Long-serving Nova Scotia justice dies after brief battle with cancer

A long-serving justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has died just five months after being diagnosed with cancer.

John David Murphy was 70.

Colleagues say Murphy was a definitive trial judge and sat on civil, criminal and family trials.

Joseph Kennedy, chief justice of the Supreme Court, says Murphy was “one of the very best judges to sit on the Nova Scotia bench.”

From Charlottetown, Murphy graduated from Dalhousie University’s law school in 1973 and was admitted to the Nova Scotia bar a year later.

Murphy practised at Stewart McKelvey for 27 years, focusing primarily on admiralty law, marine and fisheries, commerce and litigation.

He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 2001.

Friends described him as a humble and understated man who was involved in community and church organizations, including the provincial barristers’ society, the Boy Scouts of Canada and the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities.

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