Thomas W. Brown
Thom Brown joined Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP in 1981. He was its managing partner from 1994 to 2010 and remains chair of CVK’s commercial litigation practice group. Thom’s 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.
Education & Bar Admissions
Thom received his bachelor’s degree in Radio/Television/Film from the University of Texas in 1974, and his law degree from the night school program at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in 1980. Before joining CVK, Thom clerked for the Honorable William Richardson of the Oregon Court of Appeals (1980-81).
Thom was admitted to the Oregon State Bar, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States District Court for the District of Oregon in 1980. He was admitted to the United States Supreme Court in 1989, the Washington State Bar in 2002, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington in 2007.
Thom is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the Litigation Counsel of America. He is a member of the United States District Court of Oregon Historical Society, and the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC). Thom has held many committee positions in both the Oregon State Bar (OSB) and the Multnomah Bar Association (MBA). He serves on the boards of the OSB Appellate Practice Section Executive Committee (CLE Subcommittee Chair, 1997-98; Secretary, 1998-99; Chair-Elect, 2000-01; Chair, 2001-02), and the MBA (Secretary, 2005-06; President-Elect, 2006-07; President, 2007-08; and Past President, 2008-09). Thom was selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America in the specialties of Appellate Law (2006-10) and Insurance Law (2010), and as an “Oregon Super Lawyer,” Appellate Practice, in 2006-2009. Since 1985, he has been AV rated (highest rating) by the Martindale-Hubbell National Law Directory’s peer review for his ethical standards and legal ability.
On appointment by the Oregon Supreme Court, Thom served as a pro tem judge in Multnomah County Circuit Court from 1997 to 2000 handling summary judgment motions.
Thom frequently speaks and writes on topics related to his practice areas, law practice management, and professionalism. He participated as one of about 70 invited attorneys in the 2005 National Conference on Appellate Justice in Washington DC and was a speaker at the 2005-2007 ALFA International’s annual business meeting on “Bridging the Gap:Retaining Gen X Attorneys,” at the 2005 OSB Products Liability Section program on “Recent Appellate Cases,” at the 2006 OADC Fall Meeting on “Recent Appellate Cases,” at the Oregon Law Institute’s 2006 seminar on “Attorney (and Other Professional) Liability to Non-Clients in Oregon,” at the 2007 Professional Liability Fund Defense Panel conference on “Attorney Liability to Non-Clients,” and at the 2008 OSB Futures of the Profession symposium on “Managing Generational Diversity in Law Firms.”
Thom is a member of the Board of Directors of ALFA International, the oldest and largest network of domestic and international law firms. He is a past member of the ALFA Finance Committee, and a current member of its Strategic Planning Committee, Insurance Law Practice Group, Law Firm Management Practice Group (Chair, 2005-07), and Professional Liability Practice Group.
Community Activities and Interests
Thom is the past-Chair of the Classroom Law Project (CLP) Board of Directors. CLP, located in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit organization of educators, lawyers, and civic leaders. CLP helps students at all grade levels learn to be informed and active citizens who can foster, sustain, and preserve a free democratic society.
Among his other volunteer activities, Thom works for local school foundations, various election campaigns, and the Oregon Repertory Singers. Other interests include playing the guitar, cooking, golf (which he loves most of the time), and his family (two daughters and a wife who is a “recovering attorney”).