Thomas A. Wilder

Thomas A. Wilder
Santa Ana Office
Law School: Western State University of Law
Undergrad: Michigan State University

Tom Wilder may have been predisposed to become a lawyer, but it took awhile for the stage to be set. He did well at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy and excelled in debate. His father, the Honorable Robert Wilder was a United States Administrative Law Judge. And, the conversation around the family dinner table inevitably revolved around the rule of law.

"I wanted to be an actor," says Tom. "I loved drama in school and thought that would be an interesting career choice. My father did not agree."

Tom went on to Michigan State and focused on political science and pre-law. Following graduation, he took a job as an insurance adjuster with a large insurance company in Detroit. He rose quickly through the ranks and soon found himself on a career path that served him well.

"I worked primarily in Detroit and some in Colorado, and I enjoyed the work," says Tom. "After about nine years, I started thinking about the law again."

He had taken a vacation to Hermosa Beach in Southern California and fell in love with the weather and lifestyle at the beach.

"I'd grown up playing football and ice hockey in Detroit. When I saw beach volleyball and all the different sports and activities out here, I started thinking," says Tom.

He ended up enrolling at Western State University of Law in Southern California and was soon enamored with the possibilities.

"My early experience with debate and drama came back into play, and I felt I had found my true career path," says Tom thinking back.

He graduated from law school with honors in academic excellence and passed the California State Bar. With his experience in the insurance industry, Tom had several potential career choices and he settled on Workers' Comp Defense. It was 2003 and he's worked diligently on that side of the aisle ever since.

"I was familiar with the applicants' side, and even represented a few when I first started out, but I felt at home representing the defense," says Tom. "I worked for several established firms in the Los Angeles area, and slowly became embedded in Southern California."

Through the years, Tom crossed paths with several of the attorneys from Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight.

"We don't come across other Workers' Comp Defense attorneys all that often, but it happens, and we all know about other firms," says Tom. Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight has always had a stellar reputation in the industry and the attorneys I met were all top notch."

In January of 2020, Tom joined the Santa Ana Office of Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight.

"I was moved by the level of excellence they've achieved, and I wanted to wrap up my career with a winning team," says Tom.

With nearly four decades in the insurance claims and workers' compensation arenas, Tom feels at home in the Santa Ana Office.

"I live in Seal Beach and enjoy walking the beach with my girlfriend and taking in all the sights of Southern California. Maybe someday I'll go back to Detroit, but for now I am right where I want to be.