Thomas F. Murphy


Tom practices in the area of commercial litigation with an emphasis on contracts, real estate, employment law and creditors’ rights. Tom has been litigating cases in the state and federal courts throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for more than 25 years. Additionally, Tom has argued appeals in a variety of state and federal appellate courts.

A seasoned trial attorney, Tom has an established track record of success in bench trials, jury trials and commercial arbitration hearings.

Representative Cases (past performance/results not indicative of future performance/results)

Defended developer of a luxury hotel in Washington, D.C. against general contractor that had asserted claims totaling more than $17 million arising out of a disastrous construction project.  At the conclusion of a two-week trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the general contractor was awarded nothing on its claims.  In addition, the developer was awarded $1.5 on its counterclaims related to construction defects and delay damages.

Represented nationally known civil rights law firm in arbitration action against a former attorney who had alleged a variety of employment discrimination and hostile work environment claims. In addition to defeating all of the employment law claims, the law firm was awarded a six-figure judgment against the attorney as a result of her failure report hundreds of hours in billable time to the firm.

Obtained $24 million judgment against prominent real estate developer in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Following the trial, the developer confidently claimed his prior estate planning efforts had rendered him judgment proof. More than a year of relentless collection efforts–including four separate fraudulent conveyance suits filed in three different jurisdictions–eventually compelled the developer to negotiate a payment plan that yielded the client a nearly complete recovery.

Defended security contractor in arbitration action. Claimant demanded $130 million in damages for breach of contract, usurpation of corporate opportunity, tortious interference, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Following a nine-day arbitration hearing, all of the Claimant’s claims were denied and the client was awarded nearly $400,000.00 in attorneys’ fees.

Represented diamond retailer in suit against a commercial landlord for specific performance of a lease and lost profit damages as a result of the landlord’s refusal to tender the leased premises. At the conclusion of a week-long bench trial, the Montgomery County Circuit Court awarded specific performance of the lease, more than $2 million in lost profit damages, and attorneys’ fees. On appeal, the award of specific performance was affirmed, but the award of lost profit damages was vacated and remanded for new trial. Following the resulting six-day bench trial, the Court awarded an even greater amount in lost profit damages as well as an additional award of attorneys’ fees. After two attempts to avoid the judgment in bankruptcy, the landlord ultimately paid the client approximately $2 million.

Defended security contractor in action brought by twelve employees in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland asserting a variety of contract, tort and Fair Labor Standards Act claims and demanding more than $1 million in damages. After the client prevailed on a series of pretrial motions, nine of the employees settled their claims for nuisance value. On the eve of trial, the remaining three employees dismissed their claims, with prejudice, for absolutely no consideration from the client. Subsequently obtained an award of nearly $50,000.00 in attorneys’ fees against the employees’ counsel pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1927.

Represented District of Columbia dental practice in suit against commercial developer that had wrongly demanded the dental practice close on its purchase of retail condominium space before the unit was substantially complete. After an eight-day bench trial, the client was awarded all of the relief it demanded as well as eighty percent of its attorneys’ fees. The developer was awarded less than $1,500.00 on its six-figure counterclaim. The judgment in favor of the client was affirmed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Additionally, the client’s cross-appeal to increase the attorneys’ fees award succeeded.

Represented District of Columbia law firm sued by former partner seeking liquidated damages pursuant to an employment contract. Motions in limine led to the dismissal of all of the plaintiff’s claims at the pretrial conference. All of the Superior Court’s rulings were affirmed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Reported Decisions

  • Presidential Bank, FSB v. 1733 27th St. SE LLC, 404 F. Supp. 3d 1 (D. D.C. 2019).
  • German Am. Capital Corp. v. Morehouse, 714 Fed. Appx. 286 (4th Cir. 2018).
  • Presidential Bank, FSB v. 1733 27th St. SE LLC, 318 F. Supp. 3d 61 (D. D.C. 2018).
  • Presidential Bank, FSB v. 1733 27th St. SE LLC, 271 F. Supp. 3d 163 (D. D.C. 2017).
  • Donnelly v. Branch Banking & Trust Co., 91 F. Supp. 3d 683 (D.Md. 2015).
  • Nest and Totah Venture, LLC v. Deutsch, 31 A.3d 1211 (D.C. 2011).
  • Congressional Hotel Corp. v. Mervis Diamond Corp., 28 A.3d 75 (Md. App. 2011).
  • BSA 77 P Street LLC v. Hawkins, 983 A.2d 988 (D.C. 2009).
  • 3511 13th Street Tenants’ Assoc. v. 3511 13th Street, N.W. Residences, LLC, 922 A.2d 439 (D.C. 2007).