Michael provides concrete, pragmatic advice that helps clients solve problems and achieve their goals in matters involving energy, land use, permitting, compliance, contracts, and litigation.
He worked for several years in construction before earning his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and making a decision to enter the practice of environmental law. Today, he follows a similar non-traditional path in advising his clients—eschewing cookie-cutter approaches. He dives into the factual and legal issues, learning what is unique about his client, and tailors his advice to serve their best interests.
Michael has represented private clients in a variety of regulatory matters, including federal, state, and local permit applications, review under New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), contaminated site remediation programs in New York and New Jersey, administrative enforcement actions, and other compliance matters, such as major power plant project proposals. His litigation experience on behalf of private clients includes contract disputes, Superfund, SEQRA, and common law claims based on negligence, trespass, nuisance, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Michael also represents municipal clients on a variety of matters, for example, governmental remediation cost reimbursement applications, solid waste disposal programs; contract negotiations and interpretation, including long-term solid waste management and disposal agreements, inter-municipal solid waste agreements and municipal property lease agreements; and litigation concerning real estate, contract, and takings disputes.
In addition to traditional power plant projects, Michael's experience, on behalf of private or municipal clients has involved micro-grid, with renewable energy components, waste-to-energy, and waste gasification-to-energy projects.
When working on a case, Michael looks for angles that aren’t always obvious. For example, when a client was sued by another entity that asserted a continuing trespass claim, he convinced the court that, because his client was a municipality, the court was required to treat the continuing trespass claim as a different type of claim that was time-barred. In another matter, Michael defended a municipality in an arbitration suit that, if successful, would have bankrupted the municipality. Despite there being hundreds of exhibits in the record, he focused on a single key email to secure a favorable ruling for his client.
Articles in the National Law Review database by Michael G. Murphy