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Representing the Pro Bono Client: Consumer Law Basics

 
Author(s): Robert W. Murphy
Practice Area: Banking, Litigation, Pro Bono
Published: Jul 2013
PLI Item #: 43365

Robert W. Murphy is in private practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, focusing on consumer class action litigation. He presently serves as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville, Florida. He is a past chair of the Consumer Protection Law Committee of The Florida Bar and is a Board Member, Secretary and Florida State Chairperson for the National Association of Consumer Advocates.  He has spoken at many seminars and conferences hosted by a variety of state and national organizations, including The Florida Bar, The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, the National Consumer Law Center, the National Association of Legal Aid and Public Defenders, and the United States Military Judge Advocate Corps as well as college and law schools.  In October, 2007 and April, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission designated Mr. Murphy to be panel member for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Symposium in Washington, DC, which addressed the rising abuses in the consumer debt collection industry.

Mr. Murphy has been lead counsel in a wide variety of state-wide, regional and national consumer class actions throughout the United States.  In 2003, Mr. Murphy obtained the first contested certified class under the Florida Retail Installment Sales Act as reported in Brown v. SCI Funeral Services of Florida, 212 F.R.D.602 (S.D. Fla. 2003), which was described in the South Florida Business Review as one of the most significant cases in South Florida in 2003. More recently, Mr. Murphy was lead counsel in a 2009 nationwide class action which provided over $50 million in relief to over 8,000 consumers whose vehicles had been wrongfully repossessed.  To date, Attorney Murphy has obtained class benefits estimated to be in excess of $500 million with significant cy pres awards to consumer and legal aid organizations.

Mr. Murphy attended the U.S. Military Academy, and received his B.A. cum laude from Wake Forest University in 1984 and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law in 1987.  He is admitted to practice in Florida and Georgia; the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Northern District of Florida, Western District of Oklahoma, Northern District of Ohio, Middle District of Georgia, Northern District of Georgia; Western District of Michigan; Western District of Tennessee; United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit and has been admitted pro hac vice in numerous other state and federal courts.

A regular contributor to local and national news media on consumer law topics, Mr. Murphy most recently appeared on ABC News Nightline on January 19, 2007 on the topic of consumer debt collection. He has authored and contributed to many articles and papers on consumer litigation issues, including a recent treatise published by the National Consumer Law Center on debt collection.