Sam Palermo is a highly trained and experienced personal injury attorney. A native Houstonian, Sam was mentored by true legends in the Texas legal community and has become a force in the Texas legal community in his own right as a board certified personal injury specialist who is also a Life Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Sam began his legal career by serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Ross N. Sterling, United States District Judge in the Southern District of Texas. During this prestigious clerkship, Sam spent two years in the courtroom with Judge Sterling observing the best lawyers in Texas try cases, and researching issues raised by the attorneys that required a ruling by Judge Sterling. Sam was also responsible for drafting Court decisions and Orders.
Shortly upon completion of his clerkship with Judge Sterling, Sam was offered a position at the personal injury law firm of Kronzer, Abraham & Watkins (where Sam clerked while in law school). Working with W. James “the Crown” Kronzer, Frank Abraham, and Will W. Watkins — pioneers in Texas personal injury law — provided an invaluable foundation for Sam’s success in the personal injury field. During his tenue with the firm, Sam was tasked with responsibility for several major national and international cases such as the Piper Alpha platform disaster in the North Sea.
It was there that Sam first met Randy Sorrels, a young up-and-coming lawyer. Sam and Randy successfully tried cases together and formed a longstanding professional and personal relationship that has lasted over three decades.
Sam was next recruited by attorney John O’Quinn, another Texas legend. At the O’Quinn Law Firm, Sam continued to craft his skills handling local, state and international maritime disasters and refinery explosions. Of note, Sam was the lead attorney for the O’Quinn law firm on the DB-29 and DLB-269 maritime disasters.
Sam has been Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1993. A cum laude graduate of the University of St. Thomas and a graduate of South Texas College of Law Houston. Sam also holds a summa cum laude Graduate Certificate in Hospital and Health Law from Seton Hall Law School. He has served as a Chief Compliance Officer and Litigation Counsel for a NYSE publicly traded healthcare company. Sam has been a regular speaker and author at Continuing Legal Education seminars and programs throughout the country, while also serving as an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Lawyers Association.
Sam continues to practice personal injury law at the highest level due to the unparalleled training and experience he gained by working with Texas legal legends. As a result, during his 38 years of practicing law Sam has successfully handled virtually every type of injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice case.
Recognized as a Rising Star in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by Texas Super Lawyers, Phil is also a Fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation. Prior to becoming a lawyer, taught in the Houston Independent School District at an inner-city middle school. He also served as a bandmaster and musician on Norwegian, Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. He is admitted to the Fifth Circuit, Southern District of Texas and Western District of Texas in the federal court system.
Phil lives in Houston with his wife and their two young boys. When not working, Phil can be found coaching or assisting with his kids’ sports, enjoying Houston’s vibrant arts scene with his wife, or cheering on the Astros.
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law
M.A., The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
B.A., Washington & Lee University, Politics
Randy is the past President of the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists, and past Chair of the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. He has served as the President of the Houston Bar Association, President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Foundation, Vice President of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Trustee of the Texas Bar Foundation, Director of the State Bar of Texas (two terms), Commissioner of the Equal Access to Justice Commission, Trustee of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society, and is currently on the Board of Directors at South Texas College of Law Houston.
Randy started his legal career at Fulbright & Jaworski, where he represented doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and businesses in the state of Texas who were accused of civil wrongdoing. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from South Texas College of Law Houston in 1987, where he was on the Law Review and was a member of the nationally recognized Board of Advocates. South Texas College of Law Houston has honored Randy with its highest honor— the Dean’s Medal, as well as its Public Service Award (the inaugural award). South Texas College of Law Houston has renamed its legal clinics The Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics, which represents 15,000 square feet of new, state-of-the-art facilities to bring together clients with unmet legal needs and students who are eager to work with those clients under the direct supervision of their professors. In 2018, South Texas College of Law Houston honored Randy with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Prior to law school, Randy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Houston Baptist University— where he was recognized as an NCAA Academic All-American in 1984. He attended HBU on a soccer scholarship, and the soccer field at the university now carries his name— Randall O. Sorrels Field. While at school, he was recognized as the Outstanding Student in both Political Science and Speech Communications. In the greatest honor, the university gives to alumni, Randy was named as HBU’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2009, and he continues to be involved in alumni events and meetings.
Randy is married to his law partner, Alex L. Farias-Sorrels, and considers her one of the smartest lawyers he knows. He is also a father of five children and one granddaughter. His oldest daughter is a teacher and helps with the Sorrels Law communications efforts. His second daughter is a speech language pathologist in New York. His twin son and daughter are law students at the University of Texas. And his youngest son is in a Montessori program.
He has published numerous articles, including:
He lives in Bellaire, Texas with his wife Carol, and has two adult children. He is an avid cyclist and consumer of political news. He and Carol are active members at Christ the King Presbyterian Church.