Thomas B. Mason

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Thomas B. Mason is the Chair of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP’s Legal Ethics and Malpractice Group. He represents lawyers and law firms in malpractice, disqualification, disciplinary investigations and prosecutions, partner admissions and departures, and law firm dissolutions. Mr. Mason’s disciplinary experience includes matters before the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) as well as numerous state bars. He also counsels and advises lawyers and law firms in all of the above areas so as to avoid problems or disputes before they arise. Mr. Mason was named Washington, D.C., Ethics and Professional Responsibility Lawyer of the Year in 2014 and again in 2016 by Best Lawyers. He has served as an expert in ethics and related issues on numerous occasions.

Some of his most notable representations include:

  • On behalf of a national telecommunications carrier, obtained a dismissal at the pleading stage of a claim for nearly $10 million in outstanding legal fees purportedly due to the former outside counsel.
  • Handled dozens of disciplinary complaints and disqualification controversies, obtaining many outright dismissals of the former and frequently dissuading opposing counsel from even filing motions to disqualify with respect to the latter.
  • Successfully defeated a motion to disqualify brought by one AmLaw 100 firm against another AmLaw firm.
  • Litigated numerous malpractice cases, at both the appellate and the trial level. Obtained dismissals of all counts at the motion to dismiss stage on behalf of multiple clients based on ripeness, causation, and damages issues.
  • Regularly represents the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, Bread for the City, and other legal services organizations and their lawyers on a pro bono basis.

Prior to private practice, Mr. Mason worked for the Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland, where he represented clients in a wide variety of cases, including espionage, civil rights, mail and wire fraud, and controlled substance prosecutions. He went on to join the District of Columbia Public Defender Service where he had an intensive criminal trial and appellate practice.

Mr. Mason served on the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Committee from 2006 to 2012, including three terms as Chair from 2009 to 2012. Mr. Mason is currently Vice-Chair of the District of Columbia Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee. He also served on this Committee from 2002 through 2008. During his tenure, the Committee adopted the most extensive revisions to the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct since the D.C. Bar adopted the Rules in 1991.

Mr. Mason speaks and writes frequently on ethics and malpractice matters. He is a frequent speaker at the D.C. Bar and has also spoken before various sections of the American Bar Association, the Practising Law Institute, the America Law Institute and a number of other bar and industry organizations. He has written on topics such as non-lawyer partners and multiple “of counsel” relationships with different law firms. Mr. Mason has taught ethics and professional responsibility at the Georgetown University School of Law from 2008 to 2016 and has taught on various subjects at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Columbus School of Law at Catholic University and American University’s Washington College of Law.

Mr. Mason has been nationally recognized by Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers and he is AV Peer Review rated by Martindale-Hubbell with a 5.0 out of 5.0 rating.



Education

Columbia Law School, J.D.

Yale University, B.A., cum laude

Clerkship

Hon. Frank Kaufman, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

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