R. Wayne Thorpe, Esq. has been a full-time ADR neutral since 1998. He has served as mediator, arbitrator, facilitator, special master, and case evaluator in roughly 2000 cases in at least 25 states, including many high stakes and complex cases, class actions, MDL’s, and other large scale multi-party cases, and more than 500 arbitrations as sole arbitrator, panel chair, or party-appointed arbitrator.
Mr. Thorpe was named by the Best Lawyers in America publication as the 2015 Atlanta Arbitration Lawyer of the Year and the 2012 Atlanta Mediation Lawyer of the Year, and he has been recognized by International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation, Best Lawyers in America and Georgia Super Lawyers for a number of years.
He is Past Chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, and he has been a leader in ADR ethics and other policy matters both nationally and in Georgia for many years. He has also served as an adjunct professor and guest presenter in ADR courses in several law schools. Before he became a full-time neutral, Mr. Thorpe was a litigation partner in a large Atlanta law firm.
Highlights of his ADR experience appear below; please see separate bios describing his experience in specific practice areas.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- Business/Commercial: Hundreds of business and commercial cases, including antitrust, banking, bankruptcy, consumer, corporate/partnership/LLC's, estates, franchise/dealership, health care, insurance, international, mergers/acquisitions, non-profits and churches, securities, technology, and real estate disputes
- Employment: Class and collective actions; age, disability, gender, race discrimination; FLSA; sexual harassment; wrongful termination of employee benefits; employer disputes with senior executives; breach of contract; non-compete, non-solicit, and trade secret disputes; Sarbanes-Oxley; breach of fiduciary duty, theft of corporate opportunity; bonuses and stock options; law firm disputes with former partners; physician disputes with hospitals and practice groups; public company termination of CEO; whistleblower cases
- Environmental: Public and private environmental cases, including toxic torts; private and government CERCLA, RCRA, and other hazardous waste cases; Clean Water Act cases; Clean Air Act enforcement case; nuisance/trespass (water, air, noise, blasting, etc.); land use and development disputes; indemnity and other disputes arising from transfer of contaminated property; weather and climate related cases including storm water cases against builders, other property owners, and state and local governments; water rights disputes among riparian owners and a state agency; facilitation of technical discussions on Feasibility Study for largest Superfund site in Georgia; disputes about UST‘s and pipelines; disputes about landfills; co-facilitator in ex-urban county conflict over growth strategies
- Financial Services: Bank disputes with customers, other banks, and insurers; lender liability claims; SEC enforcement cases including a case against a bank officer; securities and other claims against public companies and officers & directors, and related insurance coverage issues; claims against brokers and investment advisors; financial services employment disputes; FDIC disputes with bankruptcy trustee for a bank holding company, bank D’s & O’s, and bank lawyers; claims on financial institution bonds
- Government/Public Policy: Cases with US DOJ and several US Attorneys’ offices, US HHS, US EPA, GA EPD and SC DHEC, GA DOT, FDIC, SEC, state Attorneys General offices, local governments, school boards, hospital authorities, and MARTA; SEC enforcement; federal and state False Claims; FDIC cases; federal/state environmental agency administrative and enforcement cases, including hazardous waste, clean water and clean air cases; riparian rights dispute with state agency; employment disputes with federal and state agencies involving senior managers; employment case involving state college employee; condemnation cases; federal, state and local tax disputes; environmental, construction, employment and tort claims involving state and local governments and school boards; mediation under Georgia Services Delivery Strategy Act; mediation of city-county dispute over allocation of Local Option Sales Tax Revenues; dispute among non-profit homeless shelter, city, university hospital and local businesses about closure of homeless shelter; dispute between school board, school board members, and construction manager concerning management of SPLOST funds for school construction; procurement and employment disputes with hospital authorities
- Health Care: Federal/state Government and Qui Tam False Claims cases; mediations and arbitrations of reimbursement disputes, including class actions, involving payers, hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, and liability insurers; medical software trade secrets; dispute between hospital and records storage service provider; dispute between health insurers related to sale of book of business; employment and other business disputes concerning physician practice breakups; business and employment disputes between physicians and hospitals; employment claims by pharma sales reps; insurance coverage for malpractice, medical benefits payments and other claims; disputes arising from sale of health care businesses; numerous med mal cases against physicians, hospitals, nurses, nursing homes
- Insurance: Insurance coverage disputes involving financial institution bonds; D&O claims; environmental and toxic tort claims; construction defects; health care industry coverage disputes; IP coverage disputes; auto and homeowners; life, health, disability
- International: Mediations and arbitrations involving non-US businesses and governments, and US business and government interests, in Bahamas, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Great Britain, Iraq, Israel, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Taiwan, and Thailand
- Professional Liability, Product Liability, and other Tort claims: Hundreds of tort cases including product liability (drugs and devices, foods, autos, industrial equipment, military security system, etc.); professional liability cases against lawyers, accountants, financial professionals, construction managers, engineers, architects; fifty or more med mal cases against doctors, hospitals, nurses, and nursing homes; numerous serious wrongful death and personal injury premises and vehicular cases
- Technology, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property: Mediations and arbitrations concerning computers and software; medical, defense, financial, telecom, and other technology; TV, radio, music, and other entertainment cases; copyright, trademark, publicity, trade secret, patent, and other IP cases
- Construction/Construction Defects: Mediations/arbitrations of construction, construction defect, and building products disputes on both private and public projects; professional liability claims against architects, engineers, construction managers; related insurance coverage issues
- Mediation and arbitration of employment disputes between Am Law 100 firms and withdrawing/retiring partners involving age and gender discrimination, accounting, retirement agreement, and non-compete issues
- Mediations and arbitrations of disputes among physicians and between physicians and hospitals in several southeastern states
- Mediations of False Claims healthcare government and qui tam cases in several states
- Arbitrations and mediations of healthcare reimbursement cases in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and New Mexico
- Case evaluation in dispute in multi-million dollar, long-term contract between a North Carolina state agency and a global technology services provider
- Facilitation of Feasibility Study among several PRP’s, US EPA and Ga EPD at Superfund site
- Mediation of US DOJ/US EPA Clean Water Act case against road contractor and state highway department
- Arbitration of multi-party case between bank and 75+ borrowers involving disputes over tens of millions of dollars of loans in North Carolina
- Mediation of construction defect case involving major urban redevelopment multi-use project with tens of millions in claims involving owner, general, 10+ subs and 10+ insurers
- Mediations of FDIC cases against lawyers, insurers, and bank D’s and O’s
- Mediations and arbitrations in professional liability cases against accountants, lawyers, physicians and other healthcare providers, construction managers, and investment professionals
- Party-appointed arbitrator in numerous cases, including post-acquisition accounting, sale of timber, insurance coverage, sale of printing services, governance and possible termination of an LLC, patent royalties
- Chair of arbitration panels: bankruptcy trustee case against Big Four accounting firm; dispute over long-term supply contract for agricultural chemicals; hospital claim for reimbursement for ER charges from Medicaid payor
- Toxic tort case brought by employee against defense contractor for child’s heart defect allegedly caused by in utero exposure to chemicals in employer’s plant
- Arbitrations of employment cases between private equity professionals and employer
- Sole arbitrator in $100 million claim by terminated CEO against Brazilian public company
- Mediation in Louisiana of securities and fiduciary duty claims by quasi-public pension fund against various financial institutions relating to mortgage backed assets in high yield investment fund