Inaugural Tommy Malone Outstanding Verdict Award presented to LCA Senior Fellow Tommy Malone by Senior Fellow Chris Searcy
On November 14, 2016, the inaugural Tommy Malone Outstanding Verdict Award was presented to LCA Senior Fellow Thomas W. “Tommy” Malone of Malone Law, in Atlanta, Georgia.The presentation took place in West Palm Beach, Florida, and was made by LCA Advisory Board Member and Senior Fellow Chris Searcy. The award has been established for annual presentation to a plaintiffs’ lawyer or law firm and recognizes a trial verdict of an extraordinary nature, whether in the magnitude of amount or significance of the underlying law and facts presented. The award-qualifying verdict may be the result of either a bench or jury trial. Nominations are evaluated by the Tommy Malone Outstanding Verdict Award Selection Committee and are not limited to the Fellowship of the Litigation Counsel of America. In presentation to his long-time friend and colleague, Mr. Searcy stated that “Tommy and the award itself embody the sentiment of Theodore Roosevelt, who said ‘Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.’ His passion for the practice of law at the highest level and his compassion for his fellow man make Tommy an unparalleled choice for not only receiving this award, but being the person after whom it is named.”
The award is named after its inaugural recipient, Tommy Malone, who for nearly 50 years has litigated cases involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death, obtaining a multitude of jury verdicts in excess of one million dollars, including a verdict in excess of $49 million for a 23-year-old student who suffered catastrophic traumatic brain injuries as the result of a crash involving two commercial truck drivers on a two-lane highway in San Jose, California, and a record-setting $45 million verdict that changed the way managed care providers operate. Recognized as a pioneer in obtaining just awards for the seriously injured and loved ones of those who lost their lives at the hands of careless physicians, tractor trailer drivers, pilots, as well as the manufacturers of dangerous products, Mr. Malone has made guest appearances on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Maury Povich Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Included among Mr. Malone’s other honors and recognitions have been the Tradition of Excellence Award, State Bar of Georgia, 1999; Guardian of Justice Award, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, 2012; Best Lawyers in America, all editions, 1989 to present, cover spotlight, 2009; Georgia Super Lawyers, all editions, 2004 to present, Highest Vote Recipient, 2009 to present, cover article, 2010; LawDragon 500; Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell; Pursuit of Justice Award, American Bar Association/Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, 2004; Trial Lawyer of the Year, Melvin M. Belli Society, 2001; Compassionate Gladiator Award, Florida Justice Association, 2009; Warhorse Award, Southern Trial Lawyers Association, February 1996 (STLA has honored Tommy by naming an annual award after him—the Tommy Malone Great American Eagle Award); The Professor W. McKinley Smiley, Jr. Lighthouse Award, Southern Trial Lawyers Association, 2001; Trial Lawyer of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocacy, Georgia Chapter, 1995; and 2009 recipient of the “Mel Award” from the Melvin M. Belli Society, which is presented annually to an attorney who exemplifies Mr. Belli's tremendous contribution to the work of trial lawyers by virtue of his or her creative advocacy, spirit of innovation and paradigm-shifting techniques in the presentation of evidence. He has also been named by Georgia Trend magazine among its “Top 100 Georgians” (1999) and “Most Powerful and Influential Georgians” (1996 and 1998). In 1996, the American Trial Lawyers Association named Mr. Malone its initial inductee in the Small Office Hall of Fame.
The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association presented Mr. Malone with his namesake Tommy Malone Award for Excellence in Advocacy in 2016, and the Daily Report awarded him the Daily Report Verdicts Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. On February 6, 2017, Mr. Malone was inducted into the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.
In addition to being a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, Mr. Malone is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, Life Member of the American Association for Justice (President’s Club, Leaders’ Forum, Board of Governors), Past-President of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (Diplomate, Board of Governors), and member of the National Trial Lawyers (Executive Committee), The Belli Society (President, Vice President, Treasurer), Southern Trial Lawyers Association (President, Treasurer, Board of Governors), American Judicature Society, Consumer Attorneys of California, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (Sustaining Founder, Board of Directors), State Bar of Georgia, American Bar Association, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (President, Executive Vice President), National Head Injury Foundation, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (Faculty), Georgia Legal History Foundation, The Atlanta Bar Association, Trial Law Institute, Diversity Law Institute and Atlanta Lawyers Club. He is an Advocate of the National College of Advocacy, Lifetime Fellow of The Roscoe Pound-American Trial Lawyers Foundation and Charter Member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Vice President), Fellow of the Georgia Bar Foundation and Past-President of the Dougherty Circuit Bar Association. Mr. Malone has also been designated a Lifetime Diplomate of the Knights of the Bar and Barrister of the Order of Centurions.
Articles and references published about Mr. Malone have included "The New King of Torts: What Thomas Malone learned from Melvin Belli", Jerry Grillo, Georgia Super Lawyers, 2010, "A brilliant medical malpractice attorney," Ron Rosenbaum, End H.M.O. 'Telephone Triage': Pass the Patients' Rights Bill, The New York Observer, June 25, 2001, pg. 23, "One of the state's top malpractice attorneys,” Carrie Teegardin, Cody's Story: A medical ordeal, a life upended, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 29, 1999, pg. A20-A21, "One of the most highly-feared malpractice attorneys of all time," The Albany Journal, August 26, 2004, pg. 1, and "One of the best personal injury and litigation lawyers,” Atlanta Magazine, August, 2002.
A big believer in giving back to the community, Mr. Malone has been involved with a variety of charitable and civic causes. After serving a term on the Board of Visitors for the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law, he most recently ended a five-year term on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for university. He is presently Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Mercer University. He is also the Chair of the Injury Prevention Campaign for the Shepherd Center Foundation and a member of the Board of Councilors for The Carter Center, a leadership advisory group that serves to advance understanding of and support for The Carter Center and its activities among private-sector opinion leaders in Georgia. Mr. Malone and his wife, Debbie, were recently named 2017 Angels of the Year for their efforts with the Shepherd Center.
He is the author of Voir Dire and Summation: The Law and The Practice, reprinted from a 1999 Second Edition, The Reprint Company (2006).
Born and raised in the South Georgia city of Albany in Dougherty County, he went to the University of Georgia from 1960 to 1963, was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1965, and in 1966 graduated from the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law.