618-435-8123 | 602 Public Square Benton, IL 62812

Our Staff

Our professionally trained and experienced staff provide expert support to our Attorneys and stand ready to assist you every step of the way.


Our Office Manager extraordinaire, as well as the firm’s Executive Legal Assistant.

Nicole H.

Nicole is the legal assistant for Murphy and Jennifer. She is knowledgeable and experienced and has been serving the legal community since 1997.

Nicole Downey

Nicole D.

Nicole is Murphy’s real estate assistant and helps Murphy and his clients close transactions quickly and efficiently.

Anna Erthall


Anna is the receptionist of Hart Cantrell. She is ready and willing to assist clients with a friendly smile.

Meagan Matthews


Meagan is the legal assistant for Jonathan. She joined Hart Cantrell in 2020 and has proven to be a valuable asset to Jonathan and his clients.


Both friendly and efficient, our receptionist Amy’s smiling face greets all of our visitors and guests.


"I have known Murphy for a number of years. We have utilized him in our business, Jerkins Creative Consulting, and in most of our private work. My wife and I have discussed with him many of the things we experienced in life and experienced with our kids, and we did our trust and our will through his law firm. We have sold and bought property over the years, and Murphy has always done all of our documentation. He is very professional, very communicative and detail-oriented. My wife and I have counted on Murphy and his staff to do a good job for us."
- Floyd Jerkins, Jerkins Creative Consulting


"Murphy Hart is an attorney who makes you feel confident: He has law experience to go along with his knowledge of real estate — and there is a lot to know because laws are always changing. Buying a house is a serious thing, and most people know nothing about it. It's good to know that Hart Cantrell is not only a title company: It's a title company and a law firm. Murphy is so accommodating and has a nice way with people, plus he comes from a long line of attorneys. I really appreciate his flexibility and his ability to talk to people." - Lynette Ing, Real Estate Agent


“After a suffering a serious injury at work, I hired Jonathan and he did a great job making sure my benefits were paid throughout a lengthy recovery process. Although my health never recovered enough to go back to my old job, Jonathan was able to obtain a substantial settlement to help my family be set up for the future. I would recommend Jonathan to anyone who has been injured at work.” - Brett M.


“After getting nowhere with the insurance company, I hired Jonathan to help me with my worker’s compensation claim. I was impressed at how fast he was able to get my case settled, and I am very happy with my settlement. If I ever need an attorney in the future, Jonathan will be the first person I call.” - Adam R.


“My son suffered a serious injury, and I had no idea what our rights were and whether I could get my son any help. To my pleasant surprise, Jonathan was able to help us secure a significant settlement that has my son’s future looking much brighter.” - Jonathan H.


“My family went through a very difficult and lengthy lawsuit involving disputed inheritances, finances, and real estate rights. Jonathan took our case to the appellate court, where he was successful, and he helped us resolve the entire case after years of legal battles. Jonathan did an outstanding job on behalf of my family, and I would recommend him to anyone looking for a good attorney.” - Joyce W.


“I had to go onto Social Security Disability as a result of my work injury. Jonathan was able to get me a good settlement for my worker’s compensation claim while making sure my social security benefits were not affected. I am very happy that I made the right choice by hiring Jonathan.” - Michael S.


“My wife and I hired Hart Cantrell to revise our Wills and update our estate planning. The attorney did a great job explaining our options, and we ultimately chose them to prepare our new Wills and Power of Attorney documents. We are very happy we chose Hart Cantrell.” – Ronald B.


Over the years, Hart has acquired a number of repeat clients and loyal realtors and lenders, such as longtime realtor Christy Powers.

“I have used Murphy for title examination and closings ever since I first started buying and selling homes,” says Powers, an agent at Property With TLC in nearby Herrin. “Murphy is very efficient, quick and trustworthy, and that’s the way we like it! – Christy Powers


Peter J. Birnbaum, president of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, has known Hart for most of his career. “Murphy’s dad Richard was one of the founders of my company, and Murphy serves on the board of directors,” says Birnbaum. “Murphy is one of the most valued attorney agents of our title insurance underwriter. Over the years, we have worked together on many transactions.
“Murphy is one of the most gifted real estate attorneys I have ever known,” Birnbaum says.– Peter J. Brinbaum

Call us Now for a Free Initial Consultation: 618-435-8123