Attorney Robert H. Thomas to Teach Course at William & Mary Law School as Joseph T. Waldo Visiting Chair in Property Rights Law

Robert H. ThomasRobert H. Thomas of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert in Honolulu will teach during the fall semester as William & Mary Law School’s inaugural Joseph T. Waldo Visiting Chair in Property Rights Law, the school announced today.

The chair is named in honor of alumnus Joseph T. Waldo (’78), founder of Waldo & Lyle in Norfolk, who served as Co-Chair of the school’s annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference from 2004-2017. Thomas’s time at the Law School will coincide with the conference’s fifteenth anniversary celebration and symposium to be hosted by the William & Mary Property Rights Project on October 4-5. Read more about the 15th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference.

Dean Davison M. Douglas said he is delighted that an accomplished and knowledgeable expert such as Thomas is the first to hold the Chair. “Mr. Thomas is a highly regarded land use and appellate lawyer who also is vitally engaged with issues on a state and national level as a speaker, author, and widely read blogger,” Douglas said. “His course will offer students tremendous insights into this critical area of law and legal practice. Most importantly, our students will be able to learn from a skilled appellate lawyer who has developed numerous professional contacts in the fields of eminent domain, land use, and local government law. ”

Thomas’s practice has involved regulatory takings, eminent domain, water rights, and election and political law cases. He has argued cases and appeals in courts in Hawaii and California and on the federal level. His professional activities are numerous and wide-ranging. They include serving as the 2017-2018 Chair of the ABA’s Section of State & Local Government Law; Hawaii Member, Owner’s Counsel of America; Managing Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation Hawaii Center; and Co-Planning Chair (with Joe Waldo) of ALI-CLE’s 2018 conference on “Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation.” Thomas has been an invited speaker on topics in his area of practice on numerous occasions and also has been a frequent contributor to scholarly and professional journals. His popular blog,, features news and commentary on land use, property, and takings law.

He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he earned an LL.M., with honors, and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He received his J.D. from the University of Hawaii School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review.

Thomas is listed in Best Lawyers in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, and Land Use & Zoning Law, and in Super Lawyers in Appellate Law, Land Use/Zoning, and Government/Cities/Municipalities.

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