Tom specializes in civil appeals and insurance coverage, including litigation of coverage disputes. He has argued over three hundred and fifty cases in various appellate courts, including the Oregon and Washington supreme courts and courts of appeal, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has also argued a case in the United States Supreme Court (Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton (1995)).
Tom also practices constitutional and election law. He has successfully challenged laws that infringe on free speech, as well as several voter-approved initiatives that improperly attempted to amend the Oregon Constitution. He has also successfully defended some initiatives against legal challenges.
In 1990, the Oregon Supreme Court appointed Tom to be a part-time judge in the Multnomah County Circuit Court, and has re-appointed him every four years since then. He sits as judge once or twice each month, hearing motions.
Education & Bar Admissions:
Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Oregon (1979) and a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law (1983).
He is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the bars of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
- Delegate, American Bar Association
- Delegate, Oregon State Bar House of Delegates
- Member, Board of Directors, Multnomah Bar Association
- Member and Chair, Board of Directors, Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund
- Member, Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability (hears ethics complaints against judges)
- Member, Board of Directors, Office of Public Defense Services (provides lawyers at state expense for indigent criminal defendants)
Tom is a past president of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.
A native Portlander, Tom has traveled extensively throughout the United States. He is married and has two daughters. His leisure interests include fly fishing, soccer (both playing and watching), and golf.
- Highest rating (“A.V.”) by Martindale-Hubbell since 4th year of practice
- Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (membership by invitation only)
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America (for appellate law, insurance law and First Amendment law)
- Selected by Best Lawyers in America as Oregon’s 2011 “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of appellate practice, 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of insurance law, and 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of First Amendment law
- Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers