Sam Baxter is a principal in McKool Smith's Marshall and Dallas offices. He is a former Texas state district judge and district attorney for Harrison County, Texas.

Few people know the Eastern District of Texas—an important venue in intellectual property litigation—as well as Sam does. His unique ability to connect with jurors and skillfully cross-examine witnesses has helped him secure significant verdicts for clients. Four of these victories have been recognized in The National Law Journal’s annual listing of “Top 100 Verdicts,” including a substantial jury verdict that he helped secure on behalf of relator Joshua Harman in a high-profile False Claims Act case against Trinity Industries.

Sam 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 was recognized as an "Icon of IP" by Law360 based on his reputation and success in high-profile patent infringement disputes. He was also profiled in Law360’s “Trial Aces” special feature, which recognized the Top 50 trial lawyers in the United States. The publication noted that Sam has a “charm” and an “ability to touch the hearts of jurors.” He was awarded 2015 "Outstanding IP Litigator - Texas" by Managing IP and has been included in Benchmark Litigation's listing of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.” Sam has been recognized one of the "10 Most Admired Intellectual Property Attorneys" in the nation by Law360 and patent litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Tyler, Texas by Best Lawyers. In 2016, he received the Texas Lawyer "Lifetime Achievement Award" for Professional Excellence.

Sam is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and East Texas Trial Lawyers Association, among others.


Representative Matters

  • Vocalife. Vocalife, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc. and Amazon.com, LLC. Represented Vocalife securing a patent infringement verdict against Amazon.com, Inc. and Amazon.com, LLC (collectively, “Amazon”).
  • Panoptis. Optis Wireless Technology, LLC et al v. Apple Inc. Represented Panoptis securing a patent infringement verdict on against Apple, Inc. Named co-"Litigator of the Week" by The Am Law Litigation Daily.
  • Seven Networks. Seven Netowrks, LLC. v. Apple Inc. Represented Seven Networks and negotiated a confidential settlement.
  • Relator Joshua Harman. U.S. ex rel. Joshua Harman v. Trinity Industries Inc. et al. Representation of relator Joshua Harman in securing a unanimous jury verdict against Trinity Industries Inc. in October 2014 following a six-day jury trial. The jury found that the company defrauded the United States by making false statements concerning a modified guardrail system and ordered it to pay substantial damages. The verdict was recognized as a "Top 100 Verdict" of 2014.
  • Ericsson. Represented Ericsson in patent infringement litigation involving wireless telecommunications technology. Ericsson v. Qualcomm.
  • Medtronic Inc. In Medtronic v. Cordis, represented Medtronic asserting patents protecting cardiovascular stents.
  • Parental Guide. Parental Guide of Texas v. Funai et al. Represented Parental Guide in a patent infringement lawsuit regarding “V-Chip” technology against several major television manufacturers. Resulted in favorable settlement for client.
  • TIVO. TiVo Inc. v. EchoStar Technologies Corporation. Represented TiVo in a patent infringement suit involving DVR technology. After a two-week jury trial, a verdict was handed down in favor of TiVo.
  • Paice. In Paice LLC. v. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al. represented Paice in a case involving hybrid car engines. A verdict favorable to Paice came after a week long jury trial.
  • Cummins-Allison Corp. Cummins-Allison Corp. v. Glory Ltd., et al. Represented Cummins in a lawsuit regarding bill counting and banking technology. A favorable settlement was made just prior to jury selection.
  • Visto. Visto Corporation v. Seven Networks Inc. Represented Visto in a patent infringement suit involving mobile email synchronization technology.
  • Chiron Corporation, now known as Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. The Rockefeller University and Chiron Corporation v. Centocor, Inc. et al. Represented Chiron in a patent infringement suite regarding the use of antibody to tumor necrosis factor (TMF). A favorable settlement was reached.
  • American Video Graphics. American Video Graphics v. Electronic Arts, Inc., et al., American Video Graphics v. Hewlett-Packard, et al., American Video Graphics v. Microsoft, American Video Graphics v.Sony Online Entertainment Inc., et al. Represented AVG in multiple suits involving computer graphics and operating system software. Favorable settlements were reached in all matters.


Rankings & Honors

  • Ranked among the top 250 Attorneys representing patent owners by Patexia's Intelligence Report (2023)
  • Recognized by the Patexia Insight - Patent Litigation Intelligence Report as one of the Top 100 Most Active Patent Attorneys, 2023
  • Recognized in the guide to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America (2022, 2024)
  • Named as a IAM Global Leader (2023 - 2024)
  • Inducted into the Lawdragon 500 Hall of Fame, 2021
  • Recognized among Lawdragon's 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers (2020-2024)
  • Honored with the John Hannah, Jr. Award for Public Service 
  • Recognized as an "Icon of IP" by Law360 
  • Awarded "Lifetime Achievement Award" for Professional Excellence from Texas Lawyer 
  • Ranked as a leading lawyer Nationally for Intellectual Property (Senior Statesman), in Texas for both Intellectual Property (Senior Statesman) and Commercial Litigation (Senior Statesman) by Chambers USA. The 2024 edition notes that he "maintains an excellent reputation for his handling of patent infringement disputes."
  • Ranked as a leading lawyer Globally for Intellectual Property (Bank1) by Chambers Global.
  • Named IP Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America (2020,2024)
  • Recognized in "Best Lawyers in America" for Litigation: Bet-the-Company, Commercial, Intellectual Property, Patent, M&A, and Securities (2015-2024)
  • Recognized as a leading U.S. patent litigator in World Intellectual Property Review’s (WIPR) directory of “World IP Leaders" 
  • Recognized as a leading U.S. patent litigator by Legal 500
  • Named "IP Star" and "Outstanding IP Litigator - Texas" by Managing IP
  • Ranked as an Intellectual Property "National Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation 
  • Named "National IP Litigation Star" by Benchmark Plaintiff
  • Received Gold Star ranking for Texas Patent Litigation by IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners (2020-2024)
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Named one of Law360's "10 Most Admired Intellectual Property Attorneys"
  • Named Best Lawyers Dallas Intellectual Property "Lawyer of the Year" 
  • Listed in the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • Named by his peers to the list of Super Lawyers


Community & Professional Activities

  • Penal Code Committee, past chair
  • Correctional Services Committee, past chair
  • Civil and Criminal Evidence Rules Committee, past chair
  • Legal Representation of Those on Death Row Committee, past chair
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • East Texas Trial Lawyers Association

Media & Events


Press Releases



J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1970

  • Teaching Quiz Master, 1969-1970

B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1967

Court Admissions

  • State of Texas
  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First and Fifth Circuits
  • The U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas

Bar Associations

  • Harrison County Bar Association, past president
  • Dallas Bar Association, Fellow
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Northeast Texas Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Foundation, life fellow
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