Peter L. Murray

Visiting Professor of Law

2021-2022

Biography

Peter Murray taught his first course at HLS in 1978. In most years since then he has taught at least one course here. He was a full-time member of the HLS faculty from 1993 to 2008. For many years he combined part time teaching at HLS with practice as a trial lawyer in Maine. He served as the Director of the HLS Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop for more than 20 years.

In recent years, his courses here have been Evidence, Trial Advocacy Workshop and Oral Argument before International Tribunals Workshop.

Professor Murray’s academic interests include Evidence, Civil Procedure, Comparative Law, International Dispute Resolution, and the Legal Profession. He is available to supervise research projects and papers in these areas.

In 1998 he taught as a Fulbright Professor in Freiburg, Germany. His German Civil Justice (2004) is the standard English-language work on German civil procedure. He also has written on the role and function of Public Notaries in Germany and Europe. He has lectured and taught on comparative civil procedure, the American Legal System, and the role and function of public notaries in various settings around the world.

Areas of Interest

Peter L. Murray & Rolf Sturner, German notaries in real estate and corporate law matters: preventative and restorative justice in Germany and the United States (2020).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Foreign Law
Type: Book
Eric D. Green, Charles R. Nesson & Peter L. Murray, Problems, Cases, and Materials on Evidence (4th ed. 2017).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Evidence
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, The Privatisation of Civil Justice, 85 Austl. L. J. 490 (2011).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, French Notaries and the American Mortgage Crisis, in The Financial Crisis of 2008: French and American Responses - Proceedings of the 2010 Franco-American Legal Seminar 275 (Martin A. Rogoff, Michael Dixon & Eric Bither, eds., 2011).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Property Law
,
Banking & Finance
Sub-Categories:
Finance
,
Real Estate
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, Mass Torts and American Civil Justice, in Comparative Studies on Business Tort Litigation (Rolf Sturner & Masanori Kawano eds., 2011).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Torts
,
Torts - Business
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, Substantive Law in International Arbitration – An American Perspective, in International Contract Litigation, Arbitration and Judicial Responsibility in Transnational Disputes (Rolf Sturner & Masanori Kawano eds., 2011).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Practice & Procedure
,
International Arbitration
,
Foreign Law
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, The Role of American Courts in International Arbitration, in International Contract Litigation, Arbitration and Judicial Responsibility in Transnational Disputes (Rolf Sturner & Masanori Kawano eds., 2011).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Practice & Procedure
,
Foreign Law
,
International Arbitration
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, The Role of American Judges in Alternative Dispute Resolution, in International Contract Litigation, Arbitration and Judicial Responsibility in Transnational Disputes (Rolf Sturner & Masanori Kawano eds., 2011).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Practice & Procedure
,
International Arbitration
,
Foreign Law
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, Maine's Overdue Judicial Reforms, 62 Me. L. Rev. 631 (2010).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
State & Local Government
,
Courts
Type: Article
Abstract
The recent mandate to all organs of Maine state government to make major budget cuts in a time of international economic distress has focused attention on the fiscal and operational condition of Maine’s Judicial Branch. A symposium on March 30, 2009 at the University of Southern Maine presented various perspectives on the role of Maine’s judiciary as the twenty-first century unfolds, and the need for adequate resources to maintain the Judicial Branch as a vital and functioning branch of our tripartite system of government. It is clear that much of the challenge faced by our Judicial Branch is that of educating Maine’s politicians, citizens, and constituencies on the vital role of Maine’s courts and the importance of prioritizing funds to enable the Judicial Branch to do its work. On the other hand, sometimes a focus on lack of resources can divert attention from serious structural issues in Maine’s judicial system. We are blessed with a judiciary of high integrity, competence, and industry. Many aspects of Maine’s judicial function are modern and well suited to the tasks at hand. But there are also respects in which Maine’s judicial establishment has retained forms and institutions that better reflect values, technology, and political realities of the nineteenth century than those of the twenty-first. There is an urgent need for reform of some of these outdated elements of our justice system—not only to make the system more efficient, but also to provide Maine’s citizens with a better quality of justice. The purpose of this Article is to remind us of three reforms to Maine’s judicial establishment that are indeed overdue and to encourage us to push hard to bring all aspects of Maine’s court operations into the twenty-first century. First of all, the basic tiered structure of our courts of first instance, district, superior and probate, is a relic of the nineteenth century. The movement to unify these courts that began in the 1990s should be brought to its logical conclusion with the creation of a single Maine Trial Court. Second, the Maine county probate courts with part-time elected judges comprise an embarrassing anomaly in a system otherwise free of judicial elections and part-time judges. The probate judges should be phased out and the new Maine Trial Court should exercise probate jurisdiction. Third, Maine’s system of appellate justice, with only one true appellate court, has long been under stress because of overstretched resources. It is time to reorganize existing judicial resources to include an intermediate appellate court that can provide quality appellate review in the general run of cases and thus permit the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, to