Bio portrait of Thomas Mealiffe, Nixon Peabody LLP, Complex Commercial Disputes

Thomas M. Mealiffe

Tom Mealiffe represents companies in a wide variety of commercial, complex tort and product liability disputes throughout the country. He works on matters involving the health care, banking, real estate and aviation industries and has obtained defense verdicts as trial counsel in both federal and state courts.

What do you focus on?

Complex Commercial Litigation

Much of my work involves disputes concerning companies that operate in a variety of markets, including food and industrial manufacturing, health care and startup technologies. Primarily, my work has concentrated on shareholder disputes, scrutinizing the decisions of the corporation’s fiduciaries, and disputes between companies concerning the distribution of goods and intellectual property rights. Having worked for companies in a variety of industries, I understand that knowing the business and the space it operates in is key to getting the best result.

Product Liability Litigation

I have worked with several large manufacturers, particularly in the aviation industry, in defending their products against claims of negligence and manufacturing and design defect. I have also worked with manufacturers on regulatory matters, particularly involving the Consumer Product Safety Commission, guiding them through reporting of incidents and product recalls. I have been a member of trial teams that have secured defense verdicts in wrongful death actions and understand that defending a product means being prepared to defend it at trial.

Real Estate

I also focus on commercial real estate disputes, including real estate valuation matters (ground lease and space lease rent re-sets in particular), partnership disputes and complex commercial tenancy disputes.

What do you see on the horizon?

Blockchain technology and digital assets are revolutionizing a variety of industries. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with those companies developing these innovations, as they grow and navigate the current legal landscape.

Representative Experience

  • Recovered more than $3 million, including the recovery of attorneys’ fees, for Avis Budget Car Rental LLC in a property damage matter, after a more than two-week jury trial in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for a large multi-state construction operation in a Title VII retaliation matter after a two-week jury trial in the United States District Court, Northern District of New York
  • Obtained a complete defense verdict for French and United States aviation clients against product liability claims brought in Texas state court after a three-week jury trial
  • Obtained a precedent-setting summary judgment decision on behalf of an international airline in a Montreal Convention matter in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, and successfully argued the appeal of that decision before the Second Circuit

Publications and Presentations

  • “Innovative Strategies for Defending Against Aviation Claims: Managing the Rise in E-Discovery and Its Increasing Involvement in Aviation Litigation, and Effective Use of Expert Witnesses and Jury Communication,” American Conference Institute’s 7th National Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Claims & Litigation, New York, NY, June 2, 2015 (Co-presenter with J. Ortego)
  • Co-author of the book, Consumer Products Liability, Ensuring Compliance, Avoiding Missteps and Reducing Exposure, published by Thomson Reuters, 2014.
  • “Are You Recall Ready?” Nixon Peabody Webinar, October 1, 2014 (Presenter)
  • “Making Your Online Evidence Usable in the Courtroom,” National Business Institute, May 23, 2013 (Presenter)
  • “Expert Disclosure in New York: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back,” New York Law Journal, December 10, 2012 (Co-author with B. Lukeman)
  • “Strategy Considerations when Faced with a Co-defendant’s Spoliation,” The Practical Litigator, April 2012 (Co-author with J. Ortego)
  • “Food Safety Litigation,” National Business Institute, February 8, 2012 (Co-presenter with B. Lukeman)
  • “The Blogging and Social Networking Juror,” DRI’s Young Lawyer Committee Newsletter—The Whisper, June 9, 2009 (Co-author with T. Ehlers)


Thomas M. Mealiffe


Long Island

Phone: 516-832-7597

New York

Phone: 212-940-3088

Fax: 866-895-8157

Boston College, J.D.

University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., cum laude

New York

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Tom received the 2013 Long Island Business News Leadership in Law award for his leadership in the legal profession and community. He was selected for inclusion in New York Metro Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2013 and 2014, based on peer-review surveys.

Tom has been recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2021 editorial for Industry focus—Transport: Aviation and air travel—Litigation. He has also been recognized in previous years.

Mr. Mealiffe is a member of the American Bar Association and the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court. He is also a member of the junior board of the East Harlem Tutorial Program.

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