Judicial candidate interview: Maite Murphy

Once our legislators are back in session, they'll be asked to fill a number of judicial appointments. To help better inform those politicos who read this blog, as well as shine a little light on this process for the general public, we've invited those who are seeking contested seats to introduce themselves to our readers.

While some candidates responded to our email inviting them to do Blogland interviews, the majority don't respond. However, the level of responses are growing, which we see as a part of a growing willingness by our state's judiciary to open up to the general public - which we believe is a good thing.

In addition to interviews, we'll be talking about issues related to various judicial candidacies and making endorsements of some of the judicial candidates who we believe stand above what is generally a pretty good group of candidates. We invite you to stay tuned for our continued focus on these judicial races.

Our first interviewee is Maite Murphy, a Dorchester County magistrate, Summerville attorney, and former 1st Circuit prosecutor. She's also the only female candidate to make it out of screening for this round of judicial elections.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am married to Chris Murphy who is a Citadel graduate and serves on Dorchester County Council and we have two sons. I was admitted to practice law in 1995 and I began my career in Columbia with the law firm of Holler, Dennis, Corbett & Garner where I practiced general litigation.

In 1998 I began working at the First Circuit Solicitors office under a special grant to prosecute violent crimes against women. I was assigned to prosecute the violent crimes against women and children in the office and rose to the rank of Chief Deputy Solicitor for the First Judicial Circuit, which includes Calhoun, Dorchester and Orangeburg Counties. In 2005, I joined the law firm of Quattlebaum & Murphy (which later became the Murphy Law Firm-ed.). I handle all aspects of criminal and civil trial practice. The practice of law is an honorable profession that helps people through very difficult times and it has been very rewarding both personally and professionally.

Why are you seeking this judicial seat?

I want to become a Circuit Court Judge because I know I can have a positive impact on our legal system in that capacity. The experience I have gained through extensive trial work has placed me in a unique position that has allowed me to learn not only from other lawyers, but from judges, juries and victims of crimes or other life circumstances. It is extremely important that every person that walks into a courtroom, regardless of the outcome of the case, should feel that the court was diligent, efficient and fair. I know I can bring those qualities to the bench.

What are some important things that you have to offer as a judge?

One of the strong points that I would bring to the office is trial experience. The Circuit Court is a trial level Court and having that trial experience is a strong component of being a good trial court judge. In addition, I was appointed as Special Referee in 2005 of the ExxonMobil class action suit which was filed in Orangeburg County. Also, my current service as the Associate Chief Magistrate for Dorchester County has given me important insight on the judiciary and how it can impact the lives of our citizens.

What are some important qualities the public should expect in a judicial candidate?

A judge should at all times be fair, diligent, and knowledgeable while maintaining respect to both the litigants and to the honor of the profession.

Tell us about some issues that concern you regarding our state's judicial system.

The issues that concern me the most about our State’s courts deal with the fact that there is a tremendous backlog of cases to be disposed of and heard. This gives parties an impression that if they are to receive justice and be part of the system, it is going to take a long time to get there. That holds true in both civil and criminal matters. There have been other very serious consequences of the back logs by having people commit serious crimes while out on bond for extensive periods of time before their cases are called to trial. This of course, is not just a problem for the judiciary, but for the staffs of the Solicitors and Public Defenders whose resources are limited by budgetary constraints.

What other things do you do outside the practice of law?

I am a huge sports fan (especially of my two boys’ teams), an avid snow skier, scuba diver and love to run with my three dogs who are very enthusiastic motivators in the mornings!

12 Response to "Judicial candidate interview: Maite Murphy"

  1. WillDriggers 4/12/09 16:34
    As a law enforcement officer, I have had many opportunities to work with Maite on both sides of the courtroom, as a solicitor and a defense attorney. In both situations she has always conducted herself professionally and has shown compassion to all those involved. I have the upmost confidence that she would serve our community well as a fair and impartial Judge.

    Sergeant William Driggers
    Town of Summerville Police Department
  2. Jeffrey 14/1/10 13:25
    I have known Maite for a number of years now and she is without question one of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Maite is a very caring, compassionate, and professional officer of the court who is truly committed to all that she does and to all whom she serves. Maite's character is woven from the highest moral fiber and that is evidenced by her conduct and achievements every day. Maite's knowledge, expertise, compassion, and sense of duty and responsibility would be an asset to our judicial system. More importantly, she is the type of person and the type of judge the people of our great state deserves.

    Jeffrey McWhorter
    President & CEO
    South Carolina Public Railways
  3. Ron 14/1/10 14:10
    Maite would make an outstanding judge. I've known her since she was a solicitor and her knowledge and expertise is a credit to her profession. Our community would be greatly benefited with her as a judge.

    Lt. R.L. Thomason
    Summerville Police Department
  4. Kerrie Mitchum 14/1/10 14:19
    I met Maite before she was even a resident of this fine state. She was just as friendly, compassionate, fair, and smart then as she is now. Being close friends, I value her opinions on all matters - personally, locally, globally. I consider her a blessing in my life, and I know she would be considered an asset to our judicial system.

    Kerrie Mitchum
    CT Director
    Palmetto Primary Care Physicians
  5. Ed Carter 14/1/10 14:23
    I have known Maite for 10+ years. I think she will make an outstanding judge and she has my unwaivering support. She has the judicial temperment that we need on the bench and I cannot think of a better or more qualified candidate.

    Edward B. Carter
    Retired Administrator, Dorchester County
  6. Frank 14/1/10 15:35
    I have known Maite for quite some time and I know her to be a well respected member of our community. She is a hard worker and posseses the type of attitude and demeanor that would make her a fair and impartial judge. Allowing her to serve in this capacity would not only benefit the community as a whole but the entire judicial system.

    Major Frank A. Nigro Jr.
    Assistant Chief of Police
    Summerville Police Department
  7. Larry Hargett 14/1/10 17:43
    I have known Maite' Murphy for seven years and know that she is an outstanding Lawyer. She will also be a very good Judge. Maite' gets my vote every time.

    Larry Hargett
    Dorchester County Council
  8. Casey 15/1/10 10:45
    I know Maite as my Attorney and as a close family friend. Let me assure you that Maite's integrity and strong values would serve our State and Community well. When elected Maite will raise the bar for all those who will follow.

    Casey Brabham
    President & CEO
    Palmetto Equipment Sales
  9. Ray Walsh 16/1/10 15:09
    I have known Maité for a number of years personally but her professionalism is above all. We need more judges like her serving our community.

    Ray Walsh
    Horne Realty, LLC
  10. Louis DiMuzio Jr 19/1/10 08:43
    I have Maite for many years and am confident she will be an outstanding judge for our community.
  11. Kelly 21/1/10 15:42
    I have known Maite for several years personally and as a Rotarian. I would highly recommend her to serve our community and state as a Judge.

    Kelly P Williams
    AllCare Living Services, Inc.
    Summerville, SC
  12. Michelle WAring 25/1/10 10:44
    We have know Maite for many yeras. We know her to be very driven, commpasionate and a person with high moral standards. She is very highly respected in our community and she is known to always go the extra mile. We believe she would be a great asset to the judicial system and would serve our community well. Maite gets our vote with out a doubt!

    Michelle & Chris Waring
    Millenium Staffing
    Summerville, SC

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