Goodwin Procter is mourning the loss of our partner Thomas J. Mikula, 54, who passed away on October 9. Tom was an accomplished litigator who practiced in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office for nine years, and for 19 years at Shea & Gardner prior to its combination with Goodwin Procter in 2004.
Tom was an exceptional trial lawyer who represented our clients in complex litigation matters across the country. Blessed with a keen intellect, calm demeanor and meticulous logic, Tom was exceptional at communicating – in compelling fashion – complicated concepts to judges and juries. His most recent work involved asbestos products liability, and his expertise was essential in leading one of our major clients to a string of victories in state courts across the nation.
Tom was perhaps best known at Goodwin Procter for his pro bono work. He co-chaired the firm’s Pro Bono Committee from 2004 to 2009 and has continued to serve on the committee as the firm’s D.C. pro bono chair. Having performed pro bono work regularly since being admitted to the bar, Tom led through example, and his judgment, expertise and accessibility were instrumental to the transformational leadership he brought to the firm’s pro bono program.
A man who cared deeply about his colleagues, Tom weaved a common thread of decency, warmth and fairness throughout the D.C. office and the firm. Described by one of his partners as “a tough litigator with a sweet disposition,” Tom was liked by all who met him. Always cheerful, even-tempered and seemingly never angry or upset, Tom took great pleasure in life.
He grew up in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and The George Washington University Law School with highest honors, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Phyllis Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
A devoted husband, father and colleague, Tom was passionate in all his pursuits, but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family – his wife Laura and their teenage daughter Joanne. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.