Sara A. Murphy

Sara Murphy focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation and class action defense, representing clients from a wide range of industries, including financial services, health care, energy, pulp and paper, insurance, and professional services.

Sara’s litigation practice includes disputes related to breach of contract, unfair trade practices, claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and other business-related torts. She also handles cases involving claims for civil conspiracy, consumer fraud, insurance coverage, and defending lawyers and law firms with respect to professional services rendered.

As part of her practice, Sara focuses on e-discovery law and technology, and has assisted numerous clients with matters that have posed significant legal, technological, and confidentiality challenges with respect to document collection, review, and production.

Sara also dedicates significant pro bono legal services representing CASA guardians ad litem in complex child protection cases and currently serves as a member of the Maine CASA Advisory Panel. Sara was also appointed by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to serve as a commissioner for the Maine Civil Legal Services Fund, which annually distributes funds to support civil legal services to persons who otherwise are not able to afford counsel.

Before joining Pierce Atwood, Sara gained valuable insight into state appellate litigation and federal trial litigation first as a law clerk for the Honorable Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, and subsequently as a law clerk for the Honorable D. Brock Hornby of the United States District Court for the District of Maine.

Prior to clerking, Sara sought out a diverse range of experiences as a law student—she was a student attorney at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic advocating for children in the juvenile justice system; the Symposium Editor of the Maine Law Review; a teaching assistant for first year Property and Civil Procedure courses; the Charles A. Harvey, Jr. Trial Practice Immersion Fellow, working with experienced trial attorneys on civil and criminal cases; the Bernstein Fellow, working as a law clerk for the District Court in Portland, Maine; and as a student member of the Edward T. Gignoux Inn of Court.

Upon graduation, Sara received the Faculty Significant Achievement Award for her academic performance and the ALI CLE Scholarship and Leadership Award as the student who best represented a combination of scholarship and leadership during law school.

Before attending law school, Sara worked in theater in Los Angeles and Portland.  She now serves on the Board of Trustees at the Portland Stage.

Honors & Distinctions
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® “Ones to Watch” for Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Banking & Finance, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants (2021-present)
  • Maine Justice Foundation New Lawyer Award (2021)
  • Scribner Firm Impact Award, Founding Member of Racial Justice Initiative (2020)
  • New England Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, Rising Star (2018-2020)
Professional Activities
  • Commissioner, Maine Civil Legal Services Fund
  • Member, CASA Advisory Panel to Judicial Branch
  • Member, Edward Thaxter Gignoux Inn of Court
  • Maine State Bar Association
  • Cumberland County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
Civic Activities
  • Board of Trustees, Portland Stage
  • Board member, Girls on the Run - Maine

Practice Areas

Representative Experience
  • Counsel for Maine’s largest utility in successfully obtaining a unanimous jury verdict preventing the retroactive application of provisions of a citizens’ initiative seeking to block the NECEC project on vested rights grounds under the Due Process Clause of the Maine Constitution
  • Counsel for Maine’s largest utility before the Maine Law Court challenging the constitutionality of a statewide citizen-initiated referendum question, establishing new precedent for pre-election review of such questions
  • Counsel for a major Maine provider of health care services in defense of a lawsuit in Maine state court challenging the constitutionality of legislation authorizing its acquisition by merger of a Maine quasi-municipal hospital administrative district
  • Counsel for defendants engaged in retail electricity supply in a consumer class action in Maine federal court
  • Defense of data breach and privacy class actions on behalf of Maine health care companies in Maine state court
  • Representation of national mortgage lenders and servicers in defense of various claims brought on behalf of borrowers, including defense of class actions in Maine state and federal court
  • Submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Maine Bankers Association in a foreclosure appeal in the Maine Law Court successfully advocating for adoption of the integrated business records exception to the hearsay rule under Rule 803(6) of the Maine Rules of Evidence