Thomas A. Woods

Thomas A. Woods

Partner
Sacramento, CA
Overview

About Tom

Tom Woods practices in the firm’s Trial and Litigation practice groups.  He is a complex civil litigator with multiparty, mass tort and class action litigation experience.  He represents corporate and individual clients in state and federal courts, and at arbitration, in cases involving a range of issues including: real estate disputes; breaches of contract; breaches of fiduciary duties and duties of loyalty; misappropriation of trade secrets; fraud; negligence; contractual and equitable indemnity; unfair, unlawful and fraudulent business practices; and shareholder derivative claims.  Tom’s corporate clients span industries from medical device and household product manufacturing to banking and lending. 

Since joining Stoel, Tom has developed substantial experience representing clients in real estate and consumer and commercial lending industries.  Many of his cases involve claimed violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), and state and federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts (the “RFDCPA” and “FDCPA”), in addition to a collection of other state consumer protection laws aimed at preventing unfair and deceptive product labeling, disclosures and other business practices.  Tom is currently the lead Northern California counsel and supervising attorney over litigation teams defending banks and other lending institutions in cases alleging statutory violations associated with lending, loan servicing and collection practices.

Before joining Stoel, Tom was of counsel at Greenberg Traurig LLP (2008-2011) and an associate with Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. (2004-2008).  During those seven years, Tom developed substantial experience representing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and other clients in complex state-coordinated proceedings and multidistrict litigation (“MDL”).  From 2001 to 2004, Tom served as a Lieutenant and trial attorney for the U.S. Navy JAG Corps and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (“SAUSA”) in federal civil litigation for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California, in San Diego.  He received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Navy in 2008.

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Experience

Experience

Recent Complex Litigation Experience

  • For a national medical device manufacturing client, Tom recently collaborated with Stoel’s registered patent litigators to represent the client’s defense of a patent infringement case filed in the Eastern District of California.  After a partial motion to dismiss was granted, the team successfully opposed a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to halt the client’s sales of the product in dispute.
  • For a national cleaning product manufacturer, Tom successfully litigated and negotiated claims brought by the State of California in a civil enforcement action, alleging that the client’s product labeling deceived, or was likely to deceive, buyers of the client’s product in violation of sections 17200 and 17500 of California’s Business and Professions Code (the “UCL”), and California’s “slack-fill” laws.  The resolution of this case for a value notably below comparative settlements has led Stoel to represent the client successfully in other regulatory matters.  Tom’s results in the area of California civil enforcement and UCL actions are borne from his success in defending corporate clients in similar cases prior to joining Stoel.  Tom has defended these cases for clients in industries including those that manufacture household cleaning products, medical devices, dietary supplements, cosmetics and beauty supplies. 
  • For a national metals recycler, Tom engaged as lead counsel in a week-long arbitration and obtained an award in favor of the client on its indemnity, breach of contract and misrepresentation claims against a selling party to a multimillion-dollar asset purchase agreement.  He also obtained a complete defense of the selling party’s multimillion-dollar counterclaim.  Tom’s success in this case led to favorable resolution of a subsequent indemnity claim arising out of the same asset purchase transaction.  Tom continues to represent this client in complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts. 
  • For a national consumer lending client, Tom served as lead defense counsel in a federal class action alleging TCPA violations.  Aggressive defense of the case led to a dismissal of the complaint with prejudice prior to class certification filings.  Tom adeptly leads as this client’s California counsel in defense of consumer finance litigation filed against it in state and federal courts.  In a two-plus-year period, Tom has successfully led the representation of this lender in over 30 cases asserting claims such as: FCRA, TCPA, and state and federal FDCPA violations in California state and federal courts, and at arbitration.      
  • For another national lender and loan servicing company, Tom has proficiently served as the client’s Northern California lead trial counsel in over 140 cases.  Tom’s efficiency and outstanding results in resolving these matters for the client have led to his representation of this client in matters of increasing complexity.  These cases involve issues including: real estate title misappropriation, REIT issues, alleged TILA, RESPA, ECOA and FDCPA violations, as well as negligence and other consumer protection and fraud-based claims.
  • Tom has also been counsel at Stoel for private companies involved in bid protests for state and county governments’ proposed procurement of goods and services in areas including, but not limited to: county and city red light traffic enforcement and state budgeting and financial management auditing.  Tom’s experience in this area also spans a period of years prior to his joining Stoel.  Tom has represented other national clients in bid protest matters and complex civil litigation arising out of government-procured services.  (See, e.g., Gonzalez v. Compass Vision, Inc., et al. and Fujisawa v. Compass Vision, Inc., et al.: successful summary judgment motions in two mass tort cases (negligent drug testing cases) disposing of indemnity actions related to over 10 plaintiffs’ cases in two federal courts.) 

