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 handled numerous mediations and arbitrations arising from claims of professional liability of lawyers, accountants, physicians and other medical professionals, investment professionals and other professionals, as well as many business and employment disputes involving these same types of professionals.

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

  • Legal Professional Liability
    • Receiver claim against lawyer for failure to comply with securities laws and misrepresentation of securities background; professional liability insurance dispute concerning applicability of securities exclusion
    • Claims against lawyers for monetary sanctions, including mediation of Rule 11 claim against AmLaw 100 firm in patent case
    • National restaurant company claim against counsel arising from alleged failure properly to extend store lease
    • Claim against national employment law firm for alleged mishandling of sexual harassment cases
    • Borrower claim for malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty in alleged unauthorized payment of closing funds to third party
    • FDIC receiver claims against lawyers for malpractice in real estate transactions for failed banks
    • Claims against insurers on financial institution bonds for alleged misconduct of outside real estate closing attorneys
    • Failure to communicate settlement offer
    • Fraudulent alteration of documents after contract closing
    • Untimely court filing
    • Unauthorized work, failure to settle, and repudiation of contingency fee contract
    • Failure to follow escrow instructions
    • Conflict of interest in alleged representation of both employer and employee
  • Medical Professional Liability
    • Dozens of mediations and arbitrations 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 medical malpractice insurance
    • Arbitration of dispute between Florida hospital and insurer over coverage for murder of patient by hospital nurse
    • Civil rights and medical negligence case alleging wrongful death of detainee in municipal jail
  • Other Professional Liability
    • Arbitration of malpractice claim against Big Four accounting firm brought by a bankruptcy trustee
    • Mediation of complex claims by school district against construction manager
    • Lawsuit brought by work comp fund against adjusters/managers for alleged improper claims handling
    • Pre-suit claim by casualty insurer against claims management/adjustment firm for improper handling
    • Dispute between golf course developer and engineers concerning responsibility for wetlands issues in a major golf course development in North Georgia
    • Cases against architects, engineers, and surveyors
    • Dozens of mediations and arbitrations of customer claims, brought by individuals, retirement plans, trustee/executor under will, other fiduciaries, and non-profits against many different national brokerage firms, regional brokerage firms, banks, and investment advisers (See Financial Services Bio)
    • Claims against directors and officers (See Financial Services Bio)
  • Employment and Related Professional Practice Disputes
    • Mediation and arbitration of cases involving partner withdrawal from law firms, involving race and gender discrimination, retirement and accounting disputes, including AmLaw 100 firms
    • Mediations of disputes between hospitals and physicians concerning terminations of physicians and various other business and financial issues (See healthcare Bio)
    • Sarbanes-Oxley claim against start-up biotech company brought by research physician employee
    • Several mediations and arbitrations of disputes among physicians concerning break-up of practice (See Health Care Bio)
    • Multiple mediations and arbitrations involving financial services professionals (See Banking bio)
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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