Michael D. Murphy

Address:909 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, Texas 77010
Phone:(713) 951-1042
Fax:(713) 951-1199
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Mr. Murphy who joined the firm in 2012  is a member of Sheehy, Ware and Pappas, PC’s marine and energy, LHWCA/DBA and insurance litigation sections. He has over 30 years’ first chair experience in State and Federal courts, Federal Courts of Appeals and Administrative courts administering LHWCA/DBA matters.

Mr. Murphy’s career began in 1984 with a boutique admiralty firm in Houston, Texas.  He was recruited to join the national firm Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP where he practiced in the firm’s admiralty section.  His practice post Fulbright expanded to include oil and gas matters arising aboard MODUs and offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Murphy continues to handle matters arising under the General Maritime Law, COGSA, the Jones Act, OCSLA, and the LHWCA.

Mr. Murphy regularly represents:

  • Domestic and foreign insurance companies and their assureds in third-party litigation
  • Offshore companies in matters arising on mobile offshore drilling units and stationary platforms
  • Employers and insurers under the LHWCA and its extension, the Defense Base Act


  • University of Houston Law Center, (J.D., 1984)
  • Texas A&M University, (B.S., 1981)

Legal Memberships

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States (Proctor)
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Washington (inactive)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Houston Mariners’ Club
  • The Longshore Claims Association

Honors and Awards

  • Marindale – Hubbell Peer Review AV (preeminent rating) for 20+ years


  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas
  • All Courts in the State of Texas

Practice Areas and Casework

Practice Areas

  • Matters arising under the General Maritime Law, the Jones Act and COGSA
  • Oil and gas related matters arising on MODUs and stationary platforms including multi party litigation, Defense and Indemnity claims pursuant to General Maritime law, the Texas Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act and the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act
  • Matters arising under the LHWCA and DBA


  • Counsel for a multi-national corporation in a significant Jones Act personal injury matter arising offshore Nigeria.  Successfully presented in personam and forum non conveniens defenses to the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
  • Provided advice to Underwriters in connection with a significant cargo damage claim arising as a result of a voyage through Beaufort Force 12 winds.
  • Persuaded Texas state court judge to reverse her own summary judgment granted against our client (before our firm was retained) in connection with a significant offshore personal injury claim.
  • Secured summary judgment (Untied States District Court for the Southern District of Texas) in connection with a time charter dispute  related to a personal injury sustained by a longshoreman while unloading a barge during cargo operations.
  • Successfully negotiated with USCG to resolve the loss and replacement of an aid to navigation
  • Trial counsel for offshore drilling contractor with regard to a punitive damage claim vis-à-vis maintenance and cure exposure.
  • Counsel for Underwriters and Domestic Insurers in both traditional and “brown water” matters involving GML, the Jones Act and COGSA.
  • Counsel for domestic insurers in multi party litigation arising on MODUs and stationary platforms including defense and indemnity obligations, additional assured status under the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act, the Texas Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act and GML.
  • Counsel for assureds and domestic insurers in matters involving offshore wireline operations and specialty casing companies in down hole loss, loss of reservoir, property damage and P.I. matters.
  • Counsel for approved self-insured employers and Carriers under the LHWCA and the Defense Base Act.

Community Activities

  • Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church – Jr. and Sr. high Sunday school teacher and confirmation class leader; men’s bible study and member of Palmer church choir;
  • SFL – youth football little league assistant coach and team trainer;
  • Houston Bar Association “Night Court” production – participated in this key fundraiser for the HBA;
  • Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston – member of the chorus for multiple shows at the Wortham Theater