Our People

Biography

E. Thomas McCarthy, Jr. is a seasoned trial lawyer with a well-earned reputation for achieving justice for his clients. With more than 40 years of courtroom experience in state and federal courts, his practice includes the representation of seriously injured people and businesses who have been harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, complex commercial litigation, and the representation of lawyers, law firms, doctors and hospitals in a wide range of circumstances.

Tom is recognized as one of Michigan’s leading trial lawyers. He is a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a member (Advocate Rank) of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a member of the National Trial Lawyers. He is listed by The Best Lawyers in America© and Leading Lawyers for Personal Injury Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Legal Malpractice Litigation, and was named by Best Lawyers as “Lawyer of the Year” in Grand Rapids for Personal Injury Law in 2009 and 2013, for Legal Malpractice Law for 2016 and 2018, and Bet-the Company Litigation in 2020. In 2018, Tom was selected as a "Leader in the Law" by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

In 2020, he received the Richard Baxter Exemplary Advocate Award from the Michigan Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Tom is a trial lawyer other lawyers turn to when needs arise. He regularly receives referrals to represent other lawyers’ clients in catastrophic injury and commercial litigation cases, and serves as local counsel in other litigation matters. Tom was honored to serve as lead trial counsel for the State Bar of Michigan in the successful representation of one of its officers in a 2004 federal jury trial.

In addition to his trial practice, Tom has worked as a neutral facilitative mediator since 1989. He has been certified to mediate cases in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan and is on the list of court-approved mediators in that court and many state courts. Tom received his training as a mediator through programs at Harvard Law School, the Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan and the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan. He has participated in training mediators by serving as a presenter and coach at various training sessions. Tom was named by Best Lawyers as “Lawyer of the Year” in Grand Rapids for Mediation in 2019.

Tom is active in bar association functions designed to improve the delivery of legal services. Since 2013, he has been an elected member of the Board of Commissioners of the State Bar of Michigan (District C) and previously served (from 2012 through 2018) as an appointed member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the State Bar of Michigan. Tom is a member of the ADR Committee of the Kent County Circuit Court. For the 2013-2014 session, he served as President of the American Inns of Court – Gerald R. Ford Chapter. Additionally, Tom is a member of the Steering Committee of the Hillman Trial Advocacy Program sponsored by the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and for many years has served on the teaching faculty of that program. He has also served as a high school mock trial coach for over 20 years.

Tom graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1977. He is a shareholder at Smith, Haughey, Rice & Roegge where he serves on the Board of Directors and as Co-Chair of the Personal Litigation Group.

Outside of work, in addition to spending time with his family, Tom enjoys biking, waterskiing, and songwriting. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriting Association.

 


Previous Experience

Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan (Member, Board of Commissioners, 2013)
  • Life Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation
  • Life Fellow, Justice Foundation of West Michigan
  • Fellow, American BAR Foundation
  • Member and State Chair, Michigan State Committee of American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Speaker/Presenter - various programs)
  • Litigation Section of State Bar of Michigan (Council member 1999-2004)
  • Federal Bar Association, Western Michigan Chapter (National Delegate 1998-1999; Vice President 1999-2001)
  • Hillman Trial Advocacy Program (Faculty member 1995 and 1996)
  • State Bar of Michigan (Member, Negligence, Litigation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution sections)
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association (Member, Jury Representation Committee)
  • Michigan Association for Justice
  • Representative Assembly -- State Bar of Michigan, 17th Judicial Circuit, elected member
  • American Society of Trial Consultants
  • H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Peacefully Evolve - brain injury support program), board member
  • Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, board member
  • Forest Hills Eastern High School Mock Trial Team, former coach
  • Nashville Songwriters Association, member

Education

  • University of Michigan (B.A. in Psychology with High Distinction, 1975); Phi Beta Kappa; James A. Angel Scholar  
  • University of Tennessee (J.D., 1977); American Jurisprudence Awards in Contracts and Bills & Notes  
  • Harvard Law School Mediation and Negotiation Workshops (1988, 1989, 2001)  

Admitted

  • State Bar of Michigan, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, 2007
  • US District Court, Central District of Illinois, 2016

Accolades

  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

  • Member (Advocate Rank), American Board of Trial Advocates

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation

  • Life Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation

  • Listed as a "Local Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation (2021) - Commercial

 

  • Listed in Best Lawyers (2008-2021) -- Bet-the-Company Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Mediation
  • Listed as Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" (2009, 2013) -- Personal Injury Litigation

  • Listed as Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" (2016, 2018) -- Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants

  • Listed as Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" (2019) -- Mediation

  • Listed as Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" (2020) -- Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Listed in Leading Lawyers (2014-2018) -- Personal Injury Law: General, ADR Law: Personal Injury

  • Listed as a "Michigan Super Lawyer" (2006-2021) -- Personal Injury Plaintiff: General

  • Listed as a "Local Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation (2015-2017) -- Commercial, Personal Injury Litigation

  • AV Peer Review Rated (highest rating for legal ability and ethical standard), by Martindale-Hubbell

  • Named one of Michigan's "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by The National Trial Lawyers Assocation

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