2011 Legal Elite profile
- November 30, 2011
Kaufman & Canoles PC
Title: Partner and chairman of the Government Contracts and Construction Practice Group
Other legal specialties: Government contracts; commercial litigation
Birthplace: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Education: Bachelor’s degree, State University of New York College at Cortland; law degree, University of Virginia School of Law
Wife: Jeanine Murphy
Children: Michael, 25; Christopher, 23; and Bryan, 18
Hobbies: Golf, reading
First job as a lawyer: Law clerk to the Hon. Walter E. Hoffman, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division
Fan of: College basketball
Favorite vacation spot: Ireland
Recently read book: “The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America’s Most Powerful Trial Lawyer” by Curtis Wilkie
Career mentors: “My father, Ed Murphy, former chief clerk of the Family Court for the City of New York and a Division I college basketball referee who taught me how to do things ‘right,’ and my partners, Hunter Sims and Butch Barr, who provided me invaluable training and considerable responsibility and reminded me to have fun along the way.”
Have low interest rates encouraged your clients to begin new construction projects?
“The economy certainly has taken its toll on the local construction industry, and even with low interest rates, private owners still have not been encouraged to begin new projects at the same rate as seen earlier in this decade. The economy also has resulted in our general contractor clients seeking more government construction projects as well as pursuing public/private partnerships.”
What was your most memorable construction case?
“One of my most memorable construction cases involved the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk. We represented the City of Norfolk and pursued claims against the general contractor, architect, geotechnical engineer and the city’s insurance carrier. We found ourselves in federal and state court as well as in arbitration. The cases presented technical and procedural challenges, but with the help of the city attorney’s office, we were able to successfully resolve the matter.”