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, Esq. has acted as mediator, arbitrator, or other neutral in hundreds of tort cases including toxic tort; product liability (drugs and devices, foods, autos, industrial equipment, etc.); professional liability cases against lawyers and other professionals; fifty or more medical malpractice cases against doctors, hospitals, nurses, and nursing homes; and, numerous serious premises and vehicular cases.

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

  • Product Liability:
    • Numerous personal injury and wrongful death cases involving autos, foods, pharmaceuticals, (both drugs and devices) machinery, consumer, and other products
    • Wrongful death claim in Alabama brought by estate of US soldier killed in Japan by allegedly defective mechanical security door manufactured by UK defense contractor
    • 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
    • Disputes between buyers and sellers of businesses over liabilities for product liability claims.
    • Product liability insurance coverage issues.
    • Disputes among defendants over agreed liabilities to claimants 
    • Disputes among defendants over agreed liabilities to claimants  
  • Premises Liability: Department store, grocery store, parking lot, apartments and other premises liability cases, including “slip and fall,” false arrest/malicious prosecution, assault and sexual assault, also including:  
    • Mediations in cases between major telecom company and construction companies who have cut telecom in-ground lines
    • Case involving dog attack on neighbor child
    • Wrongful death of child who drowned in apartment swimming pool
  • Professional Medical Liability:
    • Dozens of cases involving adult and children’s hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, dentists, nurses, a municipal detention facility, and other health care providers, including deaths and serious injuries and involving a wide variety of medical procedures, as well as related insurance coverage issues
    • Mediations of 20 or more professional liability claims against public company nursing home operator in Chapter 11, pursuant to order of appointment by U.S. Bankruptcy Court
    • Fraud and RICO claims in Louisiana brought by asbestos manufacturer against doctors and union officials for allegedly providing false health information to obtain personal injury settlements; coverage issues related to physician med mal insurance
    • Civil rights and medical negligence case alleging wrongful death of detainee in municipal
    • Arbitration of dispute between Florida hospital and insurer over coverage for murder of patient by hospital nurse
    • See Professional liability bio for experience in non-medical professional liability cases
  • Sexual Harassment and Battery:
    • Sexual harassment and battery claim against airline brought by airline passenger
    • Sexual battery claim by student against college and others
    • Battery case against school board brought by parent on behalf of special education student
    • Premises liability sexual assault cases
    • Sexual harassment and battery cases in employment context, including claim by female sanitation worker against municipality
    • Sexual harassment, battery, and malicious prosecution claims between common law spouses
    • “Acquaintance rape” case
  • Toxic Tort, Environmental, and Construction Runoff: Numerous cases and related insurance disputes (See Environmental biography)
  • Vehicular Accidents: Numerous motor vehicular accidents, including cases with deaths and severe injuries; trucking and school bus accidents; drunk driving; injuries to children; brain injury; structured settlements
    • Multi-plaintiff cases against state highway department and paving contractor alleging defective roadway caused accident with death and neurological injury to two children
    • Federal Tort Claims Act wrongful death case against federal agency
    • Wrongful death case against municipality arising from sanitation truck accident with pedestrian
    • Severe injury to homeless man struck by mass transit train
    • Twenty claims for death and personal injury against school board arising from school bus; single vehicle wreck with limited insurance
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.”




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