Tom Byrne litigates complex business disputes, with a primary focus on the defense of consumer and policyholder class actions and creditors' rights litigation. His experience ranges from arguing in the Supreme Court of the United States to first-chairing jury trials in four states. He served as lead counsel in more than 100 putative class actions. Tom regularly represents secured lenders and other parties in Chapter 11 bankruptcies and related litigation.
Tom joined Sutherland in 1982 after completing clerkships with the Honorable Robert A. Ainsworth, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; and the Honorable Morey L. Sear of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Argued and won Bullock v. BankChampaign, N.A. (2013) in the U.S. Supreme Court, which established the meaning of the defalcation exception to a bankruptcy discharge.
Served as lead counsel for the nation's largest auto lender in a series of fair lending class actions, including the only such case to be tried.
Defended vehicle financiers and lessors in practically every type of litigation brought against them over the last three decades, in 25 states, e.g., Schlenk v. Ford Motor Credit Co., 308 F.3d 619 (6th Cir. 2002) (opposed by Richard Cordray).
Awards and Rankings
National Law Journal Appellate Lawyer of the Week (May 28, 2013)
Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of commercial litigation (2008-2016), litigation - real estate (2012-2016) and litigation - banking & finance (2012-2016)
Selected as a Georgia Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation (2015-2016)
•Honorable Robert A. Ainsworth Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
•Honorable Morey L. Sear, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana