Roger D. Oppenheim Partner
Roger has served as a trial attorney for Lorance Thompson since 2003. He started his legal career at a medical malpractice boutique firm. Prior to coming to the firm he managed the Houston Staff Attorney office for St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. for 10 years. While with St. Paul, Roger changed the focus of his practice. While he still litigated medical malpractice cases, he increased the breadth of his practice and handled a more diverse commercial docket that included: transportation, product liability, construction, premises liability and general liability lawsuits in all venues in the southern half of the State of Texas.
Roger has a high win percentage in cases tried to jury verdict, prevailing in approximately three out of four cases tried. He became Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law – Texas Board of legal Specialization in 2001 and has retained this certification to date. He has been recognized as one of the The Best Lawyers in America© 2021, 2022, and 2023 in Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants. He was also designated as a Texas Super Lawyer in 2005 -2013, 2015 – 2018 (Thomson Reuters). Roger has also been designated as a “Top Rated Lawyer in Transportation Law” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbel. He was also voted as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers, H Magazine, 2005 (Bayou City Publishing). He is AV preeminent rated by Martindale Hubbel. He says he gets joy helping people resolve their differences and assist clients navigating the legal system. Being competitive at heart, when cases must be tried, he enjoys the satisfaction of competing and winning against his opponents.
Roger lives an active lifestyle outside the office as he enjoys tennis, golf, scuba diving, water and snow skiing, and traveling. He enjoys physical activities that keep him in shape and his mind sharp. As an alternative hobby, he also sings baritone in his church choir. When he prefers to not be as active, he enjoys spending time at the lake, watching the day go by around him. Roger also enjoys all Houston professional sports teