Michael D. Tom
Name: Michael D. Tom
Firm Name: Tom Petrus & Miller, LLLC
Jurisdiction: USA - Hawaii
Practice Area: Construction Law

Telephone: 808.792.5800
Fax: 808.792.5809
Email: mtom@tpm-hawaii.com

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Professional Biography:

MICHAEL D. TOM was born in Hawaii and graduated from Saint Louis High School in Honolulu in 1963. He attended the University of Santa Clara, where he received a degree in Civil Engineering (B.C.E., 1967), was elected to Tau Beta Pi, the national honorary engineering academic society, and was the initial recipient of the George L. Sullivan award for engineering excellence. 

He also received a Master’s degree in structural engineering from Stanford University (M.S.C.E., 1968) and has completed most of the course work for the Engineer’s degree, a professional pre-doctoral degree offered by Stanford. Upon completion of his schooling, Mr. Tom worked for consulting engineers in Hawaii, California and Washington, D.C. and served in the Corp of Engineers, U.S. Army.  

Mr. Tom attended the Hastings College of Law, University of California where he received his law degree (J.D. 1975). He was an Associate Editor of the Hastings Law Journal (1975) and was elected to the Order of the Coif, the national honorary legal academic society.

Mr. Tom was admitted to the bar in Hawaii in 1975. He joined a large and prominent Honolulu law firm in 1975 and became a partner in 1981. 

He initially was involved in personal injury and wrongful death litigation related to automobile and defective products and construction defect litigation. He has conducted numerous jury and court trials in both state and federal courts. Because of his training and education, Mr. Tom’s practice presently focuses upon all aspects of the construction industry, product liability litigation, the defense of design, medical, legal and real estate professionals, insurance coverage disputes and real property disputes. 

He has been involved in negotiating and drafting contracts for major building projects in Hawaii, on the mainland United States and in the United Kingdom. He has personally been involved in over 150 major construction lawsuits. He has represented owners, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, sureties and lenders.

Mr. Tom has been appointed an Arbitrator by the Hawaii Supreme Court for its arbitration program. In addition, he serves as an arbitrator and mediator with Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Inc.  Mr. Tom has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® from 2007 to the present in the area of construction law and is a Fellow of The Litigation Counsel of America.


Mr. Tom is the author of Hawaiian Beach Access: A Customary Right, 26 Hastings Law Journal (1975) and is a contributor to the Digest of Commercial Laws of the World, State Variations of Commercial Law (Oceana Publications, Inc. 1994). 

He has also co-authored Architect-Engineer Liability Under Hawaii Law (Cambridge Institute 1991).  From 1992 to 1993, Mr. Tom lived in Paris, France where he was on a “working sabbatical”. 

He served as a consultant to Cabinet Sefrioui, a French law firm in Paris, on construction and international arbitration matters and edited a manuscript on the FIDIC General Conditions of Contract and an article on the enforceability of foreign arbitral awards.