This week’s Member in the Spotlight is our highly esteemed academician Thomas Workman of Boston, Massachusetts. Tom is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth, where he lectures on evidence and forensics. In addition, he is a highly sought after expert witness and maintains a solo practice. Before venturing into law as a second career, Tom was an engineer for Hewlett Packard, Xerox, and Texas Instruments. His technical expertise in the industry includes employment as a quality manager, materials manager, hardware and software engineering consultant, systems engineer, principal and senior engineer. He has managed technical organizations of 250 professionals. His responsibilities included: procurement, planning and distribution for four semiconductor manufacturing factories, developing telecommunications systems for IBM mainframes, developing hardware and software for the 3270 terminal emulator and other telecommunications devices, as well as managing the development of a major secure network to collect and process military intelligence on the battlefield. He was invited to testify as an expert in software quality before the U.S. Congressional “STARWARS” blue ribbon panel. As a tribute to his computer expertise, he served on the Computer Standards Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Tom was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He received his Bachelor’s (1970) and Master’s of Science (1974) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He minored in Computer Science. He balanced working his technical career alongside service in the Texas Army National Guard, from which he was honorably discharged after rising to the rank of E7. After a successful career of twenty years with many contributions, the company Tom worked for declared bankruptcy. In reflection, he pondered over who had the greatest influence on him throughout his career in the industry. As it turns out, this was a lawyer he had worked alongside for six months in a Hewlett Packard lawsuit. This spurred him on to seek even greater challenges with his expertise, but now in the law. Tom graduated cum laude with his Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University School of Law in December 1996.
Tom has testified as an expert over 600 times in over half of the states as well as Canada and Japan. Most of those cases involved a breath test machine. His published law review articles can be found with a Google search for his last name and the word “Ethanol”.
Tom has contributed greatly in the legal arena with his expertise. His most recent verdict was a $3 million dollar jury award in a trade secrets case where despite the defendant’s attempt to destroy the data, Tom was able to unearth it and prove their case. In the criminal defense arena, Tom was successfully able to overturn a guilty verdict at the trial level in the Massachusetts Supreme Court case of Commonwealth v. William Foley, based on the first application of the United States Supreme Court case of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.
Thankfully, Tom has maintained his driving force of giving back and raising the bar by not only educating law students as a professor, but practicing attorneys through his publications and frequent lectures across the United States. Tom is a faculty member of the National College of DUI Defense, as well as maintaining memberships in the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Association of Computing Machinery. Tom has been recognized by TechnoLawyer as the Outstanding Technical Contributor in 1999, as an Up and Coming Lawyer by the Super Lawyers of Massachusetts, and as one of the Top Ten New Lawyers by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, where he also served on their editorial board.
Workman’s advice to young attorneys is “Work to focus your practice and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Carefully consider the advice you get from those who take the time to share their perspective with you. Prepare and work hard for every client you undertake to represent. If you do not have the energy to do that, do not take the case. And don’t be afraid to refer business out, if you have a bad feeling about the case or the client. At the same time, don’t be afraid to take on the tough cases. They will make you a better lawyer.”
In his down time, Tom enjoys classical music, vocal music, opera and traveling; exploring the culture of new places with his wife. He has been married to his soul mate Ginny for 17 years. Tom has two adult children, Chris and Jennifer, who live in Denmark and in Montana. He is a grandfather of four.
We at the National College of DUI Defense are very proud to have someone of Tom’s expertise as a proud faculty member. Tom also contributes through the National College of DUI Defense’s Forensic Committee, which is monitoring and providing input to the National Forensic Science Commission as they develop standards. Tom educates others in our NCDD with a patient, bearing and enlightening attitude. His joy in sharing expertise that contributes to justice is truly our gain. Thank you Tom for all that you do.
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