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Richard J. Riley



Richard J. Riley is a Founding Shareholder of Murphy & Riley, P.C. He started his legal career in 1982 as an associate attorney at Murphy & Mitchell, P.C., an insurance defense firm the principal of which, Walter G. Murphy, was one of the most well-respected trial lawyers in Boston. Together with Walter and Bob Murphy, Rick established Murphy & Riley, P.C. in May, 1993. The firm, which started out with five attorneys, has grown steadily to its current size and scope.

Mr. Riley concentrates his practice in the areas of medical and legal professional liability, construction litigation, general tort litigation and insurance coverage (including disputes under M.G.L. c. 93A and 176D). He has tried to a verdict cases in both state and federal court in diverse areas including product liability, medical malpractice, general tort liability, employment discrimination and insurance coverage (declaratory judgment actions). He has argued appeals in every appellate court in the Commonwealth including the Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Appellate Division of the District Courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Practice Areas
  • Professional Liability—Medical and Legal

  • Construction Litigation

  • General tort litigation

  • Insurance Defense

Bar and Court Admissions
  • Massachusetts, 1982

  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1983

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 1984

  • Harvard University, B.A. (cum laude), 1979

  • Boston College, J.D. (cum laude), 1982

Professional Memberships​
  • Defense Research Institute

  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association

Legal Publications and Significant Cases           
  • Burns v. McDonald's Corp., 81 Mass. Apt. Ct. 908 (2012)

  • United National Ins. Co. v. Kohlmeyer, 81 Mass. App. Ct. 32 (2011)

  • Lewis v. Perlmutter, 2009 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 719 (May 14, 2009)

  • Cotter v. McDonald's Rest. of Mass., Inc., 2008 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 496 (May 21, 2008)

  • Lee v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, 60 Mass. App. Ct. 836 (2004)

  • Reliance Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 58 Mass. App. Ct. 645 (2003)

  • Korper v. Weinstein, 57 Mass. App. Ct. 433 (2003), rev. den. 439 Mass. 1105 (2003)

  • Peters v. United Nat'l Ins. Co., 53 Mass. App. Ct. 775 (2002)

  • Johnson v. Modern Continental Constr. Co., 49 Mass. App. Ct. 545 (2000) 

  • United Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Parish, 48 Mass. App. Ct. 67 (1999) 

  • Tenovsky v. Alliance Syndicate, 424 Mass. 678 (1996)

  • United National Ins. Co. v. Penuche’s, Inc., 128 F. 3d 28 (1997);

  • Interex Corporation v. Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co., 825 F. Supp. 1406 (1996)

  • Conway v. Electro Switch Corp., 402 Mass. 385 (1988)

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