Skip to main content

About me

My staff and I specialize in partnering with our clients to meet the needs of their lives: helping them organize their business, buying homes, building assets, helping with family problems and resolving conflict. I encourage clients to explore alternative conflict resolution, including negotiation, mediation and Collaborative Law before engaging in litigation.  We look forward to helping our friends, neighbors and fellow business owners find cost-effective solutions to their legal needs.


I formed Ward & Murphy by merging the practices of Jack Ward in Ithaca and Evan Webster in Groton. Both of those practices served people in Tompkins County for nearly twenty years. Over those twenty years, both Jack and Evan built solid reputations for providing their clients with timely solutions to their legal problems.


I started my career with a large law firm in New York City. After a brief stint in Pittsburgh, I spent nearly 8 years with a securities litigation firm in Wilmington, Delaware helping investors recover from stock fraud and doing pro bono work on the local desegregation case. My family and I decided to move to Ithaca nearly ten years ago so that we could be closer to our families and so that I could take over a law practice that focused on providing comprehensive legal services to a community.




Photos and videos

1769781 1263843011

Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 30%
    26 years
  2. Family: 20%
    15 years
  3. Corporate & Incorporation: 15%
    26 years
  4. Real Estate: 10%
    15 years
  5. Other: 25%
  6. More 



Hourly ($290-350/hour)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Anthony A. Marrone II

    I worked with Liam as adversaries on a contested litigation matter. The issues were complex and heated, but Liam's approach was professional and polite. As we continued working through the matter, I developed a deep respect for the manner in which Liam conducted himself and advocated on behalf of his client. Liam is a credit to the legal profession.


    Anthony Marrone Elder Law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Christopher B. Colosi

    Liam's knowlege and experience in the fields of criminal and family law are extensive. He's always quick with solid advice and gives the attention to his clients that these types of cases demand. An excellent attorney!


    Christopher Colosi Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact info

Shaw & Murphy, PLLC

109 East Seneca Street
Ithaca, NY, 14850

Shaw & Murphy, PLLC

170 Main Street
Groton, NY, 14850



NYCurrently registered 198903/13/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2013
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2012
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2011
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2010
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2009
Outstanding VolunteerGirl Scouts-Seven Lakes Council2009
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2008
District Award of MeritBoy Scouts of America2007
Empire State CounselNew York State Bar Association2007
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerShaw & Murphy, PLLC2012 - Present
PartnerWard & Murphy1999 - Present
Senior CounselMorris & Morris1992 - 1999
AssociateCohen & Grigsby1991 - 1992
AssociateDechert Price & Rhoads1989 - 1991
Association namePosition nameDuration
International Association of Collaborative ProfessionalsMember2008 - Present
Estate Planning Council of Tompkins CountyMember2007 - Present
New York State Bar Association, Family Law SectionMember, Collaborative Law Committee2005 - Present
Cortland County Bar AssociationMember2001 - Present
Tompkins County Bar AssociationMember1999 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1989 - Present
New York State Bar AssociationMember1989 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Kyes v. Northbrook Property & Casualty Ins. co.Won reversal for client.
Nicholson v. HatchSuccessful in obtaining support from father.
Lopez v. RobinsonSuccessfully defended mother's result.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Touro International Law ReviewA proposal on international legal responses to terrorism1991
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
New York University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1988
Brown UniversityEconomicsAB with honors in Economics1985
London School of Economics and Political ScienceEconomicsMichaelmas Term 1983N/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Monthly CLE LectureAppellate Advocacty2014
Monthly CLE SeriesEthics In Estate Planning2011
Dispute Resolution Beyond the CourtroomUse of Collaborative Law in resolving probate disputes2010
City Club Lunch LectureChanges in New York Law 20102010
A Review of Trusts, Retirement Assets, and Ethics in Estate PlanningEthics in Estate Planning2010
Basic Estate Planning DocumentsUnderstanding and using basic estate planning documents2008
Homer ChautauquaBasic Estate Planning documents2002
Choosing a Corporate EntitySelecting between partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations1997