F. Murphy Averitt, III

fma@mwglaw.com | 910-763-9891 x 221

Murphy-AverittMurphy’s practice focuses primarily on the litigation of small business disputes, construction disputes and estate disputes. He also counsels his clients regarding issues affecting their businesses and daily lives. He is dedicated to serving his clients and keeping them up to date and informed with respect to the status of their legal matter. He strives to be straight forward and honest with his clients with respect to their expectations and the potential outcomes of their legal matter. Murphy is motivated to provide efficient, cost effective representation and counsel to his clients and achieve the best results possible tailored to the client’s goals.

Snapshot of Practice:

Business Litigation – Murphy is an experienced litigator that has hard fought a number of business and commercial disputes in both state and federal courts. Among these are small business disputes, commercial landlord/tenant disputes, premises liability/plaintiff’s personal injury, construction and estate disputes. His clientele is diverse, including small businesses such as commercial property owners, construction companies and individuals. In addition to litigating, Murphy has represented clients in asset purchase and stock sales and also assisted in drafting commercial leases and drafting organizational documents and other business documents.

Construction – There are a number of different aspects to construction law. Murphy started his career in Raleigh, NC handling primarily plaintiff’s construction defect cases. His practice also includes drafting/filing liens on behalf of his clients and litigating lien lawsuits. In addition, he has drafted/negotiated AIA construction contracts.

Estate Litigation – Sometimes families cannot get along or work together – especially when a will and inheritance is involved. This situation typically results in a Caveat action being filed to test the validity of the deceased’s will. Murphy has represented propounders (proponents of the will) in will caveat cases and has represented estate representatives trying to settle difficult estates. He has also assisted with the administration of estates.

Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation – Most cases do not end up in court before a judge or jury. Most cases are resolved prior to trial. Murphy is a NCDRC certified mediator – Superior Court. He has negotiated numerous settlements in his career. It is often more practical to negotiate a resolution to a case rather than engage in protracted and costly litigation in order to minimize risk and uncertainty.

Murphy lives with his wife and their two children in Wilmington. When he’s not practicing law, he loves spending time with his family. He plays tennis, golf and also enjoys hunting and fishing.

Professional, Civic and Community:

  • Past President, New Hanover County Bar Association 2009-2010
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • UNCW Foundation Board 2011-present
  • Cape Fear Council Boy Scouts – Executive Committee
  • Deacon, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington 2008-2011
  • NCDRC certified Mediator – Superior Court


  • Campbell University School of Law (J.D., 1999)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A., 1995)

Work Experience:

  • Marshall, Williams & Gorham, LLP (Partner, 2003-present; Associate, 2001-2003)
  • Lewis & Roberts, PLLC, Raleigh, NC (Associate, 1999-2001)

Bar and Court Admissions:

  • North Carolina, 1999
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina

Appellate Cases:

  • Cacha v. Montaco, 147 N.C.App. 21, 554 S.E.2d 338 (2001)
  • Henderson v. Park Homes, Inc., 147 N.C.App. 500, 555 S.E.2d 926 (2001)
  • Everts v. Parkinson, 147 N.C.App. 315, 555 S.E.2d 667 (2001)
  • Robertson v. Hagood Homes, Inc., 160 N.C.App. 137, 584 S.E.2d 871 (2003)
  • Electronic World, Inc. v. Barefoot, 170 N.C.App. 697, 614 S.E.2d 607 (2005) (unpublished opinion)
  • Harrington v. Gerald, 189 N.C.App. 530, 659 S.E.2d 490 (2008) (unpublished opinion)
  • In re: Will of Abbruzzese, 723 S.E.2d 174 (2012)  (unpublished opinion)

Representative Cases:

  • Represented propounders of will in will caveat or will contest
  • Represented executor of estate in estate dispute before the clerk
  • Represented plaintiff in reference (a hearing ordered by the court before a referee and typically pertaining to a complex accounting)
  • Represented individual in lawsuit to recover funds on theory of constructive trust and unjust enrichment
  • Helped a number of general contractors and subcontractors draft and file liens
  • Represented homeowner association in dispute with other associations over roadway maintenance
  • Represented individuals in ERISA long term disability claims
  • Represented individual in premises liability claim
  • Represented property owners in commercial and residential landlord/tenant disputes
  • Acted as trustee in foreclosure process
  • Represented banks in foreclosure process in deficiency actions
  • Represented business buyer/sellers in asset purchases/sales and stock transfers
  • Represented property owners before local board of adjustment