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)


  • “What Happens After I Record My Lien? How Do I Get Paid?,” Sun Ray Construction Solutions Webinar (May 10, 2023)
  • “Point of Convergence,” Emerge AEC Virtual Panel Discussion (December 6, 2022)
  • “The Who, What, When and Why of Construction Contracts,” BCI Webinar (July 2021)
  • Quoted in “Judge Mulling Injunction that Would Shut Down The Care Factory,” The Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, June 23, 2021
  • "Building Communities," NAWIC Northeast Region Spring Forum (May 14, 2021)
  • "Women in Construction Week March 7-14, 2021," On Air with Mirick O’Connell legal podcast (March 2021)
  • "A Blueprint for Handling Construction Disputes," NAWIC Webinar (February 18, 2021)
  • Remembering RBG: Her Life and Legacy,” On Air with Mirick O’Connell legal podcast (November 2020)
  • "Discussing Women in Construction," Massachusetts Construction Law Webinar (July 30, 2020)
  • "Financial Strategy During COVID-19," Worcester Business Journal Webinar (July 22, 2020)
  • "OP-ED: 'We Will Do Better, Because Black Americans Deserve That'," Framingham Source, July 2, 2020
  • “Protecting Your AR in Challenging Times,” BCI Webinar (March 2020)
  • “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,” 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 Credit 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)
  • A Turn of Events for Worcester’s Former County Courthouse,” Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, December 14, 2016
  • Real Estate Agents Not Covered by Independent Contractor Statute,” Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, June 18, 2015
  • “Juror Voir Dire,” MCLE 17th Annual Paralegal Conference (June 2015)
  • Breathing New Life into Worcester’s Former County Courthouse,” 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, April/May 2014
  • Massachusetts Mechanic’s Liens: A Property Owner’s Perspective,” Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, December 11, 2013
  • Massachusetts Mechanic’s Liens: What a Subcontractor or Supplier Needs to Know,” Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, April 10, 2013
  • “Contracts, Credit and Collections in Massachusetts,” NAWIC Greater Worcester Chapter meeting (April 2013)
  • Massachusetts Mechanic’s Liens: The Basics,” Mirick O’Connell Real Estate Law Blog, February 15, 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, member, past Chapter president (2015-2017); Professional Development & Education Committee; regional chair (2016-present); national chair (2017-2018)
  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Worcester County Bar Association, conciliator
  • Women's Bar Association

A Classic Distinction Between Legal Remedies and Equitable Remedies:  1st Circuit Overturns Decades-Old Precedent On Citizen Enforcement of Clean Water Act

The First Circuit recently overturned a thirty-one year old decision on citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The now-overruled decision is North and South Rivers Watershed Ass’n v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1991), in …

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Municipal Law:  Supreme Court Lightens Up On Standard of Review for Certain Sign Bylaws

Recently, the Supreme Court addressed a challenge from two private entities related to the constitutionality of a sign bylaw (“Bylaw”) instituted by the City of Austin (“City”).  In City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, et. al., …

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“A Trap for the Unwary:”  Bankruptcy Court Declares Debtor’s Homestead Deficient

In In re Luu, Danny Luu (the “Debtor”) argued that he had a homestead exemption in the amount of $324,960.00.  He argued that because he filed a homestead declaration on March 18, 2021—just two days prior to filing his Chapter …

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State’s Highest Court to Determine Scope of Dover Amendment Solar Protection in M.G.L. c. 40A

Last week, the SJC heard oral arguments for a case that is anticipated to potentially impact municipal zoning, specifically in the realm of solar energy projects.  The outcome of this case will either aid or inhibit a municipality’s ability to …

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Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules

Public bodies may continue to hold remote meetings through April of 2022 under new legislation enacted this week. The statute, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, authorizes a quorum of a board or committee to meet remotely and require remote …

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Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1

Effective December 1, municipal boards must follow the usual permitting deadlines following a COVID-19 statute enacted last week. Towns and cities had been operating under Section 17 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which tolled the deadlines for commencing …

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Important Update – The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

Since our post on March 18, a lot has happened from both a health and regulatory standpoint as far as the impact from the outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) on local and state construction practice.  Here is an update, as of …

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The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

The outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) has impacted all industries, including construction.  First and foremost, we are in the midst of a public health crisis, and the safety and well-being of all project participants should be top of mind.  We are …

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Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …

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SJC Reverses Appeals Court on Standing Requirements Under the Zoning Act – With Record Speed

All zoning conformities are alike, to rephrase Tolstoy’s famous opening line, but each zoning-related injury is injurious in its own way. Such has been the time-honored tenant of Massachusetts law for abutter standing under the Zoning Act.  To successfully challenge …

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PFAS Concerns Mounting for Cities and Towns as MassDEP Proposes Maximum Contaminant Level in Drinking Water

Many of our readers will be aware that on December 27, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (0.02 ug/L or ppt) for six PFAS …

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Building the Boroughs: A Year in Review

In 2019, Mirick O’Connell’s permitting attorneys were proud to help our clients, large and small, with local approvals in Marlborough for 6 great projects. Thank you to our clients and the City of Marlborough for a wonderful year! Click here …

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