Barry Sorrels is one of the most respected criminal defense lawyers in Texas. He has tried more than 300 federal and state trials throughout Texas and other states. He has won acquittals for his clients on charges ranging from complex federal fraud to first degree murder. He is one of a handful of criminal defense attorneys in the Southwest to have won a verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity" in a felony jury trial. He regularly handles high profile cases involving high profile clients including prominent business executives, nationally known sports personalities, and law enforcement figures.
A native Dallasite, Mr. Sorrels grew up in the Lake Highlands community. In high school, he played both football and baseball. He continued his football career at Columbia University in New York City and played safety. He was named MVP of the Columbia football team his senior year, along with First Team All-Ivy League and Honorable Mention All-American honors.
After college, Mr. Sorrels returned to Dallas to attend law school at Southern Methodist University, and upon graduating in 1978, he joined the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. As a prosecutor, Mr. Sorrels rose through the ranks quickly, and build a formidable reputation for toughness and savvy around the courthouse. After only one year as a misdemeanor prosecutor, he was prosecuting felonies in the Honorable John Vance's 194th Felony District Court. During this time, he logged significant trial experience in a variety of areas of criminal law. Notably, the administration chose him for the purpose of blistering officers in training at the academy with his cross-examination skills in order to better prepare them for the courtroom.
After almost three years in the District Attorney's office, Mr. Sorrels started his own practice as a criminal defense lawyer. In addition to his representation of clients in state cases including charges such as intoxication offenses, possession of controlled substance, fraud, and other cases handled in state court, Mr. Sorrels has spent a significant amount of his career defending federal cases ranging from complex white-collar fraud cases to multi-defendant drug conspiracies.
Mr. Sorrels is Board Certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and voted as one of the top 500 lawyers in America by Lawdragon.com. He has also been named a Texas "Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly since 2003 and listed as D Magazine's "Best Criminal Defense Lawyers" since 2003. In 2009 and 2010, he was one of a handful of criminal defense attorneys listed in "Top 100 Lawyers in Texas" and "Top 100 Lawyers in Dallas-Fort Worth" by Texas Monthly. He serves as a trustee for the Center for American and International Law and he is a Master in the prestigious Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court.
Mr. Sorrels enjoys sharing his experiences and lessons learned in the courtroom and taught Trial Tactics at SMU School of Law. He has served as the Course Director of the annual Criminal Defense Trial Skills and Trial Law Program held at the Center for American and International Law for the past six years. And, Mr. Sorrels frequently lectures across the state on a variety of topics including cross-examination, closing argument, the intangibles of trial lawyers, and media relations in high profiles cases.
Mr. Sorrels has earned a national reputation as a legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews, and he has appeared on national television shows, including Nancy Grace on CNN and The O'Reilly Factor on FoxNews. He is a regular guest legal analyst for In Session on truTV.
Throughout his legal career, Mr. Sorrels has been active in the Dallas Bar Association. After years of service within the organization, he has the honor of serving as the 102nd President of the Dallas Bar Association for 2011.
Areas of Practice
- White Collar Criminal Law
- Medicare-Medicaid Fraud
- Wire Fraud
- Mail Fraud
- Income Tax Evasion
- Bank Fraud
- RICO Violations
- Narcotics Charges
- Criminal State Court Charges
- 90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
- Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Texas, 1978
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 1978
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1978
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1978
- U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 1978
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas, 2001
- U.S. District Court Western District of Arkansas, 2001
- Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas
- J.D. - 1978
- Columbia University
- B.A. - 1975
- "Criminal Procedure: Arrest, Search and Seizure", (Co-Author), Southwestern Law Journal, Volume 43, No. 1, June, 1989
- Editor, Parole Revocation in Texas A Lawyers Guide, Texas Association of Young Lawyers, 1988
- "Invoking, Challenging and Waiving Fifth Amendment Privilege Against Self-Incrimination in Civil Litigation", Voice for the Defense, May, 1988
- Lecturer, "Cross-Examining Forensic Experts", Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Project Cross-Examination Seminar, 1993
- Member, Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy Program (NITA) Southern Regional, 1991
- Instructor, Trial Tactics, SMU School of Law, 1987 - 1989
- Program Chair, Trial Advocacy in Criminal Cases, Center for American and International Law, 2004 - 2009
Honors and Awards
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2001 - 2010
- Listed in Best Lawyers in Dallas "D" Magazine, 2003 - 2010
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
- Top 100 Texas Superlawyers, 2009 - 2010
- Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Superlawyers, 2009 - 2010
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Dallas Bar Association, President-Elect, 2010
- Texas Board of Legal Specialization Attorney Advisory, Member
- Ethics Commission, Member
- Center for American and International Law, Trustee, 2006 - 2009
- Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- Dallas County, Assistant Criminal District Attorney, 1978 - 1980
- Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court, Dallas, Texas, Master
- Dallas Bar Foundation