focus on guiding the work of the Judicial Branch and on hearing and deciding cases of unusual significance. The foregoing structural reforms should bring the structure of the Maine judicial system into the first rank of modern American judicial systems. The need for reform, however, does not stop here. The operations and practices of our civil and criminal courts were originally developed at a time when Maine’s citizens traveled on foot and horseback, when writing was done with quill pen on paper, and when oral discussion could take place only in the immediate vicinity of all the participants. Those days are long past. Developments in travel, information handling, and communications have rendered many of the operational practices of Maine’s civil and criminal justice systems obsolete and inefficient. The structural reforms urged herein must be complemented by a rigorous overhaul of operations before we get a court system that will serve Maine’s citizens efficiently and well under twenty-first century conditions.
Peter L. Murray, Mediation and Civil Justice: A Private-Public Partnership?, in Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy: Essays in Honour of Detlev Vagts (Pieter H. F. Bekker, Rudolf Dolzer & Michael Waibel eds., 2010).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
International Trade
Type: Book
Abstract
For the last thirty years in the United States and for the last ten years in England, Germany, Italy and other continental systems, various forms of mediation have been increasingly incorporated into the processes of civil justice. Interparty mediation by neutral third parties to facilitate settlements of civil disputes has become more and more commonplace in all public processes of dispute resolution. This mediation can take several forms, ranging from informal efforts by the trial judge to encouraging parties to settle the pending dispute to highly formalised settlement proceedings conducted by private professional mediators retained by the parties or appointed by the court. To date, court-annexed mediation has met with a generally enthusiastic reception by parties, courts, lawyers and academics. There is an abundant literature documenting the value of mediative techniques to facilitate case settlement, both anecdotally and statistically. The predominant tone of academic literature to date praises mediation for its flexibility, maintenance of party autonomy, ability to save costs of contested proceedings and the value of termination of disputes by agreement. Court decisions, on the other hand, are discounted as expensive, delayed and often not well adapted to the parties' real needs. The American civil justice system, with its high level of adversariality and expensive cost profile based on the jury trial model, has offered particularly fertile ground for the growth of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and incorporation of ADR into public justice processes. Incorporation of ADR modalities in civil justice processes has proceeded more slowly in Europe.
Peter L. Murray, The Civil Law Notary: Neutral Lawyer for the Situation: A Comparative Study on Preventative Justice in Modern Societies (2010).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Foreign Law
,
Property Rights
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, Class Actions in a Global Economy, in Current Topics of International Litigation (Rolf Sturner & Masanori Kawano eds., 2009).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Class Action Litigation
,
International Law
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, No, It's Really Not So Bad, 24 Maine B. J. 45 (2009).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Negotiation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
,
State & Local Government
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray & Andrew Watson, National Report for England, in Comparative Study on Authentic Instruments, National Provisions of Private Law, Circulation, Mutual Recognition and Enforcement, Possible Legislative Initiative by the European Union (2008).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Private Law
,
Foreign Law
,
European Law
Type: Other
Abstract
Sections on the United Kingdom with special reference to the role of notaries in England and Wales. This study provides an in-depth and objective comparative analysis of the national provisions of private law and private international law in the field of authentic instruments with special focus on their mutual recognition and enforcement within selected EU Member States. The results of this comparative analysis serve as a basis for evaluating if a legislative initiative of the European Union in this field is worthwhile or necessary. For that purpose, the study contains some proposals on the legal basis and the form as well as on the scope and the content of a possible regulatory intervention by the European Union.
Peter L. Murray, The Privatization of Civil Justice, 91 Judicature 272 (2008).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Litigation & Settlement
,
Practice & Procedure
Type: Article
Abstract
The growing privatization of civil justice brings the risk that public justice as we know it is being eroded.
Peter L. Murray, Real Estate Conveyancing in 5 European Union Member States: A Comparative Study (2007).
Categories:
Property Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
European Law
,
Comparative Law
,
Real Estate
Type: Other
Abstract
Comprehensive comparative law study of real estate conveyancing law, practices and costs in 5 European Union Member States, England, Estonia, France, Germany and Sweden, along with two of the United States, Maine and New York.
Arthur T. von Mehren & Peter L. Murray, Law in the United States (2d ed., 2007).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
Constitutional Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Law in the United States, Second Edition, is a concise presentation of the salient elements of the American legal system designed mainly for jurists of civil law backgrounds. It focuses on features of American law likely to be least familiar to jurists from other legal traditions, such as American common law, the federal structure of the U.S. legal system, and the American constitutional tradition. The use of comparative law technique permits foreign jurists to appreciate the American legal system in comparison with legal systems with which they are already familiar. Chapters in the second edition also cover such topics as American civil justice, criminal law, jury trial, choice of laws and international jurisdiction, the American legal profession, and the influence of American law in the global legal order.
