Jessica E. Murphy

Jessie is an experienced civil litigator concentrating on commercial disputes and construction issues.  She counsels and represents a variety of local and national companies, including manufacturing companies, construction companies, banking and financial institutions, and professional service firms.  She regularly appears in court handling all aspects of cases, from filing new actions, seeking prejudgment security, motion practice, trial and judgment recovery.  She critically evaluates the issues at hand and seeks practical solutions that are in the best interest of her clients.  Jessie is an aggressive advocate for her clients in and out of the courtroom.

She handles a broad range of business disputes involving commercial contracts, supplier and vendor relationships, banking and commercial landlord/tenant.  She provides legal services and advice to companies on credit and collection matters, and often lectures and writes on these topics as well.

Jessie has been named a Massachusetts “Rising Star” by Boston magazine and Law & Politics every year since 2010.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • Suffolk University Law School JD, magna cum laude (2005), managing editor, Suffolk University Law Review
  • University of Massachusetts, Boston BS, magna cum laude (2000)


  • “Top Debt Collection Strategies,” BCI Webinar, June 2019
  • “Corporate Linkage: Understanding the Family Tree of Business,” NAWIC Webinar, May 2019
  • “Improving Your Communications,” NAWIC South Atlantic Region Spring Conference, April 2019
  • “Recovery of Attorney’s Fees and Costs in Construction Disputes,” On Solid Ground: The Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, January 2019
  • “Houdini: Who Are You Doing Business With?” BCI Credit Summit, November 2018
  • “Credit Application: Best Practices,” BCI Summit, November 2018
  • “Ask Outrageously,” NAWIC Annual Conference, panel discussion, August 2018
  • “Negotiation: A Woman’s Perspective,” Women in Construction Building Connections Conference, June 2018
  • “Interlocutory Appeals,” Worcester County Bar Association, panel discussion, May 2018
  • “Credit Card Use and Collections,” Unilock Authorized Dealers meeting, Keynote Speaker, March 2018
  • “Best Practices for Collections,” BCI Annual Education Event, September 2017
  • “Dealing with Financially Distressed Customers,” BCI Annual Education Event, co-presenter, September 2017
  • “Top Issues in Private Construction Contracts,” NAWIC Education Summit, May 2017
  • “Juror Voir Dire,” MCLE 17th Annual Paralegal Conference, June 2015
  • “Breathing New Life into Worcester’s Former County Courthouse,” On Solid Ground: The Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, April 2015
  • “Attorney Conducted Voir Dire,” Worcester County Bar Association program, February 2015
  • “ The Practical Difference Between the Massachusetts District, Superior and Federal Courts,” Worcester County Bar Association First Monday Educational Series, November 2014
  • “Best Practices for Getting Paid on Private Construction Projects,” NAWIC Image Magazine, April/May 2014
  • “On Solid Ground: The Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog,” 2012 to present, contributing author
  • “Best Practices for Getting Paid on Private Construction Projects,” NAWIC Image, April/May 2014, author
  • “Massachusetts Mechanic’s Liens: A Property Owner’s Perspective,” On Solid Ground: The Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, December 2013
  • “Contracts, Credit and Collections in Massachusetts,” NAWIC Greater Worcester Chapter meeting, April 2013
  • “Getting Paid from a Customer in Financial Distress Might Not be the End of it,” Mirick O’Connell Business Law e-Report, April 2010


Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Habitat for Humanity of MetroWest/Greater Worcester, board president (2018-present)
  • National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Greater Worcester Chapter , director; past president (2015-2017)
  • NAWIC Professional Development & Education Committee, regional chair (2016- present); national chair (2017-2018)
  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Worcester County Bar Association
  • Women's Bar Association

Building on Lands Formerly Used as Railroad Right-of-Ways- An Amendment That May Simplify the Permitting Process

For the last forty-five (45) years, obtaining a permit to build any type of structure on any former railroad right-of-way in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been far from seamless. Massachusetts General Law c.40 §54A, enacted by the legislature in …

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MassDEP Working on a Drinking Water MCL for PFAS

Several weeks ago, I posted that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a new groundwater standard for PFAS contamination under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan regulations (310 CMR 40.0000).  Public comment on the proposed regulations remains open through July …

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Appearance of Bias Not Enough to Invalidate Appraisal – Unless the Contract Says Otherwise

When parties enter a contract involving an appraised value of real estate, they need eventual finality with respect to that appraised value, but they also want fairness in the appraisal process. In Buffalo-Water 1, LLC v. Fidelity Real Estate Company, …

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BREAKING: MassDEP Announces Proposed Revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, Including a Reportable Concentration for PFAS at 20 ppt

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000).  This begins a 3-month public comment period that will end July 19, 2019, and will include four public hearings. According to MassDEP, …

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EPA Issues Interpretive Statement: Groundwater Discharges are Not Subject to the Clean Water Act

In a not-so-stunning development, the EPA on Monday issued an Interpretive Statement putting to rest speculation on EPA’s position as to whether groundwater discharges are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The answer:  “No.”  EPA’s 57-page …

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Third Party Beneficiary Rights in Construction Contracts

Last week the United States District Court in Massachusetts issued an important decision concerning third party beneficiary rights in construction contracts.  In Arco Ingenieros, S.A. de C.V. v. CDM International Inc., Civil Action No. 18-12348-PBS, a design-builder incurred damages due …

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Title Defect? Here’s How to Keep Your Deal on Track

You are under contract to sell a commercial or residential property and your attorney tells you two weeks prior to closing that the buyer’s title search has revealed a title defect. While there is a large array of issues that …

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Short-Term Rental Law Takes Effect July 1st

Governor Baker recently signed “An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals”, imposing new taxes, registration and inspection requirements, and other rules governing the short-term rental of homes and residential units through Airbnb, VRBO, and similar platforms. Overview: The new law …

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Recovery of Attorney’s Fees and Costs in Construction Disputes

When construction projects become construction disputes, contractors and suppliers start thinking about how to recover their attorney’s fees and other legal costs.  Massachusetts follows the “American Rule” for recovery of legal expenses that states each party must pay their own …

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Construction Insurance: Game of Risk

Construction work is risky by nature.  Common risks include natural disasters, inclement weather, flood or fire, accidents t hat cause property damage or bodily injury, and the failure of one or more parties to perform their designated responsibilities, resulting in …

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A Landfill Is Not a “Point Source” Under the Clean Water Act, So Says the 4th Circuit and D.Mass.

Two recent rulings address the issue of whether a landfill is a “point source” under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. (CWA), Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric et al and Toxics Action Center et al v. …

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The New Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill: Solar Advocates Left Waiting for the Next Installment

On July 31, 2018, the final day of its formal session, the Massachusetts legislature passed H. 4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, which Governor Baker signed into law on August 9. The bill represents several important steps forward in …

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