Thomas F. GardnerDirector
Thomas F. Gardner is a registered mechanical engineer, a former vice president and general counsel of a regional engineering and architectural firm, and a construction lawyer with more than twenty-five years of experience. Tom has extensive hands‑on experience in multiple facets of the construction industry, having worked:
- as an apprentice ironworker,
- as a plastics and ceramics materials testing technician,
- as an HVAC sales engineer, and
- as district manager for York, a Division of Borg Warner (now Johnson Controls).
Tom has also sealed contract documents as a licensed engineer in responsible charge of millions of dollars of mechanical construction projects, and has testified as a mechanical engineering expert in open court.
Tom has handled complex private and public construction disputes, litigation, appeals, administrative hearings, arbitration and mediation proceedings, and contract negotiations. Tom has also served on the Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association and as a private mediator. Tom completed the intensive trial skills program at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (“NITA”).
Tom has represented clients in state, federal (including bankruptcy) courts, in state and federal administrative hearings, and in arbitration and mediation proceedings. Tom is admitted to practice before all Louisiana State Courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and has appeared in federal administrative forums including the U.S. Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), the U.S. Postal Services Board of Contract Appeals (PSBCA) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
In 2001, Tom was first appointed to serve as a judge, pro tem, in the First Parish Court of Jefferson Parish. Subsequently, the Louisiana Supreme Court appointed Tom to serve in First Parish Court, on an as needed basis, for 16 consecutive years. While on the bench, Tom has presided over cases as diverse as a Section 8 lease dispute, a claim for damages arising out of the failure of a masonry wall, a claim for damages arising out of failing to secure a storage facility, claims for damages arising out of automobile accidents, a claim against a casino for alleged injury to a patron, breach of contract cases, zoning violation cases, and misdemeanor violations. First Parish Court has both civil and criminal jurisdiction.
Tom has served as a Special Master in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Tom has served as an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University, teaching a course on Construction Liens.
Tom has presented seminars sponsored by the following entities:
- Louisiana State Bar Association (“LSBA”)
- Jefferson Bar Association (Louisiana) (“JBA”)
- New Orleans Bar Association (“NOBA”)
- Texas Institute of Continuing Legal Education (“TICLE”)
- American Institute of Architects (“AIA”), New Orleans Chapter
- American Concrete Institute (“ACI”), New Orleans Chapter
- American Society of Civil Engineers (“ASCE”), New Orleans Chapter
- American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (“ASHRAE”)
- American Society of Foundation Engineers (“ASFE”)
- American Society of Plumbing Engineers (“ASPE”), New Orleans Chapter
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers (“ASME”), New Orleans Chapter
- Louisiana Engineering Society (“LES”)
- Half Moon Education, Inc.
- Lorman Educational Systems
- National Business Institute
- NACM Southwest
- Construction Financial Management Association
Tom has authored papers published by the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Jefferson Bar Association, the New Orleans Bar Association, the Texas Institute of Continuing Legal Education, ASHRAE, ASME, Specifying Engineer, Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning, Lorman Educational Systems, the National Business Institute, and Half Moon Education, Inc. Tom has lectured on construction law topics at Loyola University New Orleans, School of Law, at industry seminars and at private contractor seminars.
Tom has served as the ASHRAE delegate to the New Orleans Building Code Committee.
Tom is the co-inventor of four United States Patents, Patent Nos. 7,287,765 B2, 7,934,729 B2, 8,764,030 B1 and 9,327,174 B2.
Mr. Gardner during one of his appointments as Judge, pro tem,
First Parish Court in Jefferson Parish.