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Thomas P. Gmelich


818-243-5200 phone

818-243-5266 fax

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Thomas P. Gmelich  is one of the firm’s founding partners.  Prior to starting the firm, Mr. Gmelich practiced at a civil defense firm, focusing on general civil liability litigation, personal/commercial auto, private security guard litigation, recreational sports injury litigation, insurance fraud litigation, complex business litigation, construction defect and maritime and cargo loss. He has successfully defended claims against a wide variety of clients, including fitness clubs, all construction trades, product manufacturers, private security companies, and transportation companies, including ocean, rail and air carriers.  Mr. Gmelich has extensive experience in litigating insurance fraud claims, and has successfully litigated whistleblower actions under California’s Insurance Code Section 1871.7 on behalf of various insurance carriers.

Practice Areas

  • Railroad Litigation Defense
  • Retail Store Defense
  • Personal/Commercial Auto Defense
  • Private Security Companies
  • Security Guard Litigation
  • Recreational Sports Injury Litigation
  • Health and Fitness Clubs
  • Construction Defect Litigation
  • General Civil Litigation
  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Construction Defect & Trades
  • Breach of Contract
  • Insurance Fraud Litigation
  • Maritime and Cargo Loss
  • Transportation Companies
  • Products Liability

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • IHRSA – International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association
  • CCD – California Clubs of Distinction (regional affiliate to IHRSA)
  • ASIS – American Society for Industrial Security
  • RSAA – Retail Special Agents Association
  • IAHSS – International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Gmelich has lectured extensively to health clubs throughout California on liability and employment issues facing the sports and recreation industry.

Publications and Press 

  • In Ester Dazo vs. Globe Airport Security Services, Inc., et al (2001 DJDAR 10859)
  • Federal Appellate Court opinion, which provides significant liability protection for airport security companies relating to property loss claims.  The Ninth Circuit upheld the liability limitation provisions of the Warsaw Convention in favor of airport security companies for property losses sustained by plaintiffs engaged in international travel.
  • Mr. Gmelich is a regular legal columnist for IHRSA’s Club Business International magazine, the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, and California Clubs of Distinction’s quarterly publication.  He has contributed articles for IAHSS’s quarterly publication and RSAA’s newsletter, focusing on recent case law affecting the private security industry.


  • Southern California Super Lawyer,  thirteen consecutive years
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell


  • J.D., Loyola Law School, 1993
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1989.  Dean’s List Honors.

Bar Admission

  • State Bar of California


  • State of California
  • United States District Court (Central, Eastern & Northern Districts)
  • United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit)



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