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Hon. Linda B. Thomas

Hon. Linda B. Thomas (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Employment Law
Family Law
Higher Education & Title IX
Personal Injury/Torts
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Chief Justice Linda B. Thomas (Ret.) joined JAMS after serving 31 years as a trial and appellate judge. During her judicial career, Chief Justice Thomas participated in resolving disputes in virtually every area of law. She enjoys a deserved reputation as a well-prepared, knowledgeable, and impartial jurist who has a deep understanding of the law and the diverse dynamics inherent in litigation. Clients laud Chief Justice Thomas’ dedication to getting the job done in a professional manner, as well as her exceptional interpersonal skills and keen sense of humor.

Since becoming a neutral, Chief Justice Thomas has devoted her time, energy, and resources to training, studying, and developing skills and best practices in mediation and arbitration. As a result of her experience practicing law, serving in the judiciary, and her years as an adjunct law school professor, Chief Justice Thomas has the knowledge and skills to resolve simple to complex disputes in a calm, straightforward, and deliberate manner.

Representative Matters

  • Business/Commercial
      • Experience resolving wide variety of business-related disputes, including claims involving breach of contract, fraud, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, insurance and appellate issues
      • Particular expertise resolving complex business entity dissolutions
  • Employment Law
      • Mediated and arbitrated wide range of employment matters, including wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace-related injury, employment agreement, and theft of trade secret disputes
  • Estate/Probate/Trusts
      • Probate mediation involving division of decedent’s personal injury claim proceeds among heirs
      • Mediated apportionment of multi-billion-dollar estate
  • Family Law
      • Experience handling family law cases as judge and full time neutral involving dissolution, property and asset division, custody, and pre- and post-marital contract disputes
  • Insurance
      • Insurance cases involving policy interpretation and coverage
  • Personal Injury/Torts
      • Appellate mediation of personal injury claims involving municipality
      • Appellate mediation of personal injury claims between airport employee and janitorial service company
      • Mediated personal injury claims arising out of automobile accident
  • Professional Liability
      • Legal malpractice claims including determination of standard of care, causation, and damages
  • Real Property
      • Real estate claims involving purchase and sale disputes, partition of real property, determining fair market value, and damage to real property

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Best Lawyer in ADR/Mediation, D Magazine reader survey, 2014
  • Credentialed Advanced Mediator, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association, 2013-2014
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Judicial Section of State Bar of Texas, 2013
  • Women in Law Distinguished Alumni Appreciation Award, SMU Dedman School of Law, 2010
  • Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service, SMU Dedman School of Law, 2008
  • Award of Excellence for outstanding service to the judiciary, 2005
  • Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows Award in honor of a distinguished legal career and civic contributions, 2005
  • Outstanding Profile Award for dedication, mentoring, and support of individuals in pursuit of public service, Texas Women’s Initiative, 2005
  • SMU Award for significant contributions to improving the lives of women and children, 2004
  • Judge-of-the-Year Award for outstanding service and dedication to preserving the right of civil trial by jury, ABOTA, 1998
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, teaching trial and appellate procedure as well as family law, SMU Dedman School of Law, 2003-present
  • Faculty, National Judicial College, 1992-present
  • Commissioner, Texas Access to Justice Commission, 2007-2010
  • Member, Texas Judicial Council, 2005-2010
  • Chair, Texas Council of Chief Justices, 2003
  • Member, Texas Commission on Judicial Efficiency, 1995-1997
  • Chair, Judicial Section of State Bar of Texas, 1991-1992
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Texas Center for the Judiciary, Inc., 1991-1992 (Secretary-Treasurer, 1993-1996)
  • Faculty member, Texas College for New Judges, 1981-1996, 2005-2006 (Dean, 1988-1993)
  • Dean, Texas Regional Judicial Conferences, 1987-1990
  • A nationally recognized leader in continuing legal and judicial education, she is a frequent speaker and author for continuing education programs, teaching attorneys, judges, court personnel, and judicial educators throughout the United States

Background and Education

  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, 2011
  • Advanced Family Mediation Training, 20-hour course, American Bar Association, 2011
  • Family Mediation Training, 40-hour course, American Bar Association, 2009
  • Basic Mediator Training, 21-hour course, American Academy of Attorney-Mediators, Inc., 1995
  • Chief Justice, Fifth District Court of Appeals, Dallas, Texas, 1995-2009
  • Justice, Fifth District Court of Appeals, Dallas, Texas, 1987-1994
  • Judge, 256th District Court, Dallas County, Texas, 1979-1986
  • Partner, Martin, Harrison and Withers, 1977-1979
  • Sole Practitioner, 1975-1977
  • Attorney, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1974-1975
  • Associate Director, SMU Legal Clinic, 1973-1974
  • J.D., Southern Methodist University, 1973
  • B.A., University of Texas at Arlington, 1970


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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