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Robert F. Tom

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Memphis
T: 901.577.2159
F: 901.577.0818

Robert F. Tom represents clients in litigation involving contract disputes, banking and financial services disputes, and product liability claims.

Featured Video

The State of the TCPA Post-ACA May 23, 2018

Featured Experience

Represented a client in a three-day jury trial in a breach of contract action arising out of a lease dispute; obtained a unanimous jury verdict in favor of the client which resulted in a global settlement of nine related cases and a settlement amount of more than $1 million for the client.

Represented a financial institution in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act based on more than 400 alleged telephone calls to the plaintiff's cellular phone.

Defended a pharmaceutical company in a product liability lawsuit alleging that prescription medication manufactured by the company was inadequately labeled; obtained dismissal of the lawsuit on a motion to dismiss.

Professional Biography

Overview

With an emphasis on commercial, banking, financial services and product liability litigation, Mr. Tom represents clients in all aspects of litigation in state and federal courts. He is aggressive in the representation of his clients and their interests, but, understanding the needs of the client, he also seeks to obtain resolution of disputes in the most cost-effective manner. In his almost 15 years of practice, he has tried numerous cases to judges, juries, and arbitrators.

In regard to his banking and financial services litigation experience, Mr. Tom has successfully defended clients against claims asserting violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Right to Financial Privacy Act (REPA).

Mr. Tom routinely defends clients against common law claims, such as breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, negligence, tortious interference, inducement of breach of contract, civil conspiracy and fraud. Mr. Tom is also experienced in creditors' rights litigation, is well-versed in limited-recourse guaranty issues, and has obtained numerous restraining orders, injunctions and receivership appointments on behalf of lenders and servicers.

In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Mr. Tom also has significant experience defending manufacturers and retailers in product liability litigation, involving drugs, medical devices, and food and food labeling.  

Representative Matters
  • Represented a client in a three-day jury trial in a breach of contract action arising out of a lease dispute; obtained a unanimous jury verdict in favor of the client which resulted in a global settlement of nine related cases and a settlement amount of more than $1 million for the client.

  • Represented a financial institution in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act based on more than 400 alleged telephone calls to the plaintiff's cellular phone.

  • Defended a pharmaceutical company in a product liability lawsuit alleging that prescription medication manufactured by the company was inadequately labeled; obtained dismissal of the lawsuit on a motion to dismiss.

  • Represented a medical device company and obtained dismissal, through motion to dismiss, of a product liability lawsuit alleging a defective medical device, negligence, failure to warn, and breach of express and implied warranties.

  • Defended a financial institution in a lawsuit alleging improper withdrawals of funds from a checking account which resulted in the plaintiff's voluntary dismissal of the case.

  • On a motion to dismiss, obtained dismissal of a financial institution from a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and fraud arising out of a mortgage transaction; successfully defended dismissal of the lawsuit on appeal.

  • Defended a grocery store in a product liability class action alleging that certain foods from the store were mislabeled as "All Natural;" after successfully removing the case to federal court and prevailing on the plaintiff's motion to remand, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.

  • Defended a grocery store in a product liability lawsuit alleging that food purchased from the store was improperly labeled, causing the minor plaintiff to have a severe allergic reaction.

  • Defended a grocery store and hemp manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit alleging that food purchased by the plaintiff was defective and improperly labeled; obtained dismissal of the lawsuit on motion to dismiss.

  • Obtained the reversal of a trial court's denial of a motion to dismiss the claims against a national mortgage servicing company based on the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and established Tennessee law that there is no private right of action under HAMP.

  • Defended an international automobile manufacturer in a class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and breach of implied warranties under Tennessee law. After filing motions to dismiss and to strike class action allegations on behalf of the automobile manufacturer, the plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal dismissing his case.

  • Defended a national insurance company in federal court against claims of breach of contract, violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and fraud, among others, based on the denial of an insurance claim for $1 million under an insurance policy. Obtained dismissal with prejudice from the district court, then argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and secured an affirmance of the dismissal.
  • Successfully defended a national financial institution against Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and breach of contract claims. Obtained dismissal of the HAMP, TCPA and breach of contract claims on a motion to dismiss, and negotiated a global settlement with the plaintiff and co-defendant, which resulted in dismissal of the remaining TILA claim with the client having to pay nothing.
  • Successfully defended a bank against a breach of contract claim brought by the bank's client after the client's former treasurer embezzled funds out of the client's checking account, because the checks were not properly payable within the meaning of UCC Article 4 and the terms of the deposit agreement governing the account. After filing a motion to strike the jury demand and a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the bank client voluntarily dismissed its claims.
  • Successfully defended city school system in a jury trial in a breach of contract action in which a locally-owned bus company was seeking millions of dollars in damages. After a seven-day jury trial, the jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning a complete defense verdict.

  • Defended a financial institution in a declaratory judgment action against the plaintiff's assertions that two loans had been discharged and released, and successfully prosecuted a counterclaim for breach of contract, receiving the full amount of damages sought plus attorneys' fees. Successfully argued before the Tennessee Court of Appeals and obtained an affirmance of the trial court's judgment, in addition to an award of appellate attorneys' fees.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a national financial institution in a lawsuit alleging multiple violations of the Right to Financial Privacy Act.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Tennessee Bar Association's 2014 Leadership Law Program
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow (2013); Regional Committee (2014); Outreach Committee (2014) 
  • Secretary – Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association (2009 – 2013)
  • Listed as a Mid-South Super Lawyer Rising Star in Business Litigation (2012 – 2018)
  • Member – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
    • Member – Litigation Committee 
  • Managing Editor, Tulane Maritime Law Journal
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Conflict of Laws
  • Named to Lawyers of Color's Inaugural Hot List (2013)
Speaking Engagements
  • Moderator – "Risks and Emerging Issues in Privacy and Data Security," NAPABA Southeast Regional Conference (August 2014)
  • "Landlord-Tenant Issues in Business Bankruptcy," NAPABA Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors'/Debtors' Rights Committee webinar (July 2014)
  • Moderator – "When the Jury Does Not Look Like You," 2013 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association annual convention, Kansas City, Missouri (November 2013)
Webinars
Videos

Education

  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2004, cum laude
    • Member – Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
  • Emory University, B.B.A., 2000

Admissions

  • Arkansas, 2013
  • Tennessee, 2007
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 2011
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2010
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, 2007
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 2005
  • Florida, 2004

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