ST. PETERSBURG — Thomas Reynolds, a lawyer who represented Pinellas Park and, later, Times Publishing Co., winning the praise of colleagues and adversaries alike, died Tuesday of esophageal cancer. He was 62.
A partner of Rahdert, Steele, Reynolds & Driscoll, P.A., Mr. Reynolds defended the St. Petersburg Times in court on First Amendment issues and recently cleared the way for a pair of Belleview Biltmore hotels to begin a $150 million restoration.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Reynolds opposed Times Publishing Co. a couple of times. He defended Pinellas Park and the city of St. Petersburg in separate lawsuits over public records requests, impressing opponents with his tenacity and legal knowledge.
"One of the highest compliments a lawyer can have is when an adverse party admires his work on a case and hires him," said George Rahdert, a partner in the firm. "We admired his work and hired him."
Mr. Reynolds was born Feb. 27, 1948, in Ronceverte, W.Va. He served with as an Army military police officer in Vietnam and graduated from Mercer College and Stetson College of Law. He spent most of his career in the law firm of the late Ed Foreman, who represented Pinellas Park.
Colleagues remember Mr. Reynolds as a Southern gentleman who never let a woman pick up the check.
"Tom was never argumentative," said Pinellas Park Mayor Bill Mischler. "He was a very mild individual, but he knew his law."
Andrew Meacham can be reached at (727) 892-2248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.