Tom Tosdal

Tom Tosdal

A California native, Tom Tosdal graduated from Harvard Law School in 1975. Tom took time off from law school to work for the defense in the Pentagon Papers case in Los Angeles. While in law school, Tom spent time working with the Lowell Legal Aid Society, providing legal services to the poor and marginalized.

After law school, Tom clerked for the Honorable Edward J. Schwartz, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District Court of California in San Diego. Then, after two years with the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Tom entered private practice in 1978.

In private practice, Tom has focused on bringing justice to people harmed by the misdeeds of others. He has tried over 60 jury trials, mostly for plaintiffs, and settled many more cases, resulting in a number of seven-figure recoveries for his clients. A recent jury trial pitted Tom and a couple colleagues against two utilities in New Mexico to determine fault for the massive Las Conchas Fire. After an 18 day trial, the jury ruled the utilities had negligently ignited the fire and harmed the plaintiffs.

Tom’s experience in power line fire cases started with the three San Diego fires in 2007, which were started by three different types of power line failures, all in high wind conditions. In these and other cases since, Tom has taken a leadership role in establishing liability and proving damages for hundreds of people, farmers,  and businesses, and even two telecommunications companies, while obtaining for them fair compensation for their fire losses. The power line fires in which Tom has taken a leadership role in the past include:

Witch Creek Fire (2007, San Diego)

Guejito Fire (2007, San Diego)

Rice Canyon Fire (2007, San Diego)

Las Conchas Fire (2011, New Mexico)

Dog Head Fire (2016, New Mexico)

Tom has been fortunate to receive many awards, including “Best Lawyers,” “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” and “the Top 1%.”

Tom’s philosophy: “There is a right way and a wrong way to do fire cases. Experience in utility fire cases and knowledge about how power line fires are caused is essential, as is dedication to detailed, personalized attention to each and every case.”

Tom is currently working with a team of attorneys representing those affected by the Wine Country fires. To see more information, visit: