E. Thomas McCarthy, Jr. is a seasoned trial lawyer with a well-earned reputation for achieving justice for his clients. With more than 45 years of courtroom experience in state and federal courts, his practice includes the representation of seriously injured people and businesses who have been harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, complex commercial litigation, and the representation of lawyers, law firms, doctors and hospitals in a wide range of circumstances.
Tom is recognized as one of Michigan’s leading trial lawyers. He is a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a member (Advocate Rank) of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a member of the National Trial Lawyers. He is listed by The Best Lawyers in America© and Leading Lawyers for Personal Injury Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Legal Malpractice Litigation, and has been named in multiple years by Best Lawyers as “Lawyer of the Year” in Grand Rapids for Personal Injury Law, for Legal Malpractice Law, and Bet-the Company Litigation. In 2018, Tom was selected as a “Leader in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.
In 2020, he received the Richard Baxter Exemplary Advocate Award from the Michigan Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
In 2021, Tom received the Outstanding Achievement Award for his work as a trial lawyer from the Negligence Section of the State Bar of Michigan.
Tom is a trial lawyer other lawyers turn to when needs arise. He regularly receives referrals to represent other lawyers’ clients in catastrophic injury and commercial litigation cases, and serves as local counsel in other litigation matters. Tom was honored to serve as lead trial counsel for the State Bar of Michigan in the successful representation of one of its officers in a 2004 federal jury trial.
In addition to his trial practice, Tom has worked as a neutral facilitative mediator since 1989. He has been certified to mediate cases in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan and is on the list of court-approved mediators in that court and many state courts. Tom received his training as a mediator through programs at Harvard Law School, the Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan and the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan. He has participated in training mediators by serving as a presenter and coach at various training sessions. Tom was named by Best Lawyers as “Lawyer of the Year” in Grand Rapids for Mediation in 2019.
Tom has been active in bar association functions designed to improve the delivery of legal services. From 2013 through 2022, he served as an elected member of the Board of Commissioners of the State Bar of Michigan (District C) and from 2012 through 2018 was an appointed member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the State Bar of Michigan. Tom is a member of the ADR Committee of the Kent County Circuit Court. For the 2013-2014 session, he served as President of the American Inns of Court – Gerald R. Ford Chapter.
Tom has also volunteered his time to teach trial advocacy to lawyers and students. He has for many years been on the teaching faculty of the Hillman Trial Advocacy Program sponsored by the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan which puts on a program annually to teach trial advocacy to lawyers, and is the Chair of that program for 2024 and 2025. He is also a member of the Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Tom has also served as a high school mock trial coach for over 20 years.
Tom graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1977. He is a shareholder at Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge where he serves as Co-Chair of the Personal Litigation Group.
Outside of work, in addition to spending time with his family, Tom enjoys biking, waterskiing, and songwriting. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriting Association.