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Partner - Peter J. Murphy

Peter J. Murphy


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Peter Murphy counsels private employers and non-profit organizations daily on the full range of issues affecting their workplaces, including:

  • wage-and-hour issues;
  • employee discipline, termination, and performance management;
  • disability accommodations, FMLA compliance, and sick leave;
  • contract negotiations, administration, and management;
  • compliance with state and federal laws and regulations;
  • drafting and updating workplace policies and handbooks.

Peter helps employers mitigate risk and improve workplace conditions by providing preventative trainings on topics such as sexual harassment prevention, professionalism in the workplace, FMLA compliance, navigating leave issues, and legal overviews for supervisors. In addition, he conducts investigations into alleged incidents of discrimination, harassment, and misconduct in the workplace. When employers are sued, Peter provides pragmatic and effective representation before state and federal courts as well as administrative agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in arbitrations conducted by the American Arbitration Association.

Peter also represents both public and independent schools in education and employment matters, including policy development, compliance with state and federal education laws, student discipline and confidentiality issues, and employee discipline and discharge. He has extensive experience litigating cases for public and independent schools on a variety of issues, including:

  • tenure and denial of promotion;
  • constitutional claims brought by students and employees;
  • discrimination claims brought by current and former employees;
  • appeals of awards in administrative hearings under the FOIA, the IDEA, and other educational statutes;
  • wrongful termination claims;
  • contractual claims made by third parties;
  • arbitrations under collectively bargained agreements and appeals of such awards to court.

Peter currently serves as a fact-finder, arbitrator, and attorney trial referee in the Connecticut Superior Court, and as a Contributing Editor for the nationally distributed Litigation News magazine published by the American Bar Association. He is the current chair of the Hartford Hospital Young Leaders Advisory Council, an executive committee member of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section, and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations in the Hartford area. Peter served for several years as an adjunct professor for the first-year Moot Court class at the University of Connecticut School of Law. He was also a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel for the United States District Court in Connecticut. Prior to joining Shipman & Goodwin, Peter served as a law clerk to the Honorable Flemming L. Norcott, Jr., of the Connecticut Supreme Court, and to the Honorable Christopher F. Droney of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.


  • Listed as a Connecticut  Super Lawyer®: Employment Litigation: Defense (2015-2020)
  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer Rising Star®: Employment Litigation: Defense (2013-2014), Schools & Education (2010-2012)
  • ABA Litigation Section Litigation News, Contributing Editor
  • 40 Under Forty, Hartford Business Journal (2014)
  • O'Connell, Flaherty & Attmore Scholar; First-Year Honors Program
  • Sarah N. Cohen and Elizabeth S. Bossler Scholarship
  • Class of 1970 Scholar
  • Connecticut Law Review, Articles Editor

Teaching Positions

  • University of Connecticut School of Law: Former Adjunct Professor, Moot Court

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Labor and Employment Law Section; Litigation Section
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Labor & Employment Law Section, Executive Committee Member; Young Lawyers Section; Co-Chair, Federal Practice Committee (2008-2009) and Co-Chair, Education Law Committee (2010-2012)
  • Hartford County Bar Association
  • Human Resources Association of Central Connecticut
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau: Board Member
  • National Business Officers Association

Community Involvement

  • Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation: Board Member
  • Key Human Services, Inc.: Board Member
  • Hartford Hospital Young Leaders Advisory Council: Chair
  • Emanuel Lutheran Church (Hartford, CT): Council Member
  • West Hartford Youth Hockey: Coach

Defended Against Constitutional Claims

Successfully defended a local board of education before both the trial court and the Connecticut Supreme Court in a challenge brought by parents against the board's use of drug-detecting dogs in the public schools.

Obtained Summary Judgment

Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in an age discrimination case brought by a former employee against a hospital.


October 29, 2020  Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting Conference
October 2020  CLE Event: Virtual Seminar - 2020 Fall Labor and Employment Webinar Series
May 22, 2020  Webinar: Unemployment, Liability and Return to Work issues during COVID-19
May 14, 2020  CLE Event: Webinar: Going Back to the Future: Phased Return to Work and What Comes Next for Employers
March 26, 2020  Webinar: Legal Update on Sick Leave and FMLA Leave for COVID- 19 Related Reasons
December 5-7, 2019  2019 TABS Conference
November 14, 2019  Lunch & Learn: CT Higher Ed Labor and Employment Update
October 11, 2019  CLE Event: 2019 Labor and Employment Fall Seminar
July 10, 2019  Webinar: Mental Illness, Intellectual Disabilities and the ADA
May 17, 2019  CLE Event: Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2019 Public Sector Legal Update
May 2, 2019  May 2, 2019 - Sexual Harassment Prevention Training - Hartford
April 17, 2019  CLE Event: CLE Webinar: Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Employees
March 21, 2019  CBIA 2019 Human Resources Conference
November 9, 2018  CLE Event: Webinar: Professional Ethics for In-House Counsel
October 25, 2018  CLE Event: 2018 Labor and Employment Fall Seminar
October 22, 2018  Overcoming Barriers in Employment: Legal Update CHRO Reimagined
August 9, 2018  August 9, 2018 - Sexual Harassment Prevention Training - Hartford
June 7, 2018  CLE Event: Webinar: Employees Absent from Work: Navigating Overlapping and Conflicting Leave Laws
May 4, 2018  CLE Event: Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2018 Public Sector Legal Update
December 5, 2017  CLE Event: Webinar: Conducting Effective Employee Investigations
November 2, 2017  CLE Event: 2017 Labor and Employment Fall Seminar
March 16, 2017  Connecticut Bar Association: Annual Advanced Employment Law Symposium
February 23, 2017  February 23, 2017 - Sexual Harassment Prevention Training - Hartford
October 27, 2016  2016 Labor and Employment Fall Seminar
October 7, 2016  New Themes in ADA Compliance

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  • University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 2003, with honors
  • Fairfield University, B.A., 1997

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
  • U.S. District Court, District of MA

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