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About me

Tom was born and raised in Youngstown, OH. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD in 1969 and from George Washington Law School, Washington, DC in 1973. He was admitted to practice in Maryland by the Court of Appeals on December 27, 1973. Since his admission, he has never been the subject of any complaints or disciplinary proceedings. He has a completely unblemished record with the Bar.


After law school Tom clerked a year for the Hon. E. Mackall Childs in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland before spending two years as a staff attorney with the Office of the Public Defender. Since 1975, he has been in private practice.


In the mid 1990s, Tom began to focus his practice on defending child sex abuse cases. Since then, he has devoted his practice exclusively to sex crimes defense. Over the last two decades he has represented hundreds of clients throughout the country. He has been admitted pro hac vice as defense counsel at the trial and/or appellate level on criminal child sexual abuse cases in Massachusetts, Florida, West Virginia, Virginia, Utah, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Georgia.


Tom has also been admitted pro hac vice as Amicus Curiae counsel for the False Memory Syndrome Foundation on briefs submitted to, and accepted by, the Supreme Courts of Texas, Rhode Island, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Illinois (twice), Georgia, Wisconsin, California, New Hampshire (twice) and Massachusetts, as well as two divisions of the California Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.


At the appellate level, Tom, working in conjunction with the Office of the Public Defender, obtained a reversal of a child sexual abuse conviction at the Kansas Supreme Court. See State v. Plaskett, 27 P.3d 890 (Kan. 2001).


He and Mark Mack also prevailed before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on a child abuse conviction involving issues of competency and taint as matters of first impression. See Com. v. Delbridge, 885 A.2d 27 (Pa.2003).


Tom has a special interest in defending child sex abuse cases in which the complainants are pre-school or very young children. In many instances, incompetent social workers and other zealots who investigate allegations of abuse influence the children to make certain statements by the way they interview the children. This psychological suggestion gives rise to the legal concept of “taint.”  Tom is currently the lead counsel for Premier Defense Group



Languages spoken: English, German

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Sex Crime: 100%
    42 years, 5 thousand cases



Free consultation (120 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

9 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • David Leon Carlson

    I endorse this lawyer. When it comes to Sex Crimes Tom is the best in the business. His meticulous attention to detail and knowledge of the law is unsurpassed.


    David Carlson Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Raymond D Carignan

    One of a kind lawyer. I highly doubt there is another attorney out there with the level of experience that Tom has in sex crimes defense.


    Raymond Carignan Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Premier Defense Group

1906 Towne Centre Boulevard
Suite 265
Annapolis, MD, 21401-7063


INAdministrative - Not Authorized to PracticeUnknown08/07/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2015
Client Rating PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2011
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers2008
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Lead Defense AttorneyPremier Defense Group1991 - Present
Amicus Curiae CounselFalse Memory Syndrome Foundation2000 - 2013
Criminal Defense AttorneyLaw Offices of Thomas A. Pavlinic1975 - 1991
ClerkCircuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland1973 - 1975
Association namePosition nameDuration
United States Court of Appeals for the 4th CircuitMember1987 - Present
Bars of the United States District CourtMember1975 - Present
Maryland State Bar AssociationMember1973 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
State's Expert Discredited; Inconsistencies of Child Witness RevealedNot guilty all counts
Cross Examination of Children Accusers Reveals ContradictionsNot Guilty all counts
Commonwealth of Virginia v R. T. D.Case dismissed on motion to strike.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
George Washington University National Law CenterLawJD - Juris Doctor1973
University of Maryland, College ParkN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1969