Thomas Manakides is an experienced litigator known for developing innovative strategies to tackle large and complex litigation matters with an emphasis on environmental and transnational issues. He represents multinational corporations across several industries, including food and agricultural, real estate, aerospace, and waste. Mr. Manakides has extensive courtroom experience in both trial and appellate courts and often advises clients on matters involving mass tort, environmental laws and enforcement and cost recovery actions.
Mass Tort Litigation. Mr. Manakides has deep experience providing strategic advice and litigating all phases of high-profile mass tort litigation matters across multiple industries and involving a wide-range of alleged sources—from benzene, methane, TCE, and DBCP to odor and noise, to name a few. Representative matters include:
In addition, Mr. Manakides was a key member of the Gibson Dunn team, which unearthed a massive attorney-orchestrated fraud emanating from Nicaragua that was imported into California courts. This work culminated in a dismissal with prejudice of several California cases consolidated as Mejia v. Dole Food following a bench trial exposing the egregious fraud. Mr. Manakides also successfully defended, on appeal, a ruling in Tellez v. Dole Food vacating a jury verdict and the entry of a new judgment in Dole’s favor based on the post-trial discovery of fraud on the court and extortion of defendants.
Environmental Laws and Enforcement. Mr. Manakides advises clients on best practices to navigate through a variety of federal, state and local laws and regulations, including issues before the Regional and State Water Boards, South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. Representative non-confidential matters include:
Cost Recovery. Mr. Manakides is experienced in litigating disputes over cleanup costs and other damages associated with environmental contamination. Representative matters include:
Appellate Matters. Mr. Manakides briefs and argues appellate matters, often in conjunction with the Firm’s appellate practice group, that stem from his trial work. Most recently, he argued an appeal before the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three involving, among other things, a claim under California Government Code section 1090. Following Mr. Manakides’ oral argument, the Court of Appeal issued its published opinion in the client’s favor on two of the three issues. The petitioner filed a petition for review before the California Supreme Court, which was denied, and the appellate decision is now final.
Community Involvement. Mr. Manakides is Board Chair for the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center, which serves at-risk children and families in crisis to prevent and break the generational cycle of child abuse. Mr. Manakides is also on the Board of Directors for the Public Law Center, Orange County’s non-profit pro bono law firm that provides access to justice for low-income residents.
Mr. Manakides dedicates significant time to pro bono matters. Mr. Manakides spent two months participating in the Trial Attorney Partnership Program in conjunction with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, gaining valuable trial experience. He also represented the Council for Endangered Species Act Reliability to compel the United States to act on a listing petition for the delta smelt under the Endangered Species Act. In addition, Mr. Manakides successfully pursued an action on behalf of a pro bono client who alleged claims for peonage and involuntary servitude, fraud and deceit, false imprisonment and the violation of numerous California Labor Code sections. After the trial court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss, the action was settled favorably for the client.
Education and Background. Mr. Manakides received his law degree from the University of Southern California Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. At USC, he was the Submission Editor for the Southern California Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University earning his B.A. degree in Political Science.
Mr. Manakides is admitted to practice in the State of California, before the United States District Courts for the Central District of California, the Eastern District of California and the Southern District of California, and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
University of Southern California - 2003 Juris Doctor
Pepperdine University - 2000 Bachelor of Arts