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 acted as mediator, arbitrator, case evaluator, or facilitator in numerous government cases, including cases with US DOJ (Civil and Environmental Resources Divisions) and several US Attorneys’ offices, US HHS, US EPA, US Dept. of Interior (including National Parks), GA EPD, SC DHEC, GA DOT, FDIC, SEC, multiple state Attorneys General offices, state Medicaid agencies, and numerous cities, counties, school boards, hospital authorities, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). As a result of this work, Wayne has developed an understanding of some of the unique issues involved in resolving cases with government agencies, elected officials, senior government managers, and government lawyers and the private parties and lawyers adverse to those participants.

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 Matters

  • Environmental
    • Facilitation of Feasibility Study among several PRPs, USEPA and GA EPD at Superfund site
    • Citizen claims against county under RCRA and for alleged inverse condemnation due to landfill runoff; properties conveyed pursuant to mediated settlement; conducted arbitration to distribute settlement funds
    • Mediation of consent decree on USDOJ/USEPA claims against road contractor and state highway agency under Clean Water Act
    • Dispute among riparian owners and state environmental agency concerning water rights
    • Mediation of Clean Air Act enforcement action by USEPA and South Carolina DHEC
    • Environmental case against state and county for allegedly flooding plaintiff’s property during road construction
    • Mediations of claims against counties for alleged failure to maintain storm water ditch
    • Environmental claim by city for alleged contamination of drinking water supply by industrial polluters
  • Employment
    • Employment discrimination cases against state and local governments
    • Race and sex discrimination by college admin employee
    • Sexual harassment and battery claim against city by female sanitation worker
    • Disability discrimination by visually impaired senior manager in state agency
    • Several race and age discrimination cases against federal agency involving high profile, senior management employees
  • Financial
    • FDIC disputes with bank officers and directors; with bank lawyers for malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty; with a bank holding company bankruptcy trustee; and, an insurer that issued a financial institution bond
    • Several SEC enforcement cases
  • Health Care
    • Mediation of  dispute in New Orleans between local Hospital Service District and Hospital system which  had contract to manage the District’s community hospital rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina
    • Mediation of USDOJ False Claims case in Tennessee against DME supplier of principally bed surfaces to Medicare patients
    • Mediation of FCA case in Chattanooga brought by Tennessee AG and US DOJ against non-profit psych services provider over patient billing rates for Medicaid claims
    • Mediation of USDOJ/Georgia AG False Claims case against disease management provider for alleged Medicaid fraud
    • Mediation of putative class action of Medicaid providers and enrollees against state Medicaid agencies alleging half billion dollar underpayments for developmentally disabled services
    • Mediation of dispute between major urban public hospital authority and medical records service provider
    • Mediation of USDOJ False Claims case against oncology practice
    • Civil rights and medical negligence alleging wrongful death of detainee in municipal jail
    • Dispute between physician and hospital authority
  • Procurement
    • Case evaluation for dispute in multi-year, multi-million dollar technology services contract between an agency of a southeastern state and a global computer services provider
    • Arbitration of dispute between general and subcontractors on major aircraft weapons system for a foreign government
    • Co-mediation of dispute between school board, school board members, and construction manager concerning management of SPLOST funds for school construction
    • Construction cases involving state roads, municipal facilities, and major airport construction
    • False Claims Act case involving alleged failure of federal government subcontractor to meet product specs
  • Public Policy and Land Use
    • Multi-million dollar mediation between Georgia city and county under Georgia Services Delivery Strategy Act
    • Mediation between city and county about allocation of bond proceeds between issuing county and a later formed city
    • Mediation of long-running acrimonious disputes between City and building owner involving various zoning issues and City order to demolish building in violation of zoning
    • Mediation between middle Georgia city and county about allocation of Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenues
    • Mediation in multiple lawsuits by non-profit homeless shelter against city, local businesses, non-profits, and university hospital involving issues of location of homeless shelter and damages for alleged tortious interference with homeless shelter’s public and private funding sources
    • Co-facilitation of quasi-political, policy disputes among various groups of residents concerning growth issues in ex-urban county
  • Tort Claims
    • Twenty claims for death and personal injury against school board arising from school bus; single vehicle wreck with limited insurance
    • Adjudication of more than 100 civil rights claims against federal agency pursuant to terms of class action settlement
    • Battery case against school board for alleged battery of special education student by teacher
    • Claims for death and serious injury against state highway department for alleged defective roadway
    • Death and serious injury claims against US, states, cities, counties, and school boards involving vehicular collisions including school buses, solid waste pickup vehicles
    • Death case arising from death of man who fell in front of MARTA train
  • Other Government Cases
    • State DOT condemnation of hotel (owner and tenant) with long-term lease and billboard
    • Federal, state, and local tax disputes including income taxes and property taxes
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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