Gregory M. Murphy
Partner - Los Angeles
Greg Murphy is a partner based in the firm's Los Angeles office. He splits time between Los Angeles and clients located throughout the state. Mr. Murphy has general knowledge of all municipal and public law issues and is readily familiar with all aspects of the Brown Act, California conflict of interest laws, and California election laws.
Mr. Murphy focuses his practice on the areas of land use and development, redevelopment and economic issues, and public contract and prevailing wage law. He serves as the Southern California lead for the firm’s redevelopment team and regularly advises clients on transactional and regulatory matters related to both traditional development and redevelopment. He also deals with water issues and other utility issues as they relate to development and to the rights and duties of public entities.
Mr. Murphy serves as assistant or deputy city attorney to a number of cities and as assistant general counsel to both public entities and a private non-profit affordable housing provider. He has significant experience working with elected and appointed officials, including the navigation of delicate issues with politically-divergent boards.
While Mr. Murphy’s practice focuses on transactional and advisory work, he does engage in litigation related to redevelopment issues and election contests.
Mr. Murphy annually teaches two redevelopment courses for U.C. Riverside Extension’s land use certificate program, and he has lectured and presented on issues ranging from land use legislation and litigation to compliance with prevailing wage laws.
Land Use and Real Estate
Mr. Murphy worked with the Orange County Development Agency to set up a community services program whereby enhanced levels of code enforcement, law enforcement, and public works services are provided to the redevelopment project area and funded in part with redevelopment moneys.
He aided the City of Riverside’s Redevelopment Agency in the negotiation and drafting of a complex disposition and development agreement designed to transform a block of underutilized housing into a medical office building.
Mr. Murphy advised a redevelopment agency on the purchase of a commercial/residential building in a redevelopment project area and the subsequent negotiation of a long-term building lease for the creation of community art space and live/work lofts for artists. His work included analyses of agency options, drafting the purchase agreement and long-term lease, as well as negotiating deferred rental payments.
He negotiated and drafted an Owner Participation Agreement under which an historic commercial/residential building would be substantially renovated to provide restaurant, retail, and commercial uses on ground floor and live/work space on second floor. The work included negotiation of relocation assistance and negotiation of long-term operating covenants.
Mr. Murphy negotiated the $3 million+ redevelopment agency assembly of vacant parcels and sale of the parcels to the California Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) for use as new courthouse. The transaction involved complex negotiations with the previous owner including clearing title of a number of liens, tax liens and judgment debts; drafting of purchase and sale agreements; interaction and negotiations with AOC and State Department of General Services on title issues, property condition, and redevelopment issues; processing lot line adjustments and other land use approvals in order to allow for the sale to AOC; and oversight of environmental remediation prior to the final sale.
Mr. Murphy aided the City of Banning with a project related to the transformation of vacant land near the city’s municipal airport into a commercial and recreational center. The project consisted of the assembly of parcels and sale to a developer for a combined auto racing site and business park and involved drafting purchase and sale agreements; negotiations with Federal Aviation Administration regarding airport-adjacent property and release of airport-owned property from FAA restrictions; negotiation regarding short-term and long-term covenants on site; and documentation of city and redevelopment agency financial assistance for project.
General Municipal and Public Advisory
Mr. Murphy aided the cities of Temple City and Rosemead with issues related to medical marijuana and regularly consults with the firm’s chief medical marijuana litigators to understand the ever-changing nature of marijuana regulation in the State.
Mr. Murphy has significant legal experience in public contract law including bid protests, claims, terminations, and advisory work. He has recently worked with clients to enforce bond obligations against contractors for failure to properly perform public works projects. He also enforces bond obligations on private contractors who fail to meet public works obligations imposed on their projects.
Mr. Murphy consults with clients regularly on conflicts of interest issues, focusing on preventing potential conflicts and warding off the appearance of conflicts while still allowing officials to engage in the political process whenever legally feasible.
Mr. Murphy drafts form and single-project contracts for client use, including form public works agreements and form consultant and design consultant agreements, and regularly advises clients on the intricacies of indemnity and waiver issues in public contracting.
Mr. Murphy regularly advises clients on regulatory takings and inverse condemnation issues with an eye to avoiding litigation by understanding the limits of regulatory takings law and communicating early with potentially-affected private interests.
Litigation and Advocacy
Mr. Murphy represented the City of Rosemead in a particularly contentious election contest dealing with the validity of signatures on vote by mail and provisional ballot envelopes. The court ultimately upheld the results of the election.
Mr. Murphy has also litigated the validity of ballot measures, including seeking an emergency writ from the California appellate court to stay an interlocutory order of a trial court that would have barred an initiative from the ballot.
Mr. Murphy represented the Los Osos Community Services District in proceedings before the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board relating to the Board’s requirement that the community implement a sewer system in a prohibition zone. Mr. Murphy’s advocacy resulted in the scheduling of enforcement of cease and desist orders against individual violators to accommodate the County of San Luis Obispo’s takeover of the sewer project such that the individuals have not been fined under the orders to date.
Mr. Murphy advocated on behalf of the Jurupa Community Services District against a private corporation that had purchased a small-scale water distribution company and was seeking to expand operations. After nearly 18 months of litigation, the Public Utilities Commission’s administrative judge crafted an order limiting the corporation to its current provision of service and opening the door to PUC regulation of the corporation if it exceeded that current service.
Mr. Murphy represented the City of Santa Clarita before a State appellate court regarding the validity of land use approvals in light of certain water delivery findings made in the environmental impact report drafted to satisfy the California Environmental Quality Act, working with attorneys for the developer to attain overwhelming findings in favor of the validity of the City’s approvals.
- City of Arlington v. Federal Communications Commission: The Fifth Circuit Upholds The FCC Shot Clock Rule, 02.01.2012
February 2012 Public Law Update
- The Aftermath of CRA v. Matosantos and the Post-ABx1 26 World, 01.01.2012
January 2012 Public Law Update
- Economic Development in a Post-Redevelopment World, 09.01.2011
September 2011 Public Law Update