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About me

THOMAS F. PAUL is an accomplished litigator who handles matters of almost every description in the admiralty and maritime fields. He has litigated to successful conclusion hundreds of jury and non-jury cases involving ship collisions, allisions, groundings, sinkings, cargo damage, salvage, liens, fires, wrongful deaths, and personal injuries. He also represents ship owners, licensed marine officers and pilots before the U.S. Coast Guard/Administrative Law Judges and Pilotage Boards. In addition, Tom handles non-maritime matters such as products and insurance broker’s liability and plaintiff’s personal injury cases. He recently obtained a 7.5 million dollar recovery in a brain damage case. His maritime expertise and work as a negotiator and trial lawyer are recognized throughout the United States and international maritime communities.

During World War II, Tom joined the United States Navy and later became attached to the Fourth Marine Division. He served our country honorably, and is a survivor of the battle for Iwo Jima in 1945. Upon his return to civilian life, Tom obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in pyschology from Washington State University in 1951. After several years in law enforcement he obtained his J.D. degree from the University of Washington in 1958, where he was a member of Phi Alpha Delta.

Tom was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2005-2008 eds.), and is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, in America and in the World. He is AV rated by the Martindale-Hubble Law Directory. He is a past Board Advisor for the University of San Francisco Law Journal, and a past Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Admiralty and Maritime Litigation. He is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the Federal Bar Association, the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice, and a member of the Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum, membership in which is limited to trial lawyers who have achieved a trial verdict or settlement in excess of two million dollars. He has also been selected to the 2015 list as a member of the Nation's Top One Percent of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

Tom has long been a member of the Defense Research Institute, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association, Transportation Lawyers Association, Asia Pacific Lawyers Association, American Arbitration Association, the Propeller Club, and is a member of the Mediation and Arbitration Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.

Tom is admitted to practice before the State Courts of Washington, Alaska and Oregon, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.



Practice areas


  1. Maritime: 40%
  2. Litigation: 30%
  3. Personal Injury: 30%

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael S. Waddington

    I endorse Thomas. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community.


    Michael Waddington Military law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • James F Whitehead III

    For many years I worked with Tom as his associate and then partner. During the last sixteen years we have worked in different firms. Tom is an exceptional lawyer with a commanding presence and great skills as a writer and oral advocate.


    James Whitehead Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Office of Thomas F Paul

1323 Willard Ave W.
Seattle, WA, 98119


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Nation's Top One PercentNational Association of Distinguished Counsel2015
Best LawyersSeattle Business Magazine2011
Best Lawyers in AmericaThe Best Lawyers in America2011
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2010
Top Admiralty & Maritime LawyersSeattle Metropolitan Magazine2010
The Best Lawyers of AmericaBest Lawyers of America2010
The Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers in America2009
2009 Best LawyersPuget Sound Business Journal2009
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2009
The Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers in America2008
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2008
Who's Who in American LawWho's Who in American Law -Marquis2008
Who's Who in the WestWho's Who in the West-Marquis2008
Who's Who in AmericaWho's Who in America-Marquis2008
Who's Who in the WorldWho's Who in the World-Marquis2008
Top Lawyers in WashingtonWashington CEO Magazine2008
Avvo Top Admiralty/Maritime LawyerWashington CEO Magazine2008
Appointment to Fee Arbitration PanelWashington State Bar Association2008
Appointment to Mediation PanelWashington State Bar Association2008
Invited MemberMulti-Million Dollar Advocates Forum2007
Who's Who in Admiralty and Maritime LawWashington Law & Politics Magazine2007
Who's Who in AmericaWho's Who in America-Marquis2007
Who's Who in the WorldWho's Who in the World-Marquis2007
The Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers in America2007
Seattle's Best Lawyers 2007N/A2007
Who's Who in the WestWho's Who in the West-Marquis2007
Who's Who in American LawN/A2007
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2007
Who's Who in the WorldN/A2006
Who's Who in the WestN/A2006
Who's Who in AmericaN/A2006
Who's Who in American LawN/A2006
The Best Lawyers in AmericaN/A2006
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2006
Who's Who in American LawN/A2005
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2005
The Best Lawyers in AmericaN/A2005
Who's Who in the WorldN/A2005
Who's Who in AmericaN/A2005
Who's Who in the WestN/A2005
Who's Who in American LawN/A2004
Who's Who in AmericaN/A2004
Who's Who in the WorldN/A2004
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell2004
Who's Who in the WestN/A2004
Who's Who in the WorldN/A1996
Who's Who in the WestN/A1995
Who's Who in AmericaN/A1995
Who's Who in American LawN/A1994
Rated AV PreeminentMartindale-Hubbell1985
Invited MemberMillion Dollar Advocates ForumN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
President/ShareholderLegros, Buchanan & Paul1995 - Present
Partner/ShareholderLegros, Buchanan & Paul1978 - 1995
Partner/ShareholderHoward, Legros, Buchanan & Paul1960 - 1978
AssociateSummers, Bucey & Howard1958 - 1960
Association namePosition nameDuration
Washington State Bar AssociationMediation Panel2008 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationFee Arbitration Board2008 - Present
Brain Injury Association of WashingtonMember2007 - Present
American Association for JusticeMember2007 - Present
Alaska Bar AssociationMember2004 - Present
Oregon State BarMember2004 - Present
Washington State Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1995 - Present
Federal Bar AssociationMember1995 - Present
Washington Defense Trial LawyersMember1995 - Present
Defense Research InstituteMember1995 - Present
NAUIOpen Water Scuba Diver1994 - Present
Transportation Lawyers AssociationMember1990 - Present
Asia Pacific Lawyers AssociationMember1986 - Present
Columbia Tower ClubCharter Member1985 - Present
American Arbitration AssociationMember1985 - Present
Marine Insurance Association of SeattleMember1975 - Present
The Rainier ClubMember1971 - Present
US Supreme CourtAdmitted1970 - Present
Maritime Law Association of the United StatesMember/Proctor1967 - Present
The Propeller Club of the United StatesMember1960 - Present
Washington US District Courts Western DivisionAdmitted1958 - Present
US Court of Appeals - 9th CircuitAdmitted1958 - Present
Japan America SocietyMember1958 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1957 - Present
The Fighting Fourth Marine Divison (of WW II)Member1944 - Present
American Judicature SocietyMember2004 - 2007
John Brown Admiralty Moot Court National CompetitionJudge/Evaluator1998 - 2000
Professional organizations and associationsMember1996 - 2002
People to People Maritime Law Delegation to the People's Republic of ChinaLeader1988 - 1988
Association of Trial Lawyers of AmericaMember1985 - 2007
Admiralty and Maritime Law Litigation Committee of the American Bar AssociationChairman1982 - 1986
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Washington School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1958
Washington State UniversityN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1951
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Taiwan Ship Owners Association Conference at TaipeiUS Maritime (Cargo) Law1988