Thomas W. Tobin Partner




Tom Tobin is a seasoned trial lawyer focusing on complex commercial transportation and product liability matters, and is one of the country’s most experienced attorneys assisting companies and public authorities with National Transportation Safety Board investigations of transportation calamities. 

During his more than 30-year career at the firm, Tom has defended transportation providers and manufacturers, as well as pipeline operators, in the aviation, rail, marine, and on-road and off-road motorized vehicle industries. Tom has tried or been involved in lawsuits filed in more than a dozen states and has defended clients in nearly every state. He coordinates clients’ defenses of generic claims and “pattern litigation” around the country. He also consults with international manufacturers and distributors on product safety and containment of product liability exposure. It was Tom’s work for transportation industry clients that led to his involvement more than a dozen years ago in NTSB investigations of train, plane, boat, truck and bus accidents, in addition to pipeline explosions. Since then, Tom has represented clients in more than 30 major NTSB investigations involving more than 100 fatalities and literally thousands of serious injuries. He is widely published and a frequent lecturer on NTSB issues and has participated as an instructor in the NTSB’s “GC 101” course. 

Tom’s legal practice is enhanced by the technical insight and perspective he gained through his previous work as a mechanical engineer at Union Carbide Corporation. In the product liability context, Tom’s appreciation for the balanced decision-making process that engineers employ when designing and developing products and processes enables him to effectively defend clients’ design strategies and refute alternate designs presented by opposing counsel. Tom further applies his technical background in the area of e-discovery. As the founding chair of Wilson Elser’s e-Discovery practice, Tom has substantial experience managing e-discovery projects, from directing preservation of electronically stored information to coordinating document review and production. 

Early in his career, Tom was the founding partner of a firm office in Tokyo, Japan. At that time, he was registered with the Japanese Ministry of Justice as the 25th Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi (foreign law solicitor). He has lectured extensively on product liability prevention and commercial litigation in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Korea, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. 

Tom is an active member of several of our firm’s practice teams, including those in the area of transportation, rail, product liability, e-discovery and information governance.