Thomas M. West graduated from the University Of Georgia School Of Law. Upon graduation in 1973 he worked as a staff attorney at the University of Georgia School of Law legal clinic, litigating Constitutional issues and in the process helped create significant legal precedent concerning the rights of parolees, Duncan v. Ricketts, 232 Ga. 89, 205 S.E. 2d 274 (1974) and the rights of those pleading guilty, Roberts v. Greenway, 233 Ga. 473, 211 S.E. 2d 764 (1975). After two years with the legal clinic, attorney West took a position in Atlanta as the first director of the Southern Prisoner Defense Committee. The SPDC litigated prison condition cases in federal courts in Georgia and Tennessee including a class action case, which closed down the infamous H-House, the punitive isolation chamber at the Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Center, and settled a death row condition. Attorney West has had an active criminal, personal injury, and police brutality practice in Atlanta since 1980.
In the early 1980s attorney West and four other Atlanta lawyers were awarded the very first SCLC, Drum Major for Justice Award for work on the Wrightsville civil rights cases. As part of his criminal practice attorney West enjoys the challenge presented by cases in which the state seeks the death penalty. These have all been successful and they include some of the most notorious criminal cases in the State of Georgia:
- The Bath Tub Strangler, Walraven v. State, 255 Ga. 276(1985);
- The Alday Murders;
- The Doom Gang Cases;
- Goodwin v. Balkcom, 684 F.2d 794 (11th Cir. 1982);
- The Olympics Army Reserve Cases;
- Dawson v. State, 274 Ga. 327 (2001) (Electrocution declared cruel & unusual punishment);
- The Flower Box Case (Lita Sullivan murder);
- The Bautista Ramirez case (accused of killing police officer Hugo Arango).
Attorney West enjoys representing people who need help, those accused of crimes and those who are injured by the fault of others. In personal injury cases attorney West has represented many people injured and damaged from no fault of their own including cases involving wrongful death, automobile collisions, elevator accidents, electric power pole accidents, medical negligence, slip and fall, public transportation negligence, municipal liability, nuisance, premises liability, malicious prosecution and police brutality.
Attorney West has been a member of the State Bar of Georgia since 1973, and is admitted to practice in the following courts: United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth and Eleventh Circuit, United States District Court for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia, Supreme Court of Georgia, Court of Appeals of Georgia and all Superior and inferior courts of Georgia. Attorney West has also been admitted pro hac vice in twelve states.« Back to Attorneys Page