Thomas W. Burch III

Partner
Photo of Thomas W.  Burch III
345 California Street
Suite 2850
San Francisco, CA 94104-2606

Thomas Burch is Deputy Partner-in-Charge of the San Francisco office of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP. Prior to joining HPTY, Tom was a partner in charge of a litigation firm’s office in Houston, Texas before relocating to California in 2008 to open and run an office for that firm in Oakland, California. Tom continues to be licensed to practice law in both California and Texas. 

Tom has a wide range of experience in California, Texas and throughout the country defending clients involved with a broad range of civil litigation matters. Tom’s practice continues to focus on product liability, toxic tort and environmental litigation; along with general commercial litigation matters. Tom has been involved as trial counsel in numerous toxic tort cases as well as cases involving general commercial litigation issues, including antitrust, breach of contract and general negligence.   

With cost-conscious use of expert witnesses and demonstrative aids, Tom attempts to simplify complex scientific and medical issues for cases headed for trial in order to present a compelling story to the jury. He has developed comprehensive strategies for handling large numbers of complex cases involving toxic tort litigation and has successfully implemented those strategies in the courtroom. Tom has served as regional and local trial counsel for various clients in mass tort litigation and has extensive experience in the innovative use of alternative billing arrangements for complex product liability litigation and in the development and implementation of national litigation strategies.  

Tom values his long standing client relationships and has represented some of the same clients for more than 15 years. Tom knows that success for his clients starts with understanding the client’s business, goals, and financial parameters and being hyper responsive to the client’s ongoing needs.  

Professional Experience

Some of the cases in which Tom has acted as trial counsel in matters involving toxic tort claims include the following:

1999 - Saenz, Mauro; Duval County,Texas; medical diagnosis of complicated silicosis.

2000 - Amador, Agapito; Harris County, Texas; medical diagnosis of complicated silicosis.

2001- Messier, Roger; Dallas County, Texas; medical diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2002- McGary, Napolean; Bowie County, Texas; medical diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2003- Short, Russell; Jefferson County, Texas; medical diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2004- Verret, Paul and Suzanne; Tarrant County, Texas; brother and sister,both living, diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. After a five (5) week trial, the jury rendered a defense verdict for the remaining defendants. This was the first case tried to verdict in the United States jointly involving a brother and sister both diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and also claiming exposure to asbestos from a variety of products. The Texas Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict in 2006 and the case was subsequently unsuccessfully appealed by Plaintiffs to the Texas Supreme Court.

2004 - Hinchman, William; Brazoria County, Texas; undisputed diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2004 - Sather, Orville; Orange County, Texas; undisputed diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2005 - Christian, Clarence et al; Texas, coordinated and participated in trial preparation for state wide defense of 3,000 plaintiffs claiming exposure to asbestos.

2006- Sandel, Kelvin; Tarrant County, Texas; undisputed diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer; handled discovery and Texas MDL pre-trial hearing;including commencing trial prior to the matter favorably resolved after jury selection and just prior to commencement of opening statements.

2006- Brassfield, Phillip; Harris County, Texas; medical diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer

2006 - Filgueira, Perla; Harris County, Texas; undisputed diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2007- Shake, Robert; Dallas County, Texas; undisputed diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2007- Edwards, Michael; Dallas County, Texas; undisputed diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

2007- Harvey, Ralph; Harris County, Texas; undisputed diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

Honors

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Practice areas

Education

J.D., South Texas College of Law (1984)

B.A., Communications, University of Houston (1980)

Bar admissions

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