Thomas M. Diachenko, RN, Esq.
Thom Diachenko has been practicing law since 1989. He was recognized as a San Diego “Trial Star” in 2020 for his outstanding trial results involving worker misclassification and sexual harassment. He was named “San Diego's Advocate of the Year” in 2019, for his precedent setting accomplishments at the trial and appellate court levels on behalf of low wage workers. He graduated cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law where he also earned membership on the San Diego Law Review, based upon his high academic rank. Martindale-Hubbell has rated Mr. Diachenko as “AV”, meaning that the legal profession has ranked him as possessing the highest possible rating for legal skills and ethical standards.
Thom graduated from Boston University School of Nursing where he received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1981. Thereafter, he worked as a licensed registered nurse in the pediatric ICU at Yale New Haven Hospital and San Diego Children’s Hospital while attending law school. Thom also worked as an emergency transport nurse, certified trauma nurse, CPR instructor and a clinical nurse educator. He has received health care related certifications in: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (from the American Heart Association); Instructor of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (from the American Heart Association), and; Trauma Nursing.
Thom spent the first eleven years of his legal career representing health care workers and entities in medical/professional malpractice, professional licensing and employment matters. Nine of those years where with the law firm of Lewis, D’Amato, Brisbois & Bisgaard (one of the largest law firms in California) where he became partner in 1996. In 2000, Thom formed his own firm while making the transition away from the representation of large corporate entities and health care providers to representation of people and select small businesses. Since 2001, Thom has represented people who were severely injured or families in wrongful death cases, involving the negligence or intentinal acts of others. In recent years, Thom’s practice has primarily focused on employee rights with emphasis on wage and labor issues, wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual harassment. Thom has developed a significant level of experience in Private Attorney General Act claims for violations of California labor laws for which other lawyers routinely consult with him, because of his extensive experience and expertise in this unique and complex practice area. Thom has also litigated business disputes and consults with select businesses seeking to comply with wage and employment laws.
Thom has tried dozens of cases over his 32-year legal career. These trials have included personal injury claims, medical malpractice, wage and employment matters for both defendants (early in his career) and plaintiffs (later in this career) in all three categories. He successfully obtained recoveries in all eight of his Superior Court wage and hour cases he took to trial on behalf of employees. Thom has also successfully obtained several precedent setting appellate court decisions involving medical malpractice and wage issues.
Thom is a long-standing member of the San Diego County Bar Association and the Consumer Attorneys of California (CASD), where he also served as a member of board. He has been the column editor for Trial Bar News since 2012, published numerous legal articles written for lawyers. He was as an associate with the Welch and Enright Inns of Court programs. He has served as an Executive Board Member of the Enright Inns of Court, Board Member of Deaf Community Services and Board Member for the University of San Diego Law School Alumni. He is a longstanding volunteer for San Diego Inns of Court Trial Practice Program (as a workshop leader training attorneys for trial), California Western Community Outreach Program, and various other law school, professional, community and charitable organizations.
Thom has been approved by the San Diego County Bar Association to join a select panel of attorneys deemed particularly qualified to handle personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and employment/wage claims. San Diego Magazine Super Lawyers has recognized him as, ”Top Lawyer” for many years.
Thom has been an invited lecturer for nurses and lawyers primarily on medical malpractice and wage issues. He has been an invited speaker by the San Diego County Bar, California Western School of Law, California Employment Law Association and National Employment Law Association, among others. He received the CASD President’s Award in 2015 (for his work in heading the Mentor Program for young plaintiff’s attorneys), CASD Advocate of Year Award in 2019 (for his trial and appellate and accomplishments on behalf of California workers who fall victim to wage theft by their employers and business owners), and CASD “Trial Star” Award in 2020 for his trial results involving worker misclassification, labor code violations and sexual harassment.
Thom practice includes his wife of over 38 years, Beth Diachenko, also a registered nurse. Together, they are the proud parents of Alek Diachenko, an MBA prepared commercial property sustainability and finance specialist and Drew Diachenko, an associate attorney with the law firm of Latham & Watkins in their San Francisco office.