Bill Murphy Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award from The Daily Record

William J. Murphy_bio
Bill Murphy

Zuckerman Spaeder is pleased to announce that Baltimore partner William J. Murphy has received a 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Daily Record. The recognition is part of the Leadership in Law Awards, which annually recognizes professionals in Maryland who have led exemplary careers. The winners are selected by an outside panel of legal and business leaders.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work on many meaningful cases and grateful for the incredible team of attorneys at Zuckerman Spaeder,” said Mr. Murphy. “It is an honor to have our work recognized, and this award is especially meaningful because the selection was made by my peers. The Daily Record is recognizing an impressive group of lawyers this year, and I’m humbled to be included among them.”

In his 40-year career, Mr. Murphy has played an integral role in some of the most important legal issues of the day and his work has not only delivered justice for those he represents, but it has influenced current events and helped shape the practice of law. 

He is frequently sought out by other attorneys and law firms who themselves face sensitive and difficult legal action. Most recently, as the co-lead attorney for prominent Washington lawyer Gregory Craig, he helped defeat one of the most highly watched government prosecutions of 2019. Mr. Murphy has also represented attorneys in President Clinton’s White House, defended outside attorneys at Enron in investigations and private litigation, worked for a former Dewey LeBoeuf employee who was wrongfully charged following that firm’s collapse, obtained favorable settlements for law firms of all sizes, and more.

Mr. Murphy’s work goes well beyond defending other lawyers. One of his most notable local clients is the country’s largest privately held retailer of wine and spirits, Total Wine & More, for which he has served as outside counsel for years. In 2019, he was instrumental in bringing about the Supreme Court decision that invalidated local residency requirements that had prevented Total Wine from opening a new store in Tennessee. In another high-profile case, he spent five years advocating on behalf of a Yemeni physician who was repatriated to his home country following eight years of incarceration at Guantanamo. In 2011, Mr. Murphy received the Daniel M. Gribbon Pro Bono Advocacy Award for that work.

Mr. Murphy is also committed to advancing the legal profession and was recently elected Secretary of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). He previously served as the chair of ACTL’s Maryland chapter and as the Regent for Maryland and the District of Columbia. He has devoted time to teaching students at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, served as the chair of the Professional Ethics Committee for the Baltimore City Bar Association, and taken on other legal leadership roles. His community work has included serving on the executive committee, and previously serving as co-chair, of the Annual Lawyers’ Campaign for College Bound Foundation. 

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Kalie Walrath
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