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Peter L. Murray

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    Since we started Murray Plumb & Murray, we’ve sought to distinguish the firm through zealous representation of clients, commitment to improvement and reform in the legal system, and our contribution to Maine’s legal culture.


    Peter Murray is a well-known and respected figure in the Maine legal community, having practiced in the Portland area – and internationally – for more than 50 years. A Murray Plumb & Murray founding partner, Peter practiced law at the firm from 1973 until 1993 focusing on general law as well as trial and litigation. From 1993 through 2007, he was a full-time visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School. Peter returned to Murray Plumb & Murray in July 2007 as of counsel with a focus in the areas of estate planning, business and corporate law, and litigation and trial consulting.

    In 1968 Peter joined the firm now known as Pierce Atwood and was made partner in 1972. He left there in 1973 to co-found Murray Plumb & Murray with Peter S. Plumb and E. Stephen Murray. During that time he handled a number of major civil cases, including patent infringement trials, shipbuilding cases, industrial defect litigation, public utilities investigations, reorganizations, and constitutional litigation for both public and private clients.

    Starting in 1973 Peter became co-consultant (with Prof. Richard H. Field) to the newly formed Maine Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence. He has continued to serve as sole consultant since the death of Prof. Field in 1978. He and Prof. Field assisted the Committee in drafting the Maine Rules of Evidence (1973-1975) and shortly afterward they published the treatise, Field & Murray, Maine Evidence. Peter has since revised the treatise several times. The current edition is the 6th, which appeared on March 24, 2008.

    From 1978 through 1993 Peter held a part-time appointment as a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School where he taught Evidence, Legal Ethics, Federal Litigation and Commercial Law, and served as the director of the Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop. In 1993 he was appointed a full-time Visiting Professor and in 1996 became the Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Law from Practice, a chair which he held until June 2010. Until January 2008 he carried a full time law teaching load at Harvard, where he regularly taught Evidence, Trial Advocacy, The American Legal System (for foreign jurists), Skills and Ethics in Law Practice and Comparative European and American Civil Procedure. He also served as the Faculty Director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Currently he continues to teach Evidence at Harvard on a part-time basis as a visiting professor. He is the author or co-author of seven law books and numerous articles on academic law topics.

    Over the years Peter Murray has worked extensively in comparative law, with particular reference to civil procedure in Germany and Europe. He taught at the University of Freiburg, Germany as a Senior Fulbright Professor for the spring semester 1998 and regularly returns to Germany, Switzerland and Austria to teach short courses, lecture and participate in academic meetings, arbitrations and moot courts. In 2004 he published German Civil Justice (with Rolf Stuerner), a comparative description and analysis of the German civil litigation system. He is fluent in both standard and legal German.

    Throughout the years of his academic work in Cambridge he continued to conduct a law practice in Maine serving long-time clients, consulting in complex litigation, and serving as arbitrator and referee in international arbitrations and domestic dispute resolution matters.

    Peter and his wife, Deborah, reside in Portland, Maine.


    • Harvard Law School
    • Harvard College

    Judicial Clerkship

    • Hon. Edward T. Gignoux, U.S. District Court for the District of Maine

    Bar & Court Admissions

    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
    • U.S. Supreme Court

    Affiliations & Recognition

    • Consultant to the Maine Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence, 1973 to present
    • Senior Fulbright Professor, University of Freiburg, Germany, 1998
    • Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Law from Practice, Harvard Law School, 1996-2009
    • Former Faculty Director, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau