Bank of America Center
700 Louisiana, Suite 2300
Houston, Texas 77002
With his legal training, accounting background, and professional certifications from the IT industry, Land Murphy has the ability to grasp the most complex issues in any field and to boil them down to concepts that a court and a jury will understand and find persuasive. Mr. Murphy's practice involves the successful representation of plaintiff and defendant clients of every size across a broad range of industries. Mr. Murphy has appeared in federal and state courts as well as administrative proceedings, and has experience that includes jury trials and appeals.
Mr. Murphy is licensed in California and Texas and is admitted to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Southern District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas, and Central District of California. Mr. Murphy received the highest score on the February 2007 Texas bar exam and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in Arkansas.
Mr. Murphy received his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1997. He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005, graduating as valedictorian of his class. While in law school, Mr. Murphy was elected to the editorial board of the Pepperdine Law Review and was a member of the First Place team for the 2003 National Criminal Procedure moot court competition and a member of the National Champion team for the 2004 Wagner Labor Law moot court competition. He was also recognized as a National Member of the Order of Barristers. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Murphy served as law clerk to the Honorable Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
• The Texas Supreme Court kept in place a closely watched First Court of Appeals reversal of a 2011 state court judgment in an oil and gas dispute, Smyser Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P. announced April 25, 2014. The litigation arose out of an oil and gas lease termination in High Island Field in Galveston County in 2004. The plaintiffs owned overriding royalty interests in the lease and argued that they were injured when the lease terminated, extinguishing their overriding royalty interests. The Supreme Court's denial of the plaintiffs' petition for review followed the First Court's decision in March 2013 that found that SKV's clients owed no duty to the overriding royalty interest owner plaintiffs and reversed a $929,903 judgment entered by the 405th District Court of Gal-veston County, Texas, against Robert Stroud, Plantation Petroleum Corporation, and Stroud Production LLC. The Court of Appeals held that there was no evidence to support plaintiffs' claim that the only producing well was sabotaged and rejected the plaintiffs' theory that the Stroud entities owed the plaintiffs special or fiduciary duties arising out of the assignment of overriding royalty interests. SKV partners Larry R. Veselka and Land Murphy tried the case and briefed and argued the appeal. Mr. Veselka said, "We remain gratified by the appellate court's judgment that the plaintiffs take nothing from their central claims against Mr. Stroud and his companies in this important case. Plaintiffs were asserting claims unrecognized in Texas and which would disrupt well-established concepts of Texas oil and gas law. The Court of Appeals' rejection of those claims – and now the Supreme Court's denial of the plaintiffs' petition for review – prevent that potential disruption." The only part of the judgment reversed but remanded for new trial was the issue of the appropriate amount of interest and attorney fees due on $375 in royalties — less than one-tenth of one percent of the damages sought — owed for production in the last month before production ceased. Those royalties, which had not been paid in 2004 due to an oversight, were paid several months before trial of the case." The case is Stroud Production, L.L.C., et al. v. Patrick E. Hosford, et al, No. 01-11-00593-CV in the Court of Appeals, First District of Texas.
• Representing global energy clients in suit brought in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas alleging false advertising, defamation, and tortious interference.
• Obtained an arbitration award in Houston, Texas for the entire amount of damages sought by a national accounting and litigation services firm in its insurance policy coverage dispute with Certain Lloyd's Underwriters.
• Obtained a jury verdict and judgment of public nuisance in Harris County District Court for the City of Houston against a rent-by-the-hour motel in a residential neighborhood because its owners knowingly permitted prostitutes to make habitual use of the motel for their illicit activities.
• Obtained jury verdict and judgment in Johnson County District Court for shareholder in dispute with fellow shareholder in trucking company over note personally guaranteed by shareholders; obtained dismissal of suit brought against client by jointly-owned company because the company's suit was not properly authorized.
• Filed and settled suit for energy client against negligent contractor for repairs and expenses incurred after well-site accident resulted in uncontrolled release.
• Represented energy client in resolving pre-suit dispute concerning extra work claims arising out of pipeline construction project.
• Defended former chief executive officer of public company against allegations of securities fraud in an administrative proceeding brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission; negotiated settlement in which the SEC abandoned scienter-based claims.
• Obtained summary judgment in Harris County Court-at-Law for non-profit client accused of breaching a contract procured by fraud.
• Obtained dismissal of civil rights claim against non-profit client in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
• Obtained a favorable settlement for pipeline construction company in its suit in Harris County District Court for compensation owed in connection with the construction of an oil and gas pipeline under the Tigris River in war-torn Iraq.
• Obtained a favorable settlement in Utah state court suit for a pipeline construction company based on its claims for extra compensation following construction of a pipeline in mountainous terrain in Colorado.
• Defended a Fortune 10 energy company in a suit alleging patent infringement.
• Defended a limited partner in an oil and gas limited partnership against claims of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.
• Represented a technology company in filing an objection to the Google Book Settlement.
- Mr. Murphy has been selected as a "Texas Rising Star", a Thomson Reuters service for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
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Garland D. Murphy IV
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
B.A., History, 1997
summa cum laude
Pepperdine Law School
summa cum laude
Law Clerk to the
Honorable Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain
United States Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit