THOMAS S. DILLARD, ESQ.

  • Available in Orange County, Southern California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

A trial attorney for over 23 years, Tom has resolved hundreds of matters through arbitration, mediation and trial, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. For the past 16 years, he has utilized his extensive litigation experience and mediation training from Pepperdine University's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution to pursue a full-time ADR practice, focusing on mediation and arbitration.

Prior to joining JW, Mr. Dillard was a founding partner and full-time Mediator/Arbitrator with Resolve It, a conflict solution company. To date, Mr. Dillard has mediated in excess of 3,000 cases and arbitrated more than 500 litigated matters. His experience encompasses a wide range of civil litigation, with particular expertise in medical malpractice, elder abuse, products liability, construction accidents, insurance coverage and all types of personal injury.

Both plaintiff and defense attorneys have commented favorably on Mr. Dillard’s ADR abilities, crediting his demeanor, ability to listen, perseverance and his diverse background representing both plaintiff and defense clients. One attorney commented, "His patience, skill and insight are the only reason this case settled." Another attorney added, "He is very knowledgeable, perceptive and persistent. His demeanor is excellent for a neutral."

Specialties

Testimonials

It was clear that Mr. Dillard wanted to get the fairest result for both sides. His expertise was apparent and I was very impressed. We Settled
- Attorney on a personal injury auto dispute

Thomas was a good mediator and had a no nonsense attitude.
- Attorney, Costa Mesa, California

On behalf of my firm and my client -I want to thank Tom for the thoroughness of his written decision. There can be no doubt that Tom seriously considered all of the evidence which was presented.
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, California

Thomas was very adept at gaining the trust of my client.
- Attorney, Whittier, California

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Full-time Mediator/Arbitrator, Resolve It (1999-00)
  • Judge Pro Tempore, Superior Court Settlement Conferences (1998-2005)
  • Orange County Superior Court Arbitration Panel (1985-2005)
  • Private General Civil Litigation Practice, San Clemente, CA (1996-98)
  • Managing Partner, Dicaro, Highman, D'Antony, Dillard, Fuller & Gregor (1991-96)
  • Partner, Dillard & Fuller, then Highman, Dillard & Fuller (1985-91)
  • Trial Attorney, Law Offices of Wylie Aitken (1984-85)
  • Trial Attorney, Barnes, Johnson, Carlson, Harris & successor firms (1979-84)
  • Marketing Representative, Mobil Oil Corp. & Tanco Development (1974-84)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., Western State University (1976)
  • B.A., California State University, Fullerton (1970)
  • Member, California and Orange County Bar Associations
  • Former Board Member, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Former Member, Southern California Defense Counsel and Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Past President Orange County Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • Panelist, The Masters Forum, Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution (2003)

Achievements & Awards

  • Mr. Dillard was named by Los Angeles Magazine as one of California's "Super Lawyers", 2014 & 2013, in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Mr. Dillard is a Board Member of the San Clemente Community Theatre.
  • In 2010 and 2015 he was selected by the Daily Journal as a Top 50 Neutral in California.

Hobbies & Interests

In his spare time, Mr. Dillard enjoys running, acting and golf.

Legal Experience

  • Personal Injury
  • Employment
  • Products Liability
  • Elder Abuse
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Complex Civil Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Business/Contractual Matters and Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Tort

Catastrophic Injury

  • Mediated a catastrophic injury case wherein a bus crashed into a motorcycle. Liability was in dispute for most of the mediation. Injuries included weeks in the hospital of several surgeries, knee replacement and months of physical therapy. After resolving the tough liability issues, the matter settled for $3 million.

Civil Rights

  • Plaintiff is an autistic, non-verbal 5th grader and was physically restrained by teacher 9 to 10 times; all documented. Parents claim that following these actions, their son's conduct changed as he became more withdrawn and often more aggressive, than prior to these incidents. District maintained that parents consented to restraints if her son was likely to cause harm to himself and/or others.

General Negligence

  • Plaintiff was hit or scraped in the achilles area by a gurney brake as she was having a chest ex-ray. As a result she suffered compartment syndrome and has fasciotomy. Plaintiff is 87 and now needs a walker, but no pain, although has permanent bruising/black and blue on the back of her leg.

Personal Injury

  • Dog attack on neighbor causing amputation of the tip of her index finger. Plaintiff with pre-existing Bi-Polar and OCD disorders. As a result of the attack, Plaintiff, 52 years old, suffered PTSD and is presently treating. She has difficulty when seeing Dalmatians and has become more or less house bound.

PI Auto

  • Plaintiff, a 35 year old soft ware engineer, was riding his motorcycle on the freeway when the Defendant bus crossed the double yellow lines of the HOV land directing into the path of the motorcycle. As a result of the accident, Plaintiff sustained, among other injuries, catastrophic pelvic and sacral fractures, right fibular fracture, right knee derangement with torn ACL, MCL and meniscus and a horrific inner right thigh shearing injury, subcutaneous closed degloving injury. Plaintiff underwent surgery to his pelvis, along with three right knee surgeries, as well as painful debridement procedures to his thigh. This case settled during mediation.
  • Clear liability rear end accident with a good plaintiff and his wife. Plaintiff suffered a paralysis of the hiemidiaphragma and now on Bipap every night; wife can't sleep in the same room.
  • Plaintiff severed fractured left leg, had 4 surgeries and will need a knee replacement soon when the Defendant opened his van door knocking Plaintiff off his bicycle.
  • Clear liability auto accident where 59-year-old plaintiff was injured. Plaintiff had three surgeries; removal of glass in embedded in her finger, hamstring repair and repair to torn rotator cuff. After three and 1/2 years, plaintiff suffered chronic pain to her left leg and left forearm. Medical specials totaled approximately $140,000; no loss of earnings.
  • Fall in the parking lot of a beauty college where Plaintiff, 87 years old went to get his haircut. Fell occurred as the result of his cane getting caught in a crack in the pavement right adjacent to the handicap parking lane. Fractured hip and now confined to wheelchair.

Wrongful Death

  • Wrongful death of a 41 year old Asian-American who was killed while riding his bicycle with a group of other riders. Liability issues as defendant, pizza delivery man, entered the intersection on a green light, but failed to see the decedent as he entered the intersection. Plaintiffs, decedent's parents, maintained that the defendant was texting at the time of the accident and this was the reason he failed to see the bike rider. Defendant driver and his employer, the pizza store, alleged that the driver was not texting at the time and that the decedent began his left turn on a late green or red light, was wearing dark clothing and riding a black bike, thus could not be seen. Confidential settlement. Plaintiffs maintained substantial economic injury as culturally the decedent son was obligated to care for his elder parents.

Downtown Los Angeles

601 S. Figueroa
Ste 4000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213.223.1113
Fax      : 213.223.1114

Los Angeles Mediation

West Los Angeles

11601 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 2040
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310.442.2100
Fax      : 310.442.2125

Mediators Los Angeles

San Diego

402 W. Broadway
Ste 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.814.1966
Fax      : 619.814.1967

San Diego Mediation

Santa Ana

1851 East First Street
Ste 1600
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714.834.1340
Fax      : 714.834.1344

Orange County Mediation

San Francisco

100 Pine Street
Ste 1950
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.266.1242
Fax      : 415.266.1243

San Francisco Mediation

Sacramento

980 9th Street
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.394.8490
Fax      : 916.394.8495

Sacramento Mediation