Richard I. Thomas

Richard I. Thomas, who served on Burns White’s Executive Committee from 1997 to 2002, returned to Burns White in 2018 as Of Counsel. In his current role, he focuses his practice on mediating and as an arbitrator in employment and labor matters.

For almost five decades, Mr. Thomas was a legal advocate in the private and public sectors, handling grievance and interest arbitrations, jury, and non-jury trials in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. He has served as a spokesperson and counselor in single and multi-employer collective bargaining matters, and as an advocate on behalf of various employers, individuals, labor organizations, and employees represented by these organizations.

Mr. Thomas spent twenty-five years at a large Pittsburgh firm where he was chair of its Labor and Employment section, and fourteen years as Managing Partner at another well-known law firm in the region. He also was an instructor at Duquesne University’s John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business, teaching Labor Law and Litigation.

Mr. Thomas is certified by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and is on the Panel of Arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association. He received his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University, and his undergraduate degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Download PDF Bio

Areas of Law

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution


  • Duquesne University (J.D., 1972)
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College (B.A., 1965)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia


  • F.M.C.S., Certified Arbitrator, 2013
  • American Arbitration Association, Panel of Arbitrators
  • Former Member and Chairman, by appointment of Pennsylvania Supreme Court, of Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board


  • Selected for inclusion on Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® as “Top Rated Employment & Labor Attorney in Pittsburgh,” 2006
  • Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for 36 consecutive years: AV Preeminent, highest possible rating for legal ability and ethics



Burns White Center
48 26th Street
Pittsburgh PA 15222