Thomas W. Brown, chair of Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP’s litigation practice group, has been honored by the Multnomah Bar Association with the 2013 MBA Professionalism Award. Thom is the third Cosgrave lawyer to receive the award, joining Randall Kester and Walter Sweek. The award will be presented at the MBA’s annual dinner in May.
The MBA Professionalism Award recognizes candidates who exemplify, not simply meet, the standards set forth in the MBA Professionalism Statement:
“Professionalism goes beyond the observance of the legal profession's ethical rules and serves the best interests of clients and the public in general; it fosters respect and trust among lawyers and between lawyers and the public, promotes the efficient resolution of disputes, and makes the practice of law more enjoyable and satisfying.”
Thom joined Cosgrave in 1981 and served as the firm’s managing partner from 1994 to 2010. His practice focuses on civil appeals in state and federal courts, insurance coverage opinions and litigation, and professional liability defense. He is an approved arbitrator for the Arbitration Service of Portland and an approved mediator for the Oregon Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. On appointment by the Oregon Supreme Court, Thom serves as a pro tem judge in Multnomah County Circuit Court, handling summary judgment motions.
Among many other professional accomplishments and activities, Thom is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the Litigation Counsel of America; a master in the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court; and a member of the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society, the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Historical Society, and the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel.
He has been involved extensively in both the MBA and Oregon State Bar, serving as chair of the OSB Appellate Practice Section Executive Committee and OSB Law Practice Management Section Executive Committee and president of the MBA.
Thom is also a former member of the board of directors of the ALFA International law firm network and a current member of its Strategic Planning Committee, Insurance Law Practice Group, Law Firm Management Practice Group, and Professional Liability Practice Group. Thom has also served as chair of the board of directors of the Classroom Law Project, a nonprofit organization of educators, lawyers, and civic leaders that helps students at all grade levels learn to be informed and active citizens.
Thom received his bachelor’s degree in Radio/Television/Film from the University of Texas and his law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School. Before joining Cosgrave, he clerked for the Honorable William Richardson of the Oregon Court of Appeals. Thom is admitted to the Oregon and Washington state bars; U.S. District Courts for the District of Oregon, Eastern District of Washington, Western District of Washington; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; and U.S. Supreme Court.