John C. Murphy

John C. Murphy

Murphy & Evertz LLP

Recognized since 2007

Costa Mesa, California

Practice Areas

Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

Litigation - Real Estate

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Litigation - Real Estate
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John Murphy focuses his practice on eminent domain, inverse condemnation and other complex real estate trials. He represents a wide variety of public agencies, corporations, and landowners.

Mr. Murphy and his firm have earned its clients over $275 Million in eminent domain awards over the past six years. His firm has won arguably the highest condemnation awards in the State in each of the past four years. Its 2017 judgment against the County of San Bernardino totals $48 Million.

He has been chosen repeatedly for inclusion in the definitive legal directory, Best Lawyers in America - - most recently for 2017 - - in two practice areas: eminent domain law and real estate law. From 2006 – 2017, the Los Angeles Times has featured Mr. Murphy in its articles, “Southern California’s Best Lawyers.” Los Angeles magazine has listed him repeatedly in Southern California Super Lawyers. Orange Coast magazine named him in its September, 2007 – 2015 features, “Top Attorneys in Orange County.”

Best Lawyers in America, the nation’s oldest and most respected legal peer-review publication, honored Mr. Murphy in 2012 as its “Orange County Litigation – Real Estate Lawyer of The Year.” Mr. Murphy was also named one of the “Top 50 in Orange County” lawyers for 2012 by Southern California’s Super Lawyers magazine.

Mr. Murphy has served as lead trial counsel in numerous significant, successful jury trials. He speaks regularly on eminent domain issues and his cases have garnered significant press coverage. He has been the subject of three Los Angeles Daily Journal profiles and has been featured on the cover of both Verdicts and Settlements and the Daily Journal. John also won one of the largest jury verdicts ($14.6 million) ever obtained in Marin County Superior Court.

In 2006, Mr. Murphy was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Association. He has been consistently accorded an “AV-Preeminent” rating by Martindale Hubbell.

In 2017, the State Bar of California’s Real Property Section awarded Mr. Murphy a seat on its executive committee.

Mr. Murphy has managed, or played a lead role in, several major public agency acquisition projects. These agencies include:

  • Orange County Flood Control District (2008 – Present)
  • Los Angeles Unified School District (2009 – Present)
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (2013 – Present)
  • Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (2003 – Present)
  • Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies (1996 – 2007)
  • Riverside County (2007 – Present)
  • Riverside County Economic Development Agency (2007 – Present)
  • San Diego Unified Port District (2015 – Present)
  • City of Los Angeles Department of Airports (LAWA) (2004 – 2007)
  • City of Newport Beach (2007 – 2008);
  • Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (1998 – 2003)

Mr. Murphy spoke on trial tactics in eminent domain at the American Law Institute – Continuing Legal Education (ALI-CLE) 34th Annual Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference in San Diego in 2017. He has also spoken at the January, 2006 23rd Annual ALI-ABA National Eminent Domain Conference in San Diego; the 2009, 26th ALI-ABA National Eminent Domain Conference in Miami, Florida; the 2012, 29th ALI-ABA Eminent Domain Conference in San Diego; and the 2015, 32nd Annual National Eminent Domain Conference in San Francisco.

He serves as Co-Chairman of the annual CLE International Southern California seminar on eminent domain. He has spoken frequently at Appraisal Institute seminars, and authored an article for the Appraisal Journal.

Over the past ten years, Mr. Murphy has spoken at over 15 International Right of Way Association seminars and programs. Most recently, he spoke at the IRWA’s 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Annual International Education Conferences in Indianapolis, Calgary, Atlanta, Seattle, West Virginia, and Hartford, Connecticut.

Mr. Murphy has authored a chapter on condemnation for the California Continuing Education of the Bar; treatise, “Ground Lease Practice,” and he also authored a chapter of the American Bar Association text book on expert witnesses, “Litigators on Experts.”

Mr. Murphy is the former president of Chapter 67 of the International Right of Way Association (2000) and former member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Foundation. He is a past President of the Warren J. Ferguson Chapter of the American Inns of Court and has served on the Board of Visitors of the Chapman University Law School. He is also a member of Lambda Alpha, and an affiliate member of the Appraisal Institute.

Mr. Murphy received his J.D. from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in 1980; and his B.A., with honors, from the University of California, Riverside in 1976.

  • 650 Town Center Drive, Suite 550
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626
  • University of Southern California, J.D., graduated 1980
Bar Admissions
  • California, The State Bar of California
  • American Inns of Court, Warren J Ferguson Chapter - President
  • Appraisal Institute - Affiliate
  • Chapman University Law School - Board member - - Board of Visitors
  • IRWA, Chapter 67 - President

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Litigation - Real Estate
Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:
  • Litigation - Real Estate, Orange County (2012)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
  • Litigation - Real Estate
Special Focus:
  • Ad Valorem Taxation
  • Condemnation
  • Eminent Domain
  • Litigation
  • Zoning
  • Speaker, "Eminent Domain Update: Developments in Eminent Domain Law Across The Country: 2011-2012", IRWA Annual International Education Conference, Seattle, Washington (June, 2012).
  • Contributing Author,the American Bar Association book on expert witnesses, Litigators on Experts.
  • Speaker, "Square Pegs, Round Holes and Easy Targets: Valuation of Special Purpose, Non-Profit Properties in Eminent Domain," ALI-ABA, Miami, FL (January 8-9, 2009).
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Real Estate Law

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