Tom serves as chair of the Insurance Coverage practice group for the firm’s Phoenix office. He provides insurance coverage analysis and advice to many commercial insurance companies. At one time or another, he has provided his clients with coverage advice under the laws of nearly all 50 states. Tom offers a unique depth of experience, having analyzed coverage under commercial general liability policies as well as commercial auto, professional liability, public officials liability, law enforcement liability, director and officer liability, and homeowners policies. He also delivers CLE programs on commercial insurance coverage issues.
Clients and colleagues often call upon Tom for his analysis and advice in complex insurance cases. They regularly seek his counsel on matters involving both liability insurance and first-party insurance. They also often seek his counsel in connection with extra-contractual liability claims.
In addition, Tom is one of the firm’s top appellate attorneys. He has briefed or argued more than 50 appeals in many state and federal appellate courts across the country. In fact, he has handled appeals in nine different state courts and five different circuits of the United States Court of Appeals. Tom developed his interest in appellate practice early on, as a law clerk for two justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court – Justice Lawrence Yetka and Justice John Simonett.
In a high-profile case, Tom represented the Arizona Legislature in an action against Arizona’s former Governor, Janet Napolitano, challenging the constitutionality of a partial veto. Tom successfully argued that the Governor had exceeded the line item veto power granted by the Arizona constitution.
Tom recently won an appeal of an employment matter in the Ninth Circuit. The case involved disability-inquiry claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the business-necessity defense. The EEOC filed an amicus brief and participated in oral argument. Tom successfully defeated the EEOC’s arguments.
Tom is a highly competitive person who likes to win – for his clients and for himself. For many years, he trained for and competed in triathlons. Today, he participates in masters swimming and road cycling. Over the years, he has supported the swimming careers of his sons and has volunteered extensively at local Arizona swim meets.