Victor Thomas

Vic Thomas leads the Appellate Section of Sorrels Law. He has been Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1988. His seven years as an attorney for a Texas appellate court and his 38 years as a litigator have given him a wealth of experience and knowledge that few can match.

Work Experience

Vic Thomas served the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas, first as a Research Attorney (1983-1985) with responsibility for complex civil appeals, and then as a Central Staff Attorney (2016-2020) with responsibility for original proceedings and permissive appeals. His experience in working with all the Justices on the court and drafting opinions affords Vic an insider’s knowledge that is invaluable for writing persuasive briefs.

Before joining Sorrels Law, Vic worked for law firms of all kinds and sizes, including his own 30 lawyer firm, a large Texas law firm, a large international law firm, and a plaintiff’s firm that has recovered billions of dollars for its clients. He has analyzed and briefed cases of all sizes in the pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appellate stages. He is currently handling the appeal of the largest personal injury, actual damages verdict for an injured worker in a contested case in United States’ history.

He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in both personal injury and business litigation, including many million-dollar-controversies. He has assisted with many trials and handled over 80 appeals in the Texas, Louisiana, and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

Board Certification and Peer Review Rating

He is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law and has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards since 2000.

Representative Cases

His success in representing plaintiffs includes: (1) obtaining the Fifth Circuit’s affirmance of a $71 million arbitration award to a plaintiff for the defendant’s reckless breach of a farm-out agreement for an international oil and gas lease; (2) assisting with obtaining a $44 million arbitration award for his client based on claims for securities fraud and minority shareholder oppression; (3) obtaining a Texas court of appeals’ reversal of a judgment n.o.v. and the rendition of a judgment for $4.35 million for the surviving family of a man who perished in a motel fire.

He has also had success in representing defendants on appeal, including: (1) a Texas court of appeals granted a motion for en banc reconsideration and reversed an $8.2 million judgment for a plaintiff who was injured while removing copper wiring from an energized transformer; and (2) the Texas Supreme Court reversed a $15.7 million award of compensatory damages to a plaintiff who was injured in an accident with a truck driver, based on Vic’s argument that the trial court erroneously admitted evidence of the truck driver’s illegal alien status.

This varied experience affords Mr. Thomas insight into both plaintiff and defense strategies.

Education

Mr. Thomas graduated from Baylor University, magna cum laude, with a B.B.A. degree in economics and finance and with a J.D. from SMU Dedman School of Law.

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.

  • State Bar of Texas, 1984
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • American Association for Justice
  • Houston Bar Association, Appellate Section Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Appellate Section Member
  • Texas Association of Board Certified Trial and Appellate Specialists
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association

He has published numerous articles, including:

  • “False Claims Act Actions—The Developing Case Law Regarding If and When Opinions of Medical Necessity Can Be Fraudulent”, The Health Lawyer, April 2015.
  • “In BP Gulf Oil Spill Litigation, the District Court Decided Important Legal Questions that will Likely be Appealed, including the Standard for “Gross Negligence” and “Willful Misconduct” under the Clean Water Act and the Standard for Vicarious Liability for Punitive Damages under Maritime Law”, The Energy Newsletter, October 1, 2014.
  •  “New York’s Highest Court Holds that Zoning Laws of New York Towns Banning Fracking Are Enforceable — A Brief Analysis of the Oral Arguments and the Court’s Opinion”,Pratt’s Energy Law Report, September 2014.
  •  “New Silica Exposure Standard Likely to Impact Fracking”, Energy, Employment and Project Finance Law360, September 17, 2014.
  •  “New Trial Orders in Texas Now Subject to Appellate Review”, Texas and Appellate Law360, September 9, 2013.
  •  “Unsettled Questions of Texas Law—Claim for Exemplary Damages Against an Insured Employer for a Work-Related Death”, 53 South Texas Law Review 787, Summer 2012.
  •  “Cellphones can be perilous to employers,” Houston Business Journal, August 12, 2011.
  •  “Tortious Interference Arising from Filing or Threatening to File a Lawsuit: The Privilege Defense in Flux,” The Houston Lawyer; September/October, 2003.
  •  “The 1979 Amendments Revolutionized the Texas Statutes of Limitations. But it was Not Recognized Until Almost 11 Years Later,” Texas Bar Journal, Vol. 54, No. 4, April, 1991.
  • Served on the Board of the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.
  • Served as the President of the Houston Chapter of the Christian Legal Society.
  • Performed significant pro bono legal services for many clients who could not afford to pay an attorney.
  • Mentored underprivileged high school students through Breakthrough Houston.

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.