Tom Miller

Tom with his Havana barber.

FOUNDER

CONTACT

Phone: 510 891-0616 x 102
Fax: 510 839-9857
Email: tom@millerwashington.com

PRACTICES

My wonderful associates and I will represent you in such diverse areas as Personal Injury, Non-Profit, Business Law, Family Law, Divorce, Contracts, Publishing and Trusts and Wills. We also specialize in Special Education Law. How satisfied are our clients? Let Sara S. answer:

Tom began working on my case just over a year ago. The firm represented me on a case related to an automobile injury. Since the firm’s involvement, I have been incredibly impressed with the everyone’s thorough evaluation and genuine support. They have always answered my questions promptly and sincerely. And, kept me well informed about the status of my case (without me having to inquire about updates). Most importantly, however, I sincerely appreciated Tom’s approach to my case; definitely with a strong sense of integrity and personal compassion. (and of course most-experienced with respect to the law). I highly recommend Tom MIller and his firm to represent you in legal matters.

BACKGROUND

Tom grew up north of Chicago, Illinois, attending The Farm School, which taught the fundamentals of organic farming, and New Trier High School, which honored him in 2013 with its alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.  Prior to attending Yale College he prospected for gold in Alaska and worked in logging camps in California and Oregon and, as a Frontier College “laborer-teacher” on railway gangs in Western Canada.  At Yale he established the Yale Man Abroad Program with Chaplain William Sloane Coffin, was captain of the freshman and varsity wrestling teams, a member of the Board of Deacons, supervised undergraduate social welfare activities in the New Haven community and a member of Scroll & Key senior society.

After graduating,  he spent two years as a secondary school teacher in Ghana and, joining the University of California/Berkeley faculty, helped train the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers.  He then attended Stanford Law School, where he founded the International Law Society and served as an intern in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor.  After admission to the New York Bar, Tom joined the prestigious Manhattan firm of Webster Sheffield Fleischman Hitchcock & Chrystie, whose partners included New York City mayor John Lindsay and the President of the New York City Bar Association. There he founded Children’s Medical Relief International and traveled to Vietnam to establish, with Professor Arthur Barsky,  the Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to treat war-injured children.

The Center treated thousands of war-injured children during the war, including a little girl, Kim Phuoc, whose image, running naked from her napalmed village, shocked the world.  The Center continues today as a top teaching hospital.  Tom continued his work in Vietnam – working to have the embargo lifted after the war, mediating the release of political prisoners and opening the first U.S. representative legal office there after the embargo was lifted.  At the end of the war, when thousands of Vietnamese children were brought to the United States as “orphans”, Tom helped pursue a class action lawsuit to return children who were not orphans to their Vietnamese families.

The story of one of these children became a documentary – “Daughter from Danang” – which won the Grand Jury Award as the best documentary at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Oscar. He has also assisted in the production of other documentary films by Oscar winner Pierre Dominique Gaisseau, Al Jazeera, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Britain’s Channel 4, and serves as Chair of the Board of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability (www.nautilus.org).  Recently Tom co-founded Green Cities Fund (www.greencitiesfund.org), which has established a number of humanitarian projects, including Parwaz, the first Afghan-run microfinance organization providing small loans to widows and others in need in war-torn Afghanistan.  Green Cities also established the Vietnam Green Building Council (www.vgbc.org.vn) and is establishing a community-based ecotourism project to help save the Prey Lang forest area of Cambodia, the largest low land semi-dry evergreen forest area in Southeast Asia, where the Kuy ethnic minority, who have been protecting the forest for generations, face extinction as the forest is destroyed by illegal logging, mining and plantations (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJHEiYmleVo) .  As publisher of Lancaster Miller Publishers, he published over 100 books on Asia and contemporary subjects.  He also has served as Deputy Director of California Rural Legal Assistance , West Coast Director of the Council on Economic Priorities and assisted in the establishment of  Berkeley’s La Pena Cultural Center.  He is co-founder of the award winning Bison Brewing Company, one of the first modern microbreweries in the United States. He is currently working to develop two major humanitarian projects in Cuba: a teaching facility in Havana to promote sustainable farming and a clean water project in Berkeley, California’s “Sister City” in eastern Cuba, Palma Soriano, and the subject of a documentary by Cuba’s talented filmmaker, Carlos Betancourt.  The documentary can be seen at: https://vimeo.com/60928823

In addition to Vietnam, Tom offers business advice with respect to Cuba, where he has traveled on numerous occasions in the last 15 years as a representative of Global Exchange, a San Francisco human rights organization.  He has helped organize conferences on Cuba at the University of California in Berkeley, has defended, pro bono, scores of  U.S. citizens charged with violating the U.S. travel ban and is working with Cuba’s Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation and chefs from Chez Panisse Restaurant and other food and organic farming experts to promote sustainable permaculture farming in Cuba. Tom lives with his wife, journalist/writer Tran Tuong Nhu, in Berkeley where they have raised four children.

ADMITTED IN

  • California
  • New York (inactive)

AWARDS

  • United States Jaycees “Outstanding Young Man of the Year” 1974
  • United Nations Association “Global Citizen Award” 2008
  • New Trier High School achievement award 2013

EDUCATION

  • Parker School of Foreign & Comparative Law, Columbia University, Certificate 1966
  • Stanford Law School, LL.B. 1965
  • Yale University, B.A., 1960

BOARD MEMBERSHIPS, ETC.

  • Global Exchange, Legal Counsel
  • Green Cities Fund, Co-founder & Chair
  • Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, Chair
  • Send A Piana To Havana, Legal Counsel
  • MAPlight, Advisory Board & Legal Counsel
  • Vietnam Green Building Council, Co-founder & Int’l Advisory Board

Tom visiting school children in Vietnam’s Hai
Giang Province near the China border.