R. Wayne Thorpe

R. Wayne Thorpe, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Lauryn Hall
T: 404-566-2157
F: 404-588-0905
One Atlantic Center, 1201 West Peachtree, Suite 2650, Atlanta, GA 30309

R. Wayne Thorpe is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


R. Wayne Thorpe, Esq. has handled more than 500 cases as binding arbitrator, plus at least 30 cases as case evaluator or non-binding arbitrator, including banking, bankruptcy, civil rights, class and collective actions, consumer, corporate and LLC governance and dissolution, construction, employment (including contracts, discrimination, and FLSA), entertainment, environmental, franchise, health care, insurance, M&A, IP, international, real estate, securities, software and computer technology, tort, and professional and employment cases involving lawyers, accountants, physicians, and other professionals. Mr. Thorpe frequently serves as chair of a tri-partite panel and as a party-appointed arbitrator, and he actively manages arbitration cases to get them resolved in a cost effective manner. He has been a member of the faculty for the ABA National Arbitration Training Institute several times (and chaired it in 2010), and he has been recognized as a Fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

Mr. Thorpe 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 15 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.

Representative Arbitrations

Business and Commercial (including health care, financial, professional liability, technology, and general business)

  • Dispute between two groups of physicians arising from sale of medical practice to hospital
  • Claim for damages based on letter of intent for sale of urgent care business
  • Several arbitrations of employment disputes between hospitals and physicians
  • Claims against nursing homes for injuries and deaths of patients
  • Arbitration of dispute among defendant physician groups after settlement of False Claims Act case with government
  • Arbitration in Texas of claims by radiology clinic against HMO/PPO for alleged late payment including claims for penalties under Prompt Pay statute
  • Disputes concerning general liability insurance coverage including dispute about coverage for murder of Florida hospital patient by nurse
  • Arbitration of claim by discharged health sciences grad student against a private college
  • Arbitration of malpractice case brought by bankruptcy trustee against Big Four accounting firm related to alleged misstatement of contingent liabilities
  • Claim by withdrawing partner against AmLaw 100 firm alleging race and gender discrimination and improper accounting for partner income
  • Disputes between community bank and 75 or more borrowers concerning alleged fraud, negligence and other claims arising from loans on mountain lots in North Carolina
  • Borrower claim against bank for $5M+ alleging bank wrongfully sold stock held as collateral
  • Numerous arbitrations of customer claims for investment losses, brought by individuals, retirement plans, fiduciaries, and non-profits against many different national brokerage firms, regional brokerage firms, banks, and investment advisers
  • Putative consumer class actions and other multi-claimant cases against financial institutions
  • Case between bank and customer over responsibility for forged checks
  • Consumer cases including Truth in Lending; alleged fraud in home mortgage refinance; alleged fraud by HVAC company on elderly couple
  • Dispute between software developer and transportation company/purchaser concerning mapping application
  • Case evaluation for dispute in multi-year, multi-million dollar technology contract between agency of a southeastern state and international technology services provider
  • Dispute between software vendor and telephone collections company concerning sale and installation of “dialer system"
  • Non-compete and tortious interference claims among competitors in jet engine maintenance business
  • Patent validity and infringement case
  • Dispute concerning third party purchase of life insurance policy
  • Several cases involving mergers and acquisitions and various contract, financial, and post-closing accounting issues
  • Arbitrations concerning governance and dissolution issues in LLC’s
  • Claims arising from contract between manufacturer and retailer concerning exclusivity of relationship
  • Commercial disputes in multi-level distribution businesses, including one related to competition in India
  • Dispute between general and sub-contractors on military aircraft weapons system built for a foreign government
  • Commercial and residential construction cases including multi-party cases
  • Multi-party dispute among owner, general, sub about roof installation on commercial building
  • Class action claims for alleged racial discrimination in providing government loans and benefits: adjudicated 100+ individual claims after class certification and settlement
  • Allocation of settlement proceeds after mediating resolution of environmental claims against a county arising from landfill runoff and contamination
  • Contribution and indemnity dispute between joint tortfeasors after settlement with tort plaintiff
  • Party-appointed arbitrator in a variety of commercial cases, including timber sale, sale of printing services, sale of corporate assets, insurance coverage, patent royalties


