A Message From Thomas

For more than 44 years, I have practiced before a host of federal and state trial and appeal courts around the country, as well as handling proceedings before a single arbitrator or arbitration panel, I have also participated in innumerable mediations. Because of that lengthy experience, I believe that I am qualified to say that trial and appellate proceedings, with a few exceptions, are an uneconomic and inefficient "paper-chase." Commonly, a client’s interests are made subservient to crowded dockets, a lengthy and often unnecessary pre-trial process and large legal expenses, all to prepare the case for what often seems like interminable appeals. But, there are alternatives to the courthouse, and Arbitration and Mediation are those alternatives.

Mediation is an alternative to parties resolving the legal differences in the traditional venue: the courthouse. Mediation’s only goal is to settle the dispute through the assistance of a neutral person. Distinguishing itself from both litigation and arbitration, the mediator has no authority to compel a resolution of the dispute. However, it is a statistical fact that mediation usually results in a settlement.

If a dispute cannot be resolved by a settlement between the parties, whether its mediated or not, arbitration proceedings present the real potential of bringing the dispute resolution process back to the real prospects for an economic and efficient experience for the disputants. The players on this stage are the disputants’ counsel and the arbitrator. It is for the parties’ counsel and ultimately the arbitrator(s) in the form of the pre-trial order to shape the extent of the pre-trial process, including pre-trial discovery, and the timetable for the proceedings. Absent very extraordinary circumstances, the arbitrator’s decision is final with no prospects for an appeal. This lawyer believes that a fair and strong-minded arbitrator can make the adversary process a prompt and efficient process, besting the time and expense of a courthouse trial and several appellate stops before a final decision can be realized.

In my 4 + decades of practicing before courts and arbitrators, I know how to make the Arbitration and Mediation processes realize their potential and delivering those benefits to the disputants. In terms of competence, my record speaks for itself as to my expertise and capabilities in the adversary process. I have handled numerous disputes involving domestic and foreign lending institutions, public companies and private businessmen spanning a host of various industries. In the past ten years, I have concentrated my practice in the oil and gas industry, especially the upstream sector of the industry.

I am prepared and more than willing to serve as a mediator or arbitrator for your dispute. Be it a domestic or international dispute, I am committed to doing my very best to assist the parties in reaching a resolution of their difference through an amicable settlement via mediation. If the matter cannot be resolved, I am capable and prepared to deliver a fair, impartial and competent decision in a prompt and efficient manner. Be advised, however that I cannot serve as an arbitrator in a dispute if I have already served as a mediator.