After leaving the Monterey County District Attorney's Office in 1971, Ralph W. Thompson co-founded Thomas, Panetta & Thompson. Partner Donald A. Thomas was appointed Judge in 1972, and Alan P. Murphy and Leon E. Panetta joined the firm. Mr. Panetta was elected to Congress in 1976, served as the President's Chief of Staff, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and U.S. Defense Secretary. Mr. Murphy retired in 1992 and Mr. Thompson established The Thompson Law Office in 1997. Mr. Thompson and his firm were AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
Over the years, Mr. Thompson and his firm have provided quality legal service throughout the Central Coast and Northern California. His practice included litigation matters involving business and real estate; probate, trust and estates; professional negligence and insurance, including coverage issues; sexual harassment, discrimination and employment disputes; and serious injury and wrongful death claims.
In June 2015, Mr. Thompson announced his retirement from the practice of law and the closing of his law practice. He has maintained his active membership with the California State Bar and continues to provide ADR services through Thompson Mediation & Arbitration (founded in 1996) as a private and court-appointed Mediator, Arbitrator, Special Master and Discovery Referee. In 1998 he was selected speaker/panelist at the California Judges Association's 10th annual Retired Judges Conference on mediation and arbitration issues. He is a former member of the American Arbitration Association's Roster of Neutrals (1978-2005), and is a member of the Monterey County Superior Court's Mediation and Arbitration panels