Vic Thomas

Attorney

PRACTICE AREAS

Vic Thomas is a senior attorney with the Issues and Appeals section of The Lanier Law Firm in the Houston office. He has been Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of Texas since 1988 and has received the highest possible AV peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards since 2000.

He has over 30 years of appellate and trial experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in both personal injury and business litigation. He served the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas for over seven years, first as a Research Attorney with responsibility for complex civil appeals, and then as a Central Staff Attorney with responsibility for original proceedings and permissive appeals. His experience in drafting opinions for the court of appeals affords Mr. Thomas an insider’s knowledge for writing persuasive appellate briefs. In private practice, he worked for a large international law firm handling trial and appellate matters with many millions of dollars in controversy. Mr. Thomas has represented clients in over 75 appeals in the Texas, Louisiana, and federal appellate courts.

Community and Professional Activities

Mr. Thomas has mentored underprivileged high school students through Breakthrough Houston. He has served as the President of the Houston Chapter of the Christian Legal Society and on the Board of the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.

He has published numerous articles, including:

  • “False Claims Act Actions—The Developing Case Law Regarding If and When Opinions of Medical Necessity Can Be Fraudulent”, The Health Lawyer, April 2015.
  • “In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the Standard for “Gross Negligence” and “Willful Misconduct” under the Clean Water Act and the Standard for Vicarious Liability for Punitive Damages under Maritime Law”, The Energy Newsletter, October 1, 2014.
  • “New York’s Highest Court Holds that Zoning Laws of New York Towns Banning Fracking Are Enforceable — A Brief Analysis of the Oral Arguments and the Court’s Opinion”, Pratt’s Energy Law Report, September 2014.
  • “New Silica Exposure Standard Likely To Impact Fracking”, Energy, Employment and Project Finance Law360, September 17, 2014.
  • “New Trial Orders in Texas Now Subject To Appellate Review”, Texas and Appellate Law360, September 9, 2013.
  • “Unsettled Questions of Texas Law—Claim for Exemplary Damages Against an Insured Employer for a Work-Related Death”, 53 South Texas Law Review 787, Summer 2012.
  • “Cellphones can be perilous to employers,” Houston Business Journal, August 12, 2011.
  • “Tortious Interference Arising from Filing or Threatening to File a Lawsuit: The Privilege Defense in Flux,” The Houston Lawyer; September/October, 2003.
  • “The 1979 Amendments Revolutionized the Texas Statutes of Limitations. But it was Not Recognized Until Almost 11 Years Later,” Texas Bar Journal, Vol. 54, No. 4, April, 1991.

Personal Background

He lives in Bellaire, Texas with his wife Carol, and has two adult children.

Representative Cases

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a $71 million arbitration award to a plaintiff for the defendant’s reckless breach of a farm-out agreement for an oil and gas lease.
  • Assisted with obtaining a $44 million arbitration award for a client based on claims for securities fraud and minority shareholder oppression.
  • Texas appellate court’s reversal of a judgment n.o.v. and rendition of a judgment for $4.35 million for the family of a man who perished in a motel fire.
  • Texas appellate court’s granting a motion for en banc reconsideration and reversing an $8.2 million judgment for a plaintiff who was injured by an energized transformer.
  • The Texas Supreme Court reversal of a $15.7 million award of compensatory damages to a plaintiff who was injured in an accident with a truck driver because of the trial court’s erroneous admission of evidence about the truck driver’s illegal alien status.

Education

  • J.D. – SMU Dedman School of Law
  • B.B.A. degree in economics and finance – magna cum laude – Baylor University

Admissions and Certifications

  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of Texas since 1988.
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District and Bankruptcy Court – Southern District of Texas
  • United States Supreme Court