Hon. Robert W. Thomas (Ret.)



  • 1966 UCLA, J.D.
  • 1962 UCLA, B.S.

Professional Career

  • 1966 – 1974 Los Angeles City Attorney; Chief Trial Deputy; Head Deputy – San Pedro Branch; Chief Deputy

Judicial Experience

  • 1996-1997 Los Angeles Superior Court – Santa Monica District – Trials, Civil Master Calendar and Settlement Conferences.
  • 1995-1996 Los Angeles Superior Court – Santa Monica District – Settlement Conferences. (Approximately 2,000)
  • 1985-1995 Los Angeles Superior Court – Santa Monica District – Master Calendar, Trials, Law and Motion and Settlement Conferences.
  • 1982-1985 Los Angeles Superior Court – Compton District – Trial Court assignment plus Settlement Conferences.
  • 1980 Pro Tem at Court of Appeals of California, Second Appellate District, Division Three
  • 1974-1982 Santa Monica Municipal Court. Handled all Municipal Court matters including Civil Trials and Law and Motion.

Types of cases handled include:

Real property (Knowledgeable on CREIA Issues and Standards), personal injury, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, business, commercial, insurance coverage, employment law, construction and discovery reference.

Judge Thomas also has education and experience in the home inspection industry.


Payne v. White House Properties, Inc., Court of Appeals of California, Second
Appellate District, Division Three, (1980) 112 Cal. App. 3d 465; 169 Cal. Rptr. 373.

Professional Associations

  • California Judges Association
  • Santa Monica Rotary Club; President, 1990 – 1991
  • Boy Scout Advisor


  • Santa Monica College
  • Santa Monica Emeritus College


  • Santa Monica Rotary Club
  • Westchester Rotary Club
  • Santa Monica Retired Teachers Association


  • California Judges College Instructor – 10 years
  • California Judicial Studies Program – Lecturer
  • Chairman – Judicial Studies Institute
  • California Judges College – Seminar Leader

Honors and Awards

  • 2009-2011 Named Top 50 Neutral in the State of California by the Daily Journal
  • 2006 Named Top 30 Neutral in the State of California by the Daily Journal
  • 1997 Malibu Bar Association, Justice Armand Arabian Outstanding Jurist Award
  • 1993 Criminal Courts Bar Association – Judicial Excellence Award
  • 1991 Santa Monica High School – Distinguished Alumnus Award

Published Attorneys' Comments

  • 1995
    • “He’s the best there is.”
    • “He was born for the job.”
    • “Bright, courteous and understanding.”
  • 1989
    • “Thomas is easily one of the most well-liked judges in the Santa Monica branch of the Los Angeles Superior Court.”
    • “He’s the one that many attorneys wish to appear before, and one before whom lawyers on both sides eagerly waive the right to a jury trial.”
    • “ . . . good at settlements”
    • “easy to work before”
  • 1983
    • “He’s super, excellent jurist, very fair, very professional,” commented a prosecutor.
    • “An outstanding jurist”


  • “Substance Abuse,” Buchalter Nemer Fields & Younger (Los Angeles, November 1997)
  • “Case Management – Law and Motions,” Lewis D’Amato Brisbois & Bisgaard (Los Angeles, November 1997)
  • “Legal Ethics,” Hill, Farrer & Burrill (Los Angeles, November 1997)
  • “Substance Abuse,” O’Melveny & Myers (Los Angeles, December 1997)
  • “Legal Ethics,” Allen Matkins Leck Gamble & Mallory (Los Angeles, December 1997)
  • “Substance Abuse,” Hill, Farrer & Burrill (Los Angeles, January 1998)
  • “Substance Abuse,” Keesal, Young & Logan (Los Angeles, January 1998)
  • “Substance Abuse,” Graham & James (Los Angeles, January 1998)

Representative Cases


  • Settled a habitability and discrimination case.

Personal Injury

  • Mediated a rear-end automobile accident matter.

Wrongful Death

  • Mediated a wrongful death case involving a bicycle tour in Alaska.


“Judge Thomas is one of the best mediators around”

“Extremely pleased with Judge Thomas….he was forthright and in command. Could not have asked for a better mediator.”

“Incredibly effective! Judge Thomas kept parties calm and focused on settlement, but also appropriately pressed on parties/counsel where important”

“Judge Thomas went above and beyond to help with this matter. I could not recommend him any higher and will try and use him on subsequent matters.”

“Judge Thomas was very helpful and always responsive. He worked hard to make this thing go through.”