Michael D. Murphy

Address:909 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, Texas 77010
Phone:(713) 951-1042
Fax:(713) 951-1199
vCard:Download vCard


Mr. Murphy’s legal 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.

He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest possible peer review rating in terms of legal ability and ethical standards. He joined Sheehy, Ware & Pappas in 2012.

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


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

Legal and Professional 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


  • 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.
  • Defense counsel in multi-party offshore personal injury matter filed by attorney Tony Buzbee for plaintiff’s injuries sustained while working aboard a platform in the Gulf of Mexico.  Before our firm was retained, the state court judge had entered summary judgment against our client in favor of a co-defendant.  We persuaded the court to reconsider and reverse the summary judgment and later secured a $500,000.00 contribution from same co-defendant.
  • Trial counsel for offshore drilling contractor with regard to a punitive damage claim vis-a-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.