Randy Wilson has led two lives. In his first life, he was a partner at Susman Godfrey for over 23 years, trying some of the largest cases in the country. Then, in 2003, Wilson left Susman Godfrey to focus on public service as a District Judge. In that role, he quickly established himself as one of the highest rated judges in the state according to the Houston Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Poll. In 2019, Judge Wilson has returned to Susman Godfrey ready to pick up where he left off—concentrating on high stakes litigation.
In 2019, Wilson earned a rare distinction when Lawdragon included him in their annual Guide to Leading 500 Plaintiff Financial Lawyers. In addition to this honor, he was also named in 2006 by Lawdragon as one of the Nation’s leading judges. Wilson is only the second person to ever be honored as both a judge and a lawyer by Lawdragon.
High Stakes Trial Law
After graduating first in his class in law school, Wilson joined founding partner, Steve Susman, when he opened the doors at Susman Godfrey in 1980. For the next 23 years, he handled and tried virtually every conceivable type of case. For example:
- When Unocal was threatened with a hostile takeover by Boone Pickens, Wilson was selected as one of three national lead counsel to fend off the takeover;
- When Georgia-Pacific was sued for millions of dollars in Miami, Florida and its lead trial counsel suddenly became ill with trial scheduled to start in two days and no continuance was allowed, Georgia-Pacific called Wilson to start trying the case two days later. Wilson hopped on a plane, picked up the file and learned the case over the weekend, started trial on Monday, and obtained a defense verdict;
- When Conoco was sued in a myriad of landowner, royalty, drainage, or other oil and gas disputes, they regularly called on Wilson. In one case, Wilson argued to the Texas Supreme Court and established the leading case on quantum meruit;
- When Continental Airlines was enjoined from flying certain routes out of Love Field, they hired Wilson as lead counsel to defeat the injunction as well as to handle parallel appeals to both the Texas Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit;
- When a Unocal drill ship capsized in the Gulf of Thailand after going through the eye of a typhoon killing 91 men, Unocal hired Wilson as lead counsel to handle dozens of wrongful death and Jones Act suits seeking hundreds of millions of dollars;
- When ABB Lummus was sued for nearly $100 million in a construction dispute, they called on Wilson to defend and successfully navigate the case;
- When Unocal was sued for $14 billion in a literal bet-the-company case involving a pipeline in central Asia, they hired Wilson as lead counsel to successfully ward off the claim.
During his first tenure at Susman Godfrey, Wilson was recognized by peers as one of the leading trial lawyers in Houston,
- Elected as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates;
- Selected by Chambers USA as one of the leading Commercial Litigators in America.
- Board Certified in Civil Trial Law since 1988.
Esteemed District Judge
In 2003, Wilson’s career transitioned as he took on the role of District Judge. At the time, then-Governor Rick Perry appointed Judge Wilson to the 157th District Court. There, Wilson distinguished himself as the highest rated judge of the Civil Division (24 courts) and the highest rated judge of all Harris County courts (70 courts) (according to Houston Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Poll). In his 15 years as district judge, Wilson presided over tens of thousands of cases and tried hundreds of cases. Career highlights as District Judge include:
- Appointed in 2005 as state-wide Vioxx MDL judge by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to handle thousands of suits
- Rated by Lawdragon Legal Directory as one of the 500 Leading Judges in America
- Appointed to serve as Justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 2008 in In re Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
- Twice selected Trial Judge of the Year in 2009 and 2011 by TACTAS, the Texas Civil Trial & Appellate Specialists.
- Unanimously elected by his peers as Civil Administrative Judge for Harris County, 2014-15.