Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : January 2009


Thomas D. Murphy

Thomas D. Murphy
MSBA President-Elect Nominee

Thomas D. Murphy, a Principal with the Rockville-based Law Offices of Murphy & Mood, P.C., has been named President-Elect nominee of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA). He will run for election this June during the MSBA Annual Meeting, along with Treasurer John Patrick Kudel, a solo practitioner in Rockville and Of Counsel to the Rockville-based law firm of Karp, Frosh, Lapidus, Wigodsky & Norwind, P.A., and Secretary-Elect Henry E. Dugan, Jr., a partner in the Baltimore County law firm of Dugan, Babij & Tolley, LLC. Thomas C. Cardaro, a partner in the Baltimore City law firm of Cardaro & Peek, LLC, will be installed as President at the 2009 MSBA Annual Meeting. Murphy is slated to be President in 2010-2011.

The epitome of a legal professional, Murphy is a well-respected Montgomery County trial attorney recognized for his professionalism, integrity and civility in the practice of law. This skilled and talented litigator, who hails from a small law firm, is known as an outstanding leader in Maryland’s legal community. Murphy considers himself “extraordinarily lucky to be a lawyer” and believes “the legal profession is the absolute best.”

Murphy believes all Maryland lawyers should be a part of MSBA because “lawyers should be members of a group that establishes leadership and provides the goals for lawyers in the state to achieve in their profession.

Murphy is also a champion of MSBA and is looking forward to his future leadership role. “MSBA is the face of Maryland lawyers in the legal community and the entire state,” he notes. He will be honored to “serve as the leader of the lawyers in our community,” guiding them with respect to “standards of the Bar and leadership in their communities.”

“Maryland lawyers are dynamic,” Murphy asserts. As a member of the Court of Appeals’ Character Committee, Murphy interviews applicants for the Bar and finds today’s young lawyers to be “smart and savvy.” In this role, Murphy lets them know “the practice of law is still a profession. It is treated like a business, but it is a profession.” He instills this message in new attorneys and inspires them, reminding them “to treat their clients and fellow attorneys as professionals, not as business people.” This message will resonate during Murphy’s year as President of MSBA, too.

“MSBA reflects leadership,” Murphy exclaims. He believes all Maryland lawyers should be a part of MSBA because “lawyers should be members of a group that establishes leadership and provides the goals for lawyers in the state to achieve in their profession.” This is one of MSBA’s key roles, he stresses. “MSBA gives lawyers the opportunity for education and CLE programming and camaraderie with fellow attorneys as they interface with the rest of the legal community, including judges and government leaders.”


After graduating from Wheeling College in West Virginia in 1968, Murphy entered the U.S. Army and engaged in combat service with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and was honored with a Purple Heart, the Air Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. In 1973, he earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Murphy launched his legal career as an Associate at, first, Madden, King & Werner, P.A., then at the Law Offices of Walter H. Madden, P.A. In 1975, he joined the Public Defender’s Office of Montgomery County as an Assistant Public Defender. In 1978, he became a partner at the law firm Madden & Murphy, remaining there as it became Madden, Murphy & McKenna and then Madden & Murphy.

In 1983, Murphy hung out a shingle as a solo practitioner, then became a Principal in Murphy & Mood, P.C., in 2001, where he remains today. Murphy is a small-firm litigator whose practice involves trial work largely in family law, but his litigation also extends into many other areas.   

MSBA’s new President-elect nominee has been active in the Association for many years. He most recently served as MSBA’s Secretary, has been a member of the Board of Governors’ Executive Committee since 2006 and is a member of the Association’s Board of Governors, having served five terms since 1993. He chairs MSBA’s Immediate Response Committee and has served on the Association’s Ethics, Judicial Selections and Professionalism Committees.

Murphy was President of the Montgomery County Bar Association (MCBA) in 1991-92, served as Secretary from 1979-80 and was a member of Executive Committee in 1984-85. He chaired MCBA’s Judicial Selections Committee, Litigation Section and Ethics Committee and co-chaired its Long Range Planning Committee. Murphy was also President of the Montgomery Inn of the American Inns of Court from 1998-99 and served on its Executive Committee from 1997-2004.

At the national level, he was a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates from 1993-94 and is a Permanent Member of the Judicial Conference of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Maryland Bar Foundation and a member of Montgomery County Bar Foundation Bar Leaders and the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.

In 1995, Murphy was honored with the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Fifth Annual Professionalism Award.

When Murphy assumes the top MSBA post in June 2010 it will be the “pinnacle” of his legal career. “What I have been trying to do my whole career is be part of my legal community and give back to my profession, a profession that has given so much to me.” He sees no better way of achieving this than by “providing leadership to our community of lawyers.” This dedicated bar leader has “never, ever, given more than I have gotten from my Bar activities. It has always been the reverse.”

Above all, Murphy hopes he will be viewed as someone who “brought respect to MSBA and Maryland lawyers.” The new President-elect nominee is “humbled and grateful to have this chance.”

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: January 2009

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