William C. Murphy (1920-2016)
Mr. Murphy practiced in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, general and commercial litigation, business counseling, and estate planning. He had been at the forefront of cutting-edge litigation for decades. His skill, creativity and eloquence had been a model for generations of trial lawyers inspired by his example.
He was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1949. He is also admitted to the Federal Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and to the Supreme Court of the United States.
He graduated from West Aurora High School in 1938. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1942 and his law degree from Harvard University Law School in 1948.
He has been named a Laureate by the Illinois State Bar Association, an award honoring those who exemplify the highest ideals of the profession. He was appointed to Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions in Civil Cases (1981 - 1996) and to the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness, Second District (1996 - 2005).
Molitor v Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 (1959) 18 Ill. 2d. 11, 163 N.E.2d 89: Plaintiff’s counsel in seminal case abolishing the doctrine of sovereign immunity in Illinois and holding school districts liable in tort for the negligence of employees in a case involving a fiery bus crash injuring fourteen children.
Vendo Co. v Stoner (1974) 58 Ill. 2d. 289, 321 N.E.2d 1, cert. denied (1975) 420 U.S. 975, 95 S.Ct. 1398: Obtained verdict in excess of 7 million dollars against former owner/employee and spouse for breach of non-competition covenant contained in sales and employment contracts.
Insurance Company of North America v. 48 Insulations, Inc. (6th. Circuit 1980) 633 F.2d 1212: Successfully established that exposure of a victim to asbestos triggers coverage under liability insurance policies rather than manifestation of the disease.
Vaughn v Westphal: Obtained largest verdict in Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of $13.4 million for serious injuries to teenager following alleged drag racing.
He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), the American Bar Association (ABA), the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), the American Law Institute, the Kane County Bar Association (KCBA) (President 1972-1973), Fellow, and American College of Trial Lawyers.
Mr. Murphy was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 5, 1920. He was a lifelong resident of the Fox Valley. He has three children: William, Marie Ann, and Keelin.