Scott Thomas joined Dickstein Shapiro in 2006, and is the head of the Political Law Practice. A former Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chairman, Mr. Thomas focuses his political law practice on campaign finance, ethics, and lobbying law. His extensive and distinguished background in the area of political law is a valuable resource in providing guidance and assurance to clients who need to interact with government officials. With more than 30 years of experience in this field, he assesses current compliance issues and suggests best practices to ensure adherence to the rules. Given the ever-changing law and its interpretations by regulatory bodies, he provides up-to-date advice that enables businesses, associations, PACs, and others to work successfully with government representatives at the federal, state, or local level.
Prior to joining Dickstein Shapiro, Mr. Thomas served as an FEC Commissioner from 1986 to 2006. He was appointed to the FEC for three consecutive terms, first by President Reagan in 1986, then by President Bush in 1991, and again by President Clinton in 1997. He served as Chairman in 1987, 1993, 1999, and 2005.
From 1983 to 1986, Mr. Thomas served as Executive Assistant to former FEC Commissioner Tom Harris, and from 1980 to 1983 as an FEC Assistant General Counsel for Enforcement. He began his legal career as a staff attorney with the FEC in 1977.
Mr. Thomas also has general experience in areas of election law other than campaign finance, stemming from the FEC’s Office of Election Administration and his work with election officials here and abroad. Additionally, his involvement with the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws and various governmental bodies over the years has provided him with a breadth of knowledge on ethics and lobbying rules.
PUBLICATIONS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Mr. Thomas has written and taught in the field of campaign finance law. His law review articles have appeared in, for example, the Stanford Journal of Law and Policy, the Washington College of Law Administrative Law Review, and the Catholic University Law Review. In October, Mr. Thomas’ article, “Office Politics,” appeared in the Corporate Counsel. He has guest-lectured at Georgetown University Law Center and the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and has been a speaker at numerous Practising Law Institute programs covering campaign finance law. Mr. Thomas participated in a panel, “Corporations & The First Amendment,” at the Seattle University Law School, and more recently wrote and presented via webinar for Association of Corporate Counsel InfoPak, “Influencing Government: the Rules of the Game (Campaign Finance, Lobbying, and Ethics Laws).”
Mr. Thomas is a member of the District of Columbia bar. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He serves on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Election Law as well as the Elections Committee of the ABA’s Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.
Honors and Recognitions
Mr. Thomas is recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, which writes that clients praise him for his “responsive, high-quality advice and practical solutions.”
Mr. Thomas is a graduate of Stanford University, where he majored in political science (1974). He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (1977).