Tom has experience in jury and bench trial on behalf of employers in sex harassment, age discrimination, and complex contract dispute cases. He also has directed all aspects of litigation, including pre-trial discovery and law and motion practice, involving claims of discrimination (sex, race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and others), tort (defamation, assault, battery, infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and others), and breach of contract.
Tom has also developed an expertise in wage and hour defense, including in class actions asserting failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal breaks, and other alleged violations of California and federal law.
Tom has led the defense in arbitrations involving a wide range of claims, including for breach of contract, discrimination, and violations of the California Labor Code.
Tom has also argued a large number of appellate matters, including briefing and arguing cases before the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, and other state and federal courts in California and elsewhere. Examples of Tom’s published cases include:
- Guz v. Bechtel National, Inc., 24 Cal. 4th 317 (2000), a landmark Supreme Court decision addressing California state law for claims of discrimination, breach of employment contract, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing
- Greene v. Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, 49 Cal.4th 277 (2010), a unanimous California Supreme Court decision upholding the legality of a flood fee election raising millions of dollars for flood protection in Marin County.
- Stiefel v. Bechtel Corp., 624 F.3d 1240 (9th Cir. 2010), a Ninth Circuit decision involving novel substantive and procedural issues for disability discrimination claims.
- Conley v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 131 Cal. App. 4th 260 (2005), a Court of Appeal decision rejecting opinion letters from the California Labor Commissioner involving class certification and vacation pay.
- West v. Bechtel Corporation, 96 Cal. App. 4th 966 (2002), a decision overturning a jury verdict in which the plaintiff had asserted state discrimination laws applied to employment overseas.
- Application Group, Inc. v. The Hunter Group, 61 Cal. App. 4th 881 (1998), a landmark decision addressing conflicts of law as applied to noncompetition clauses.