Highlights of his Experience
In the litigation context, Mr. Thomas does a variety of legal work. He drafts pleadings and motions and does mediations, trials, arbitrations and appeals. Most of his cases in litigation settle out of court. In 2008 he prevailed for clients in a breach of contract and equity suit against a defendant who breached a settlement agreement involving the defendant’s obligation under contract to purchase real property, after his clients were victorious in the first phase of the trial, which resulted in a subsequent settlement agreement involving a stipulated judgment worth $430,000 to his clients. In 2010 he defended the lessor who leased its premises to a Los Angeles area nightspot against allegations of contributing to corruption of public morals and decency, and public nuisance, which the municipality alleged caused it to incur investigation and prosecution costs of approximately $625,000. The city sought compensation for its costs from the client. Mr. Thomas’s client settled out of court without admitting liability or any payments to the city. He has brought a complaint in nuisance and diligently prosecuted it through discovery and pre-trial procedures against a large corporation alleging that its drive-through operations deprived retail tenants in the adjacent center of convenient access by vehicle and parking of vehicles, resulting in a very substantial monetary settlement for the seven businesses who joined as plaintiffs.
Recently, he filed a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Moore v. USC University Hospital and Confluent Surgical, Inc., involving allegations of medical malpractice and products liability against a sophisticated corporation and a subsidiary of Tyco Healthcare Corp., a neurosurgeon and research and teaching hospital who solicited the plaintiff, his client, to consent to use of the experimental Duraseal® Spinal Sealant without knowledge of the extraordinary risks of infection and violations of study protocol and contraindications for use of the Spinal Sealant, wherefore the titanium bone cages and hardware failed to fuse with her thoracic spine, and caused paralysis of the lower limbs and extremities below the waist. The U.S. Supreme Court denied his writ petition just days prior to the publication of this note in October of 2011; and currently, Mr. Thomas is preparing a motion in the District Court to overturn the summary judgment of the District Court in September 2009 based on fraud on the Court, and a second motion to compel the defendants in the case to produce documents created in the clinical trial of Duraseal® Spinal Sealant. These documents which entitle her to overturn the summary judgment rendered by the District Court in September 2009, prove that defendants violated the study protocol in applying the Spinal Sealant in Ms. Moore’s “revision surgery” to her dura mater, and that the defendants violated contraindications for use of the Spinal Sealant in applying Spinal Sealant to Ms. Moore with the non-autologous sealant Gelfoam®. The documents also prove that during the clinical trials, physicians complained to the Food and Drug Administration that the Spinal Sealant caused serious damage to the spine of other patients. In proceedings before the District Court and during the proceedings in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the documents were shielded from disclosure to the public by the Food and Drug Administration under the Freedom of Information Act, Trade Secrets Act and the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act. An alternative ground for the motion to overturn the summary judgment is that defendants fraudulently withheld information from Ms. Moore which evidenced a significant rate of leak of cerebrospinal fluid in the lot of Spinal Sealant which was applied to patients enrolled in the clinical trial at USC University Hospital including Ms. Moore.
Fee Arrangements
Typically for small to medium sized businesses, Mr. Thomas charges a standard fee ranging from Two Hundred to Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars per hour. He may require a retainer upon execution of the fee agreement with the client. Retainers are standard for small to medium sized businesses.
Mr. Thomas rarely accepts work on a contingent fee basis for established business clients. Legal work in negotiations, closings, mediations, arbitrations, and lawsuits is invoiced to business clients at a standard hourly rate.
For individuals, Mr. Thomas may request either an hourly fee or a contingent fee, especially in litigation, but the fee arrangement is discretionary. The arrangements for individual client vary from case to case and from client to client.