  • Chair of tripartite panel in dispute between large law firm and former partner involving accounting and race/gender discrimination issues
  • Arbitration of alleged $100M damage claim by terminated CEO against Brazilian public company and US and Canadian subs
  • Arbitration of claims by private equity managers for wrongful termination with counterclaims for breach of confidentiality and restrictive covenants
  • Disputes among physicians in practice break-ups
  • Arbitrations between hospitals and physicians over terminations and issues related to loans, bonuses, relocation payments, etc.
  • Age discrimination case against major airline
  • Age/gender discrimination case against national mortgage brokerage firm
  • Whistleblower claim against defense contractor and several additional whistleblower, discrimination and/or retaliation cases
  • FLSA collective actions and individual cases
  • Several employment disputes concerning stock options, bonus payments, etc. in connection with employer’s sale of business
  • Arbitration of claims by salesmen against car dealer for underpayment on various commissions and incentives
  • Claim by terminated oil industry executive for severance pay under contract
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • 2017 Recipient of The Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Annual Award, presented by the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution and the State Bar of Georgia Dispute Resolution Section, In Recognition of His Outstanding Contributions to Dispute Resolution in Georgia
  • Co-Author, What Is…ADR in Health Care Disputes?, ABA Book Publishing (Health Law Section), 2015
  • Recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2022
  • Identified by The Best Lawyers in America as the 2020 Atlanta Arbitration Lawyer of the Year
  • Identified by The Best Lawyers in America as the 2015 Atlanta Arbitration Lawyer of the Year
  • Identified by The Best Lawyers in America as the 2012 Atlanta Mediation Lawyer of the Year
  • Named in International Who’s Who Legal, Mediation; Georgia Super Lawyers; and The Best Lawyers in America for several years
  • ABA, Dispute Resolution Section. Section Chair, 2010-2011; Officer or Member of Section Council, 2001-2012; Co-Chair, ABA Task Force on Improving Mediation Quality, 2006-2008; Drafting Committee, Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators, 2003-2005
  • Liaison from DR Section to ABA’s Ethics 2000 Commission (providing testimony on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct provisions relating to mediation and arbitration), 2000-2002; Chair, ABA DR Section Ethics Committee, 1997-2002
  • Member, Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, 1997-2002, appointed by Supreme Court of Georgia
  • State Bar of Georgia, ADR Law Section. Chair, 2003-2004; Officer, 2000-2004; Executive committee, 2009-2012; Chair or Co-Chair, annual ADR Institute, 2000, 2003, planning committee, 2000-present; Atlanta Bar ADR Lawyers Section, past member, Board of Directors; Georgia Annual Arbitration Institute, Chair, 2018 and multiple prior years
  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators; Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators
  • Adjunct Law School Professor, University of Georgia and Georgia State University, Alternative Dispute Resolution Courses, 1998-2004; guest presentations in ADR classes at GSU, Emory University, Mercer University, and John Marshall law schools
  • More than 150 speaking presentations to Bar and ADR professional groups in more than 20 states; faculty member ABA Annual Arbitration Institute, 2010-2012, 2016 (and Co-Chair, 2010); faculty member ABA Annual Advanced Mediation Institute, 2010, ’11, and ’13; dozens of articles and papers on ADR topics
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association, Panel of Dispute Resolvers; US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution National Roster; CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Roster of Mediators
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Fellow, Atlanta Bar Foundation
  • Principal Benefactor, JAMS Foundation
  • JAMS, ADR Neutral, 1998-present
  • Litigation Partner and Associate, Alston & Bird, 1981-1998
  • Law Clerk to Chief United States District Judge Charles A. Moye, Jr., United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 1979-1981
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Georgia Law School, 1979; Georgia Law Review, Research Editor
  • B.A., with distinction, University of Virginia, 1976
  • Wayne is married to Jane Thorpe, who retired as a partner at Alston & Bird in 2014. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. Wayne and Jane own a cabin in West Yellowstone, MT near Yellowstone National Park, where they flyfish and hike as much as they can.

Counsel Comments

    • "Mr. Thorpe brings to his ADR work the same degree of energy, creativity and perseverance that good lawyers bring to their representation of clients."
    • “[Mr. Thorpe] did an outstanding job mediating our dispute…he clearly had a firm grasp of the issues, and worked relentlessly to help the parties resolve a hard-fought case.  I believe [he] facilitated open lines of communication that ultimately allowed the parties to settle. I would welcome the opportunity to have [Mr. Thorpe] mediate for me in the future and look forward to doing so.”
    • "[Mr.] Thorpe was an excellent mediator who was instrumental in moving both sides towards a mutually beneficial settlement.”




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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