Recent Regulatory Compliance and Advice Experience

  • For a national clothing retail chain, Tom recently provided comprehensive advice and assistance on the client’s desire to institute a state-wide fraud and theft prevention program in its stores.  Tom thoroughly evaluated several California consumer protection laws impacting the implementation of this useful program, not limited to the Song–Beverly Credit Card Act and California Business and Professions Code sections 17200, et seq. and 17500, et seq
  • For a locally based recreational product manufacturer, Tom provided thorough advice concerning the client’s desire to Crowdfund for development, and then test and market, an inflatable buoyancy-assistance device in the United States and Europe with appropriate customer labeling.  Tom’s research and advice spanned areas of California consumer protection and product labeling to federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) requirements in addition to other laws, and assistance with Underwriter Labs and CE-mark testing and certification. 
  • For two food and beverage manufacturing clients, Tom has provided extensive guidance on corporate compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws aimed at ensuring accurate and substantiated labeling and product claims for natural and organic food and beverage products.  Tom’s service to clients in this area has gone beyond product labeling and packaging advice to review and evaluation of the potential for litigation or regulatory compliance exposure arising out of product claims or “likes” published on social media.
  • For the national cleaning product manufacturer discussed above, Tom has provided experienced advice on California-compliant product labeling and packaging for household cleaning products.  
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • President, Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter, present
  • Board Member, Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter, 2012-present
  • Volunteer, Eastern District of California Pro Bono Litigation Program, 2015-present
  • Co-director of the Stoel Rives Trial Skills and Mock Trial Program for Litigation and Trial Practice Group associates, 2014-present
  • Advisory Committee Member, Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA), 2012-2015
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute, Drug and Medical Device Committee
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Moderator, “A Panel Discussion: Innovations From Employers Driving System Reform,” 2016 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference, Sacramento, Apr. 6, 2016
  • Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corp.: Perceived Victories And Defeats On All Sides,” Stoel Rives Litigation and Real Estate Law Alert, Feb. 18, 2016
  • “Crowdfunding: A Potential Cash Source for Business That Could Make a Well-Intentioned Company’s Financial State Worse,” Stoel Rives Litigation and Technology Ventures Law Alert, Sept. 30, 2015
  • Compliance with California Foreclosure Recording Law: What Level of ‘Defect’ in Foreclosure Recordings ‘Void’ a Sale?,” Stoel Rives Litigation and Real Estate Law Alert, Feb. 13, 2015
  • “An Update on ‘State-of-the-Art’ in California Products Liability Cases,” Stoel Rives Products Liability Law Alert, July 18, 2012
  • “California Buyer’s Remorse Litigation: The Latest Round of ILSA Litigation is Further Complicated by California’s Subdivided Lands Act” (coauthor), California Real Property Journal, Spring 2012
  • “Tort Wars: The California Legislature Strikes Back,” Law360, Mar. 7, 2012
  • “‘All Natural’ Class Action Litigation in California—Trend Will Continue in 2012,” (coauthor), Guide to U.S. Food Labeling Law, Feb. 2012
  • “Plaintiff Sues Tropicana Over ‘100 Percent Natural’ Orange Juice Claims,” The Bradenton Herald, Jan. 25, 2012
  • “Labels Matter in California ‘All Natural’ Claims,” Law360, Jan. 24, 2012
  • “Facing State Enforcement Actions,” Law360, Jan. 9, 2012
  • “What Companies Need to Know as FDA Warning Letters Allege ‘Misleading Ads’ for ‘Lap-Band’ Surgeries - and California Regulators Take Notice,” Stoel Rives Litigation Law Alert, Dec. 21, 2011
  • “‘All Natural’ Class Action Litigation in California: What’s in Store for 2012?,” Stoel Rives Litigation Law Alert, Dec. 20, 2011
  • “Judgment Enforcement,” Lorman Education Services, Mar. 2009



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