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Press Release

First Assistant United States Attorney Joseph “Joe” Murphy appointed Acting United States Attorney, Western District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee
Joe Murphy, First Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Effective March 1, 2021, First Assistant United States Attorney Joseph C. Murphy, Jr., will succeed former United States Attorney D. Michael Dunavant as the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee pursuant to the Vacancies Reform Act.

Murphy, a graduate of Lambuth College and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis, has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Memphis office since 1989. He was named as the office’s First Assistant U.S. Attorney in July of 2018. Prior to being named First Assistant, Murphy served as the office’s Criminal Chief beginning in 2011. In that role he supervised 28 Assistant U.S. Attorneys who investigated and prosecuted criminal cases in the Memphis office and 10 support staff. He also served as Chief of the office’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force for three years before being named Criminal Chief. Between 1991 and 2007, Murphy served as a line assistant in both the office’s criminal division and drug task force.

During his career with the Justice Department, Murphy has tried approximately 125 felony cases to verdict in U.S. District Court. These cases included prosecutions of health care professionals for illegally distributing controlled substances; mail and wire fraud cases; and theft cases involving pension funds and interstate shipments. Murphy has also represented the government in over 200 cases litigated before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and he has argued approximately 48 cases before that court.

A Memphis resident, Murphy has been married to Sandy Murphy for 32 years and has two adult children. Active in community and legal affairs, he is a member of the Leo Bearman, Sr. Inn of the American Inns of Court and a Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation and has served as a volunteer with the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America.



Cherri Green
Reentry and Community Outreach Coordinator
(901) 544-4231

Updated March 1, 2021