Our History

Attorneys James W. Salter, III and James F. Tomes founded the law firm of Tomes & Salter.  Originally located in Silver Spring, MD, Tomes & Salter later moved its offices to Potomac, MD, and finally to Rockville, MD.  At one time, Tomes & Salter also maintained offices in Melbourne, FL.

Luis F. Gomez, Jr. was an associate of Tomes & Salter from 1996 to 1999, when he became an Assistant State’s Attorney for Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.  Mr. Gomez returned to the firm in 2005.  Pilar C. Nichols served as Of Counsel to Tomes & Salter from 2009.  She merged her solo practice with the firm in 2010.

James W. Salter, III (1939-2007)

James W. Salter, III was born in 1939 and grew up in Newton, Georgia, and Martinsburg, West Virginia.  He earned his associate degree from Montgomery College, bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 1964, and law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1968 while working full time researching titles at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

Mr. Salter practiced law for 38 years from 1969 to 2007.  He received the Montgomery County District Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Award, and the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Pro Bono award.  From 1998, Mr. Salter maintained Martindale-Hubbell’s top (“AV”) peer review rating.

Mr. Salter passed away suddenly on the steps to the District Court in Silver Spring, on September 11, 2007.  He is remembered by attorney John H. Harman as an excellent litigator with a wry sense of humor and a sometimes biting wit, who was always just and professional in his dealings and willing to give assistance or advice to anyone who needed it, and often without seeking anything in return; Mr. Salter would see right through the most complex legal and factual maze to the heart of the matter.  His colleague Luis F. Gomez, Jr., remembers that the only thing Mr. Salter loved more than the practice of law was his family: his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.

James F. Tomes (1926-1976)

James F. Tomes was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Christmas Day in 1926.  His family moved to Montgomery County during his early childhood.  After secondary school, Mr. Tomes served with the Army for two years.  He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, where he worked his way through school, and then his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1952.  During law school, Mr. Tomes worked at Suburban Title Company, where he researched titles to real property, and developed his interest in property law.  As an attorney, Mr. Tomes would become an expert on title and real estate matters.

Having taken the bar examination prior to graduation from law school, Mr. Tomes was a member of the bar when he graduated.  Mr. Tomes was an Assistant State’s Attorney in Montgomery County for eight years, where his service was characterized by fairness and a desire at all times to see that justice was done.  He then engaged in the general practice of law in several partnerships, until he founded the law firm of Tomes & Salter.  Mr. Tomes was an active member of the Montgomery County Bar Association from 1952, serving as an officer and also on many general and special committees.

Mr. Tomes passed away in 1976.  He is remembered as an energetic, hard-working, and proficient trial lawyer, and also a professional, fair, and honest man of deep character who was always willing to help younger lawyers with legal matters whenever asked.

James W. Salter (1915-1973)

James W. Salter served as Of Counsel to the firm for several years.  His son James W. Salter, III co-founded the firm with Mr. Tomes.









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