C. Thomas (Tom) Miller
Tom is an Alabama native and Murray State graduate who worked in music and banking before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt University. He served as law clerk to the Hon. U.S. District Judge Edward H. Johnstone (sitting in Paducah and Louisville) from 1992‑1994. He practiced with a regional defense firm and its successors in Paducah and Louisville from 1994‑2000, while also serving as acting general counsel for Murray State University from 1996-1997. He joined Whitlow, Roberts, Houston & Straub, PLLC as a Member in 2000.
Mr. Miller leads the firm’s maritime law practice group. He gained maritime experience as a law clerk at Ingram Industries and to United State Chief District Judge Edward H. Johnstone and was mentored by the late preeminent maritime practitioner E. Spivey Gault. He has represented maritime litigants in numerous disputes including allisions, barge construction, maritime product liability, tow break-aways and Jones Act cases.
Mr. Miller has handled numerous business disputes, construction defect and contract disputes, employment discrimination, wrongful termination and wage and hour disputes and other general civil litigation, contact drafting, negotiation, and consulting. Highlights include successful representation in cable regulation litigation before the FCC; in oral argument before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Court of Appeals; and in multi-district False Claims Act litigation consolidated in Washington, D.C. His employment law experience includes service as Acting General Counsel for Murray State University from 1996-1998, where he drafted equal employment and anti-discrimination policies. In 2006, he successfully represented a private government contractor and its employee in the employment litigation styled Osborn v. Haley, 549 U.S. 225 (2007), filing a merits brief and appearing at counsel table before the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2013, he obtained summary judgment for a municipality and multiple co-defendants in federal court litigation involving discrimination, wrongful termination and civil rights claims.
His construction law experience includes regular consulting for several general contractors, and he has represented contractors, subcontractors, architects, and owners in construction defect and contract disputes in arbitration and in state and federal courts. In 2013, he obtained a summary judgment in favor of a general contractor in federal court, holding that a latent defect in concrete was an “accident” covered under a general liability policy.
Sample reported cases include Foster v. Jennie Stuart Medical Center, Inc., 435 S.W.3d 629, 631 (Ky.App.,2013); Kopacz v. Hopkinsville Surface and Storm Water Utility, 714 F.Supp.2d 682 (W.D.Ky., 2010); Osborn v. Haley, 549 U.S. 225, 127 S.Ct. 881; 422 F. 3d 359 (6th Cir. 2005); on remand, 2008 WL 974578 (W.D.Ky.,2008); Vannoy v. Milum, 171 S.W. 3d 745 (Ky. App. 2005); Midwestern Ins. Alliance, Inc. v. Coffman, 7 S.W.3d 393 (Ky. App. 1999) and Winchester v. City of Hopkinsville, 93 F.Supp.3d 752, 754 (W.D.Ky.,2015).
Mr. Miller has received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Licenses and Associations
- Kentucky Bar, 1992
- United States District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Kentucky
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- American Bar Association, Construction Industry Forum
- Kentucky Bar Association, Construction and Employment practice sections
- Western Kentucky Construction Association
- Evidence Rules Review Commission for the Supreme Court of Kentucky, appointed member 2003-2008
- Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D. 1991
- American Jurisprudence Award in Commercial Paper
- Bureau of National Affairs Law Student Award
- Murray State University, B.M. 1981
Publications and Presentations
- Western Kentucky Constructor magazine (multiple articles)
- Wrongful Termination Claims in Kentucky: Lessons Learned from the Cold Call, Peel & Holland Employer Forum
- What Civil Court Judges Want You To Know, Program Moderator, National Business Institute presentation
- West Kentucky Community and Technical College 2013: Completed training course concerning the inland waterways and the towing industry, including classroom lectures, deckhand demonstrations, and tour of a towing vessel
- Community Foundation of West Kentucky, Former Member of Board and Executive Committee
- Paducah Symphony Orchestra
- Board of Directors, former President
- Member of the Orchestra’s original horn section, 1979-1981
- Paducah First Presbyterian Church, Trustee, Elder and Musician
- Child Watch Children’s Advocacy Center, Former Board Member, Pro Bono Counsel
- Carson Four Rivers Center for the Performing Arts, former Board Member