Thomas is a trial lawyer and certified appellate law specialist by the California State Bar. His trial and appellate practice primarily focuses on complex business and real estate litigation, representing commercial property owners and developers in business and real property disputes. He also has extensive experience litigating and resolving disputes with municipalities and other governmental agencies at the trial and appellate court levels, and handles state and local administrative and regulatory matters and related government agency proceedings.
With over 25 years’ experience representing manufactured housing community owners throughout California, Thomas leads Cozen O’Connor’s Manufactured Housing practice. Thomas counsels mobile home park owners and investors on rent control and fair return, development and expansion/infill, closure and redevelopment, acquisition and due diligence, rental agreements and long term leases, park rules and regulations, park-owned homes, ground leases, and failure to maintain litigation and prevention. He has extensive knowledge of California’s Mobilehome Residency Law and the Mobilehome Parks Act. Thomas regularly appears before local rent control boards and arbitrators, planning commissions, and city councils on behalf of park owners.
Thomas has extensive appellate experience and is named as counsel on approximately 20 published state and federal appellate decisions, including: United Grand Corporation v. Stollof (2022) 74 Cal.App.5th 62; Everett v. Mountains Recreation and Conservancy Authority (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 541; Carson Harbor Village, Ltd. v. City of Carson (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 56; 218 Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 182; Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 840; Chino MHC, LP v. City of Chino (2012) 210 Cal.App.4th 1049; Goldstone v. County of Santa Cruz (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 1038; Pacific Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates, LLC v. City of Los Angeles (2012) 55 Cal.4th 783 (representing amicus curiae); Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson, 640 F.3d 948 (9th Cir. 2011); Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 1487; Carson Harbor Village v. County of Los Angeles, 433 F.3d 1260 (9th Cir. 2006); Carson Harbor Village, Ltd. v. Unocal Corp., 287 F.Supp.2d 1118 (C.D. Cal. 2003); El Dorado Palm Springs, Ltd. v. Board of Supervisors, 104 Cal. App. 4th 1262 (2002); El Dorado Palm Springs, Ltd. v. City of Palm Springs, 96 Cal. App. 4th 1153 (2002); Carson Harbor Village, Ltd. v. City of Carson Mobilehome Rental Review Board, 70 Cal. App. 4th 281 (1997); and People v. Grant (1999) 20 Cal.4th 150.
Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor, Thomas practiced at Gilchrist & Rutter and earlier served as deputy attorney general of the California Department of Justice. Before law school, Thomas worked on federal legislative and executive matters at Akin Gump in Washington, D.C.
Thomas received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his law degree from Boston University School of Law.