Home>Highlight>Michael Murphy joins McCarter & English lobbying arm

Former Morris County Prosecutor Michael Murphy, left, and Guillermo Artiles, McCarter & English’s Government Affairs chair. (Photo: McCarter & English).

Michael Murphy joins McCarter & English lobbying arm

By David Wildstein, April 17 2023 9:33 am

Michael Murphy, a fixture on the New Jersey political scene for decades, is joining a lobbying firm operated by one of the state’s oldest and most respected law firms, McCarter & English.

Murphy will join McCarter Government Solutions, the Trenton-based lobbying firm.   He was the founder of Impact NJ.   As a lobbyist, Murphy advocated for same-sex marriage and the abolishment of the death penalty.  He helped secure the first medical marijuana dispensary license in the state for a client and is an expert on Cannabis law.

A former Morris County Prosecutor, Murphy sought the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Jersey in 1997.  He finished third with 21% of the vote, carrying Morris County by 40 percentage points and winning Mercer, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren counties.

His father, Richard J. Hughes, served two terms as governor and was the chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1973 to 1979.   His brother, Brian Hughes, is serving his fifth term as Mercer County Executive.  Another brother, John Hughes, was a federal judge.

“It can be said that politics is the Murphy family business, and our clients will now be able to have the benefit of his numerous relationships and incredible political insight,” said Joseph Boccassini, the firm’s managing partner.

Murphy said he was “looking forward to operating on an expanded platform and working in tandem with McCarter & English’s Government Affairs Chair, Guillermo Artiles, in addition to other members of the law firm’s prestigious bipartisan lobbying practice.”

“Lobbying is the combination of relationships and advocacy, and working with McCarter’s legal and lobbying team means working with the best to help advance some of the most important interests in the state,” he said.

Others affiliated with the McCarter & English government affairs practice include Republican National Committeeman Bill Palatucci, former New Jersey State Treasurer and Assemblyman Michael Horn (R-Wayne), former Board of Public Utilities chief of staff Grace Power, former Assembly Majority deputy executive director Grace Tung, and Michael Maitland, a former chief of staff to Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) and aide to U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg.

According to Artiles, Murphy will bring his longtime clients to McCarter Government Solutions.

“We expect Michael to play an instrumental role in aiding the firm’s work with clients in industries that drive the state’s economy, including health care, cannabis, transportation, energy, and manufacturing,” said Artiles.  “He’s a pillar of the New Jersey lobbying community, and his contacts and network throughout the state can benefit the law firm’s clients in many different industries.”

In 2022, McCarter & English added former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia as a partner.  She retired after 23 years as an associate justice.  The former U.S. District Court chief judge, Jose Linares, is also with the firm.

McCarter & English is one of the state’s largest law firms, and the two sons of its founder served as attorney general of New Jersey:  Thomas McCarter, a former New Jersey Senate Majority Leader, was nominated as the state’s top law enforcement official in 1902 by Gov. Franklin Murphy.   After he resigned to become president of the Public Service Corporation (now PSE&G) in 1903, his brother, Robert McCarter, succeeded him.

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