The Honourable Justice John D. Murphy

Originally from Charlottetown, P.E.I., Justice John Murphy studied law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, graduating in 1973. He served for a year as law clerk to The Hon. Roland A. Ritchie, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in August 1974.

Justice Murphy practiced law at Stewart McKelvey and its predecessor firms for 27 years, focusing primarily on admiralty law, marine and fisheries, commerce and litigation. He received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 1991 and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia 10 years later, on March 1, 2001.

Often described as a humble and understated man, Justice Murphy gave back by actively participating in many professional, community, and church organizations and committees, including serving as Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (2000), a leader with the Boy Scouts of Canada, and a former legal advisor for the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities.

Justice Murphy will be forever missed by his wife, Justice Theresa Forgeron; his daughters, Susan Smith and Debbie Murphy, his sons, John Murphy and Matthew Murphy, and his stepdaughters, Brittany MacNeil and Bridget MacIntyre. Justice Murphy was predeceased by his first wife, Linda Murphy, and his parents, Dr. Clarence and Maude Murphy of Charlottetown, PEI.

A celebration of Justice’s Murphy’s life is planned for later this week in Halifax. Visit the JA SNOW FUNERAL HOME WEBSITE >> for more information and to read his full obituary.


“Justice Murphy was a wonderful colleague and a dear friend.
He was the definitive trial judge, sitting on civil, criminal and family trials;
I know that others would agree when I say he was one of the very best judges
to sit on the Nova Scotia Bench. His death is a huge loss — our thoughts
are with his many friends and family, including his children and his wife,
Justice Theresa Forgeron, another member of our Bench.”


- The Hon. Joseph Kennedy, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia