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McKool Smith Principal Sam Baxter was presented with the John Hannah, Jr. Award for Public Service at the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) Bench Bar Conference in Plano on October 6, 2017.  The award recognizes a Texas attorney, admitted to practice before the United States Eastern District Court, who has demonstrated a superior commitment to public service.

Mr. Baxter is known for his deep devotion to the Marshall, Texas community. He is a sponsor of the annual Marshall Law Enforcement Banquet honoring First Responders; the Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet; National Night Out; the Harvest Festival; and, the annual Wonderland of Lights “Santa’s Village” program where thousands of children in East Texas engage in festive holiday activities.  Mr. Baxter is also committed to the Marshall Independent School District (MISD) and has supported several of the school’s programs over the years, including MISD athletics and the Marshall Education Foundation, among others. He also sponsors Maverick University, an innovative program in which high school juniors and seniors in Marshall are able to participate in courses taught by faculty members from East Texas Baptist University who have doctorates in their fields of study. The program enrolled more than 180 students over the past year and provided more than 500 hours of college credit.

Mr. Baxter is an advocate for higher education and a longtime supporter of Wiley College, a four-year, private, historically black, liberal arts college located in Marshall, and was instrumental in providing resources to help renovate Coker field which became a home for Wiley College’s baseball team, the Wildcats.  He also helped provide community scholarships for students to attend Wiley’s inaugural drama and film school institute that kicked off earlier this year. He is likewise a long-time supporter of East Texas Baptist University and Texas State Technical College.

Mr. Baxter’s dedication to the Marshall community is only matched by his dedication to his clients in the courtroom. His unique ability to connect with jurors and skillfully cross-examine witnesses has helped him secure significant verdicts for clients, including four verdicts which have been recognized in The National Law Journal’s annual listing of “Top 100 Verdicts.” He is consistently recognized among the top lawyers in his field by many of the country’s leading legal publications and rankings, including Chambers USA, The Legal 500, and Lawdragon. He has been recognized as an "Icon of IP," “Trial Ace,” and one of the "10 Most Admired Intellectual Property Attorneys" in the country by Law360. He has also been recognized among the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” by Benchmark Litigation and was awarded 2016 patent “Lawyer of the Year” in Tyler, Texas by Best Lawyers.

With more than 180 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured ten nine-figure jury verdicts and ten eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal "Top 100 Verdicts" over the last ten years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.

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