Peter L. Murray, Privatization of Civil Justice, 15 Willamette J. Int'l L. & Dis. Res. 133 (2007).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Litigation & Settlement
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, In Memoriam: Arthur T. von Mehren, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 1954 (2006).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, David Westfall, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 954 (2006).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Richard H. Field & Peter L. Murray, Maine Evidence (6th ed., 2006).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Evidence
,
State & Local Government
Type: Book
Abstract
Maine Evidence is the standard treatise on the Maine Rules of Evidence and the case law interpreting and applying the rules in civil and criminal cases. Included are the text of the rules, Advisory Committee Notes, and comprehensive commentary and analysis. The 6th Edition (published in 2006) is revised and updated to include rules changes up to the time of publication and case analysis and other developments up to December 31, 2006.
Peter L. Murray & Rolf H. Stürner, German Civil Justice (2004).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Foreign Law
,
European Law
,
Civil Law
Type: Book
Abstract
German Civil Justice is an English-language detailed description and comparative analysis of the legal framework and practical working of the modern German civil justice system. This comprehensive work presents German civil litigation, both procedural law doctrine and actual practice, in terms relevant and understandable to readers mainly familiar with the common-law systems of England and the United States. Authors Murray and Sturner include detailed treatment of the various institutions of civil justice such as courts, judges and lawyers, discussion of the theoretical principles upon which German litigation is conducted, and a step-by-step analysis of German civil procedure, from the filing of suit to revision appeal. The work also includes coverage of specialized institutions of civil justice such as family law procedure, special streamlined warning and check procedures, execution, bankruptcy and arbitration, as well as extended treatment of German civil justice in international matters. The book concludes with a comparative analysis of the salient features of German civil litigation with Anglo-American civil justice institutions and procedures. German Civil Justice is oriented to lawyers, law professors, and law students who wish to obtain a basic understanding of the workings of the German civil justice system, current law and policy issues of that system, and how the German system compares with systems in Great Britain and the United States. The work contains abundant citations to additional sources for readers who seek more detailed knowledge of individual topics and issues. Chapter 1 of the book contains a brief overview of the system as a whole that is suitable for introductory purposes in courses with some other main focus.
Peter L. Murray, The Disappearing Massachusetts Civil Jury Trial, 89 Mass. L. Rev. 51 (2004).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Practice & Procedure
Type: Article
John Sheldon & Peter Murray, Rethinking the Rules of Evidentiary Admissibility in Non-Jury Trials, 86 Judicature 227 (2003).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Evidence
Type: Article
Abstract
The flood of self-represented litigants coming to court today requires a reassessment of American evidentiary traditions.
Peter L. Murray, A Morning in the Amstgericht: German Civil Justice in Practice, in Law and Justice in a Multistate World: Essays in Honor of Arthur T. von Mehren (James Nafziger & Symeon Symeonides eds., 2002).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
European Law
,
Civil Law
Type: Book
Detlev Vagts & Peter Murray, Litigating the Nazi Labor Claims: The Path Not Taken, 43 Harv. Int'l L.J. 503 (2002).
Categories:
Labor & Employment
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
International Law
,
European Law
,
Labor Law
,
Workers' Compensation
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, Should the Rules of Evidence be Modified for Civil Non-Jury Trials?, 43 Maine B. J. 30 (2002).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Evidence
,
State & Local Government
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, The Flight from Public Civil Justice, in Essays in honour of Konstantinos D. Kerameus (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Law, Research Institute of Procedural Studies eds., 2002).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Practice & Procedure
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, Eric Green & Charles R. Nesson, Problems, Cases and Materials on Evidence (Aspen Law & Bus. 3rd ed. 2001).
Categories:
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
Legal Profession
,
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Criminal Evidence
,
Evidence
,
Legal Education
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, Maine's Overburdened Law Court: Has the Time Come for a Maine Appeals Court?, 52 Me. L. Rev. 43 (2000).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Courts
,
State & Local Government
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray & Jens Drolshammer, The Education and Training of a New International Lawyer, 2 Eur. J. L. Reform 505 (2000).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, A Comparative Law Experiment, 8 Ind. Int'l & Compar. L. Rev. 231 (1998).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Evidence
,
Comparative Law
,
Civil Law
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, Basic Trial Advocacy (1995).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Book
Peter L. Murray, Choice of Law and Article 9: Situs or Sense?, 9 Hofstra L. Rev. 39 (1980).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Transactional Law
Type: Article
Peter L. Murray, Priority Problems in Receivables Financing: The German Experience and the Uniform Commercial Code Compared, 11 B.C. Indus. Com. L. Rev. 355 (1970).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Transactional Law
,
European Law
,
Foreign Law
Type: Article

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