David E. Murphy

Senior Associate

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David E. Murphy is a Senior Associate at McCandlish Lillard practicing litigation, including employment, business & commercial litigation, post-employment restrictive covenants, personal and business torts, breach of contract, defamation, severance review and analysis, and executive compensation and termination. David works primarily in the firm’s Fairfax Office, but represents clients in both state and Federal courts across Virginia and Washington D.C.

David has actively litigated matters from the intake stage through appeal since being admitted to the Virginia Bar in November 2016, and has significant courtroom experience as a trial lawyer and lead counsel in state and federal cases, as well as many successful settlements, mediations, and other pre-trial resolutions. In addition to litigating and trying cases with partners and principals, David maintains a busy practice litigating cases as lead counsel. David has further written and argued countless motions before local Courts, along with writing multiple appellate briefs to the Virginia Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. David’s professional recognitions include being named a Virginia Elite Lawyer - Litigation and being named to the Irish Legal 100.

David is a Fairfax, Virginia native, and knew at the age of fourteen that he would spend his professional career litigating cases in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. David received his B.A. degree from The University of Pittsburgh cum laude. During college and before law school, David interned and worked at the Fairfax Public Defender, American Civil Liberties Union, Advocates for Justice, and Edwards & Eubanks, LLC.

Subsequently, David earned his law degree from The University of Wisconsin Law School, where he served as an Article Editor for the Wisconsin Law Review. During law school, David also represented indigent criminal defendants on their appeals in the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, interned at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and externed for two Justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court—Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice N. Patrick Crooks.

Prior to joining McCandlish, David worked as an Associate at prominent local law firm Charlson Bredehoft Cohen Brown & Nadelhaft, P.C. between 2016-2023.

When away from the office, David enjoys spending his time with his family and stays busy pursuing his passions of following professional and collegiate sports, snowboarding, golf, gardening, traveling, and the movies.

• J.D., The University of Wisconsin Law School, 2016
• B.A., The University of Pittsburgh, 2012

  • Virginia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Wisconsin
  • Virginia Elite Lawyer - Litigation (2022-2023)
  • Irish Legal 100
  • Fairfax Bar Association
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA)
  • Court Tour Program for students


  • John C. Depp, II v. Amber Laura Heard (Fairfax, VA)
  • N. Va. Kitchen Bath & Basement v. Ellis, 299 Va. 615 (2021) ($250,000 statutory racial harassment Judgment and full attorney’s fees and costs award of $118,651, affirmed on appeal by Va. Supreme Court)
  • N. Va. Kitchen Bath & Basement v. Ellis, 2018 Va. Cir. LEXIS 2721, 2018 Va. Cir. LEXIS 2673 (successfully obtained summary judgment and full defense attorney’s fees sanctions ($25,900.74) for bad faith litigation under Va. Code § 8.01-271.1)
  • JK Moving & Storage, Inc. v. Winmar Constr., Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194932 (E.D. Va. Nov. 13, 2018) (obtained full damages Judgment and full attorney’s fees and costs award of $411,410.39)