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John B. Murphey

Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier & McGrath, Ltd.


John B. Murphey is currently a Partner at Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier & McGrath, Ltd.. He graduated cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1976.  He serves as counsel to many local government units throughout Illinois and is a nationally recognized expert on civil rights law.  John has successfully litigated complex zoning matters for private and public clients. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. 

Focusing his practice on cases involving civil rights defense for local governments, John represents public clients in all phases of litigation in state and federal courts.  He advises local cities and villages on matters involving zoning and serves as special labor counsel to many municipalities.

John serves as regular and special counsel to dozens of Illinois local governments.  He has argued numerous cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court on issues including first amendment, fair housing, due process, employment discrimination and zoning.  He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in Section 1983 litigation.  

John frequently presents at conferences and workshops on topics affecting municipalities, including a zoning workshop organized by the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency in 2020.  He presents annually at Chicago-Kent’s Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference. 

John is a two-time winner of the Litigation Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association.  He has been selected to Super Lawyers from 2005-2012 and 2014-2020 and is one of Super Lawyers Top Rated lawyers in the State, Local and Municipal category.  He has been named to Best Lawyers in America.

John has been an elected official, serving for 12 years as a member of his local school board, the last four as President.