As a litigator, Tom develops relationships with his clients through trust, intense analysis of the dispute, and fierce advocacy in and out of the courtroom. In taking this approach, he works to achieve the most beneficial result in the quickest manner possible. Tom assists clients in a wide variety of areas including professional liability, products liability, real estate, intellectual property, restrictive covenants, lender liability, franchise, international and bankruptcy.
Professional Liability. Tom defends claims against professionals including lawyers and accountants, directors and officers, architects and engineers, bankers, and real estate agents, brokers and appraisers. His representative cases include:
- Successfully defending officers/directors against fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims in a 7-figure dispute.
- Successfully defending an accountant in a 7-figure accounting malpractice action.
- Successfully defending an attorney in an 8-figure negligence claim involving a commercial real estate transaction.
- Successfully representing numerous real estate professionals in claims involving negligence, non-disclosure and misrepresentation.
Products Liability. Tom represents manufacturers, distributors and suppliers in disputes arising from allegations that a product caused harm or death. He has handled cases involving as few as one and as many as 15 aggrieved parties. His product liability experience includes:
- Successfully defending a commercial boiler manufacturer in an 8-figure wrongful death case.
- Successfully defending a vitamin supplement manufacturer against claims of defective manufacturing and false advertising.
- Successfully defending a manufacturer of energy drinks against claims of defective manufacturing using hazardous ingredients.
- Successfully defending an automatic door manufacturer against claims of defective design in a wrongful death case.
Real Estate Disputes. Tom helps real estate owners, purchasers, landlords and tenants resolve disputes involving real property. He litigates matters involving lease, purchase and sale agreements, title issues, liens, appraisals and other contract-related matters. Some of his representative real estate cases include:
- Successfully representing a real estate buyer in a 7-figure contract dispute through a federal jury trial, resulting in a favorable verdict against the seller.
- Prosecuting and obtaining a trial verdict in favor of a commercial real estate developer against a contractor, including the dismissal of the contractor’s counterclaim for breach of contract.
- Enforcing commercial landord’s rights against defaulting tenants, including lock-out and forcible detainer trials of retail tenants.
Intellectual Property and Restrictive Covenant Disputes. Tom has considerable experience helping his clients protect and defend their intellectual property assets including trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. His clients also turn to him for assistance with enforcing and/or contesting restrictive covenants such as non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. His experience in this area includes:
- Successfully defending a developer in a 7-figure copyright infringement action arising out of an architect’s claim to ownership of model home plans.
- Successfully defending former employees in a 7-figure restrictive covenant/non-compete action related to the employees’ commencement of work at a competitor’s business.
- Successfully representing a former employee in dispute where the previous employer alleged trade secret violations and sought to enforce a non-compete agreement.
Business and Franchise Disputes. Tom regularly intervenes when business owners fight with their partners or third parties. In disputes between business partners, Tom often tackles issues involving compensation, accounting, theft and control of the business. To resolve these disputes, Tom routinely helps his clients with judicial dissolution, appointment of receivers, buyouts and related settlement arrangements. In addition, Tom represents franchisors and franchisees in various franchise-related disputes.
International Law. When necessary, Tom helps his clients resolve international disputes. His experience includes representing clients in Canada, Mexico and Spain with product liability, employment and breach of contract issues.
Lender Liability. Tom helps banks and other lenders defend lender liability including fraud, collusion, non-payment of draws, withholding insurance proceeds, and general negligence. In addition, he has a successful track record of representing his clients in Fair Market Valuation hearings. Some of his representative lender liability experience includes:
- Successfully defending a 7-figure lender liability claim while collecting lender’s deficiency.
- Obtaining client’s desired outcome at fair market value hearing that extinguished creditor’s 7-figure deficiency claim.
Bankruptcy Disputes. Tom has experience handling various aspects of bankruptcy adversarial proceedings, including nondischargability and removed state court actions.
"How to Bulletproof Your Expert Report Against Opposing Counsel Attacks," Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants Forensic & Litigation Services Conference, September 2016
"e-Discovery Update," PLDF Annual Meeting, Fall 2014
"Navigating the Disclosure and Discovery Rules," Arizona State Bar, October 2012
"Lender Liability," Professional Liability Defense Federation Annual Meeting, Fall 2012
"Accounting Liability," Professional Liability Defense Federation Annual Meeting, Fall 2010
"Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in the United States," CILS International Litigation Seminar, 2007
"Personal Jurisdiction Over Parties to Internet Transactions," Arizona State Bar Convention, 2005
- Professional Liability Defense Federation, Accounting Malpractice Section, Past Chair
- International Law Section of State Bar of Arizona, Chair
- Arizona Association of Gifted and Talented, Vice-President
- Friends of Phoenix Public Library, Board of Directors
- Arizona Business and Education Coalition, Member
Tom has earned an AV-Preeminent Rating with Martindale Hubbell. He is listed in Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. In 2012, Arizona Foothills Magazine nominated Tom to its “Best Commercial Lawyer” list.