Thomas J. Umberg has extensive trial experience in both federal and state courts and has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” for Southern California, an honor limited to only 5% of Southern California lawyers. He has also been selected for the prestigious publication “The Best Lawyers in America®” in commercial litigation.
Tom has successfully tried over 100 cases to verdict or judgment; including complex matters involving health care, real estate, work place harassment, construction defects, employee pension plans, etc. As a federal criminal prosecutor, he tried numerous white collar and civil rights cases, including tax evasion schemes. These include “Uranium for Tax Dollars,” “Marco Numismatics” (a nationwide fraud on seniors), and the “Westminster Cross Burning” cases.
Tom served three terms in the California Legislature. While in the Assembly, Tom served as Chair of the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. As an assemblyman, he wrote 58 measures that were signed into law, including statutes involving election reform, campaign finance reform, white collar crime, mortgage fraud, telemarketing fraud, hate crimes, toxic waste cleanup, housing loans, High Speed Rail Transport, and other transportation issues. In addition, from 2008 to 2014 Tom served in various capacities on the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), including as Chairman. (The CHSRA is responsible for developing the high speed rail system from Anaheim to San Francisco.) In 1997, Tom was selected by President Clinton to serve as Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). In this capacity he was responsible for the development and coordination of United States policy to reduce the supply of illegal drugs, including negotiation and coordination with foreign governments to enhance US counter-drug intelligence and interdiction.
Tom is a retired US Army Colonel. During his Army career, he served in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division, with NATO forces in Italy, and as a paratrooper with the US Army Special Operations Command, US Army Special Warfare Center and the XVIIIth Airborne Corp. As a JAG officer, he tried over 50 felony cases in Korea, Italy, and the United States. Tom was recalled to active duty in 2004 as a war crimes prosecutor, and in 2009 as the Chief, Anti-Corruption, in Afghanistan.
In 2011, Tom was appointed Co-Chair of the U.S. State Department’s Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.
In 2015, Tom was selected by the federal judiciary to be an attorney representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.
HONORS AND AWARDS
- The Best Lawyers in America®, 2008–2017
- Los Angeles Magazine, Southern California Super Lawyers
- The Bronze Star
- High Tech Legislator of the Year
- Represented The California State Controller’s Office in a dispute with SAP Public Services, Inc. (SAP) concerning the failed modernization of California’s state employees payroll and benefits system. The matter resulted in SAP’s payment of $59 million to the State of California.
- Represented Fortune 100 company in Proposition 65 enforcement action over over-the-counter drug resulting in judgment for defendants.
- Represented a group of food companies in Proposition 65 enforcement action that ended with plaintiff’s acceptance of an offer of judgment with no injunctive relief or penalties and only a nominal amount for fees.
- Represented a joint defense group in another Proposition 65 food case that ended with the Attorney General settling on reasonable terms over the objections of private plaintiff.
- Investigated the explosion and release of hazardous chemicals at a wholesale outlet store, resulting in a favorable outcome for the client.
- Represented Fortune 100 energy corporation in FERC and California Attorney General investigations. No fines or charges were assessed or filed.
- Represented a mining company in an investigation by the California Fish and Game Commission resulting in an out of court resolution.
- Represented Fiber Optic Corporation before California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Permits granted to install fiber optic cable off the California coast.
- Represented a major defense contractor in a Foreign Corrupt Practices investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the UK Ministry of Defense. The investigation concluded with no adverse consequences to the client.
- Represented the judges of the Orange County Superior Court when they successfully sued the county over trial court funding.
- Represented insurance company executive on 32 counts of mail and wire fraud. The executive was charged with providing kickbacks to others in the industry, insurance brokers, and agents in exchange for preferential sales treatment. After a nine week trial in federal court for the District of Arizona, the jury acquitted our client on all counts.
- Represented a major travel agency group investigated by the Attorneys General of California and Arizona for a pattern and practice of selling airline tickets to undocumented workers for illegal entry into the U.S. The matter was resolved without any criminal filing.
- Represented a major provider of dental services in California in a $30 million dispute concerning the shareholder rights of the founder. Settled in mid-trial after our client won a series of favorable rulings.
- Represented an acute care hospital before a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court. The hospital was accused of firing a whistle blower and racial discrimination. The trial ended successfully for the defendant hospital with the plaintiff ordered