Zarbas seek legal fees from Murphys

Oak Bluffs property owners John and Susan Zarba are seeking legal fees from the Murphys. — Rich Saltzberg

Oak Bluffs homeowners John and Susan Zarba have filed a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs in a long and bitter superior court case they defended against and saw dismissed in November. Keith and Lori Murphy brought what ultimately became a consolidated zoning case against the Zarbas, their next-door neighbors, after efforts to get the town’s zoning board of appeals to address zoning complaints failed. The ZBA was also technically a defendant in the case. 

The Zarbas are represented by New Bedford attorneys Daniel Perry and Neil Smola. The Murphys are represented by Plymouth attorney Richard Serkey. Since the Zarbas filed their motion, the Murphys have added two lawyers to the case, Boston attorneys Erin Higgins and Christopher Sweeney.


  1. Well this will get even more expensive. Sometimes I wish I had gone to law school. Most times I’m glad I didn’t.

  2. Why doesn’t anyone seem to notice that the Zarbas are accusing the town and the Murphys of being litigious, yet they are now suing the town administrator, the old and new building inspectors, the town assessor, each member of the ZBA individually, town counsel and the Murphys for money? Has anyone thought about what they are costing the town, all those individuals, and they Murphys in legal fees? The Zarbas are trying to get rich off this. Don’t be fooled.

    • The Zarbas were hounded for years by the Murphys, the town, its officials and all of their lawyers. And then proven correct. I don’t begrudge them coming for their pound of flesh now.

    • Agreed. My goodness gracious. These people. Wait til they sell the house in three years and move to the next drama.

    • Wait, so you are saying the Zarbas purposely put themselves through four plus years of hell being mistreated, bullied and bankrupted by town officials and neighbors being forced to defend themselves against 6 lawsuits so that after they won every lawsuit they could try to “get rich” by holding those responsible for their bad behavior accountable. That’s BRILLIANT! Why didn’t I think of that!

  3. These people have been held hostage for years over a 26 inch zone problem adjacent to a cemetery where only dead people reside. They should sue in order to get some restitution for extreme intimidation over nothing significant.

  4. I hope the Zarbas get a few million for their troubles. Maybe Goldsmith and Rappaport should pitch-in to pay this and help out the OB taxpayers.

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