Renowned Property Rights Expert Robert H. Thomas Joins William & Mary Law School as Visiting Chair

Robert H. Thomas

Owners' Counsel of America (OCA) is pleased to recognize the appointment of one of its most distinguished members, Robert H. Thomas, as the first occupant of the Joseph T. Waldo Visiting Chair in Property Rights Law at the William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va.

Thomas, whose practice is based in Hawaii, is nationally recognized for his work in eminent domain and land use. His place in national legal circles is reflected in his recent selection as Chairman for the American Bar Association section on State and Local Government Law. He previously served as chair of the Eminent Domain Law Committee of the State and Local Government Law Section.

This is one of the highlights of my legal career, and I am really looking forward to being back in a law classroom, especially at such a storied institution as William & Mary Law School.

Robert H. Thomas

For second and third-year law students, Thomas will focus on the history, policy, and politics of property rights, and eminent domain law, including what Thomas describes as a “healthy dose of practical lawyering.” Law school Dean Davison M. Douglas said, Thomas "will bring a wealth of experience to our students."

Thomas is widely known in legal circles as the author and publisher of a blog,, that closely follows developments in eminent domain, inverse condemnation, land use law and regulatory takings.

Thomas is a partner in the Honolulu law firm of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, L.C, and managing attorney for the Hawaii Center of the Pacific Legal Foundation. He has been named seven times in annual rankings of Best Lawyers.

Thomas is a graduate of the University of Santa Clara in Santa Clara California, received his law degree at the University of Hawaii Law School (where he was the editor of the Law Review) and his Masters of Laws at the Columbia School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar. 

The OCA brings together the nation’s leading eminent domain attorneys to collaborate in defending and promoting private property rights. OCA attorneys regularly are involved in landmark condemnation cases on behalf of large and small property owners in state and federal courts across the nation. The OCA limits its membership to but one eminent domain attorney from each of the 50 states.

Source: Owners' Counsel of America