Bar Association
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association

News & Insights



New Jersey State Bar Association (Civil Trial Bar Section) - James J. McLaughlin Award (2017)

Middlesex County Bar Association

  • The Hon. Herman L. Breitkopf Award (2018)
  • Civil Trial Practice Award (2017)

Irish Legal 100, The Irish Voice (2015-2019)

Trial Attorneys of New Jersey Trial Bar Award (2013)

Essex County Bar Association Civil Trial Attorney Achievement Award (1998)

New Jersey's Top Rated Lawyers, Inside Jersey magazine (2012)

Best Lawyers in America

  • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants 
  • "Lawyer of the Year,Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (2017)

New Jersey Super Lawyers (2005, 2008, 2014-2019)

Best Lawyers Award Badge


  • Honorable Robert A. Matthews of New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division


Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., 1977)

Seton Hall University (B.S., 1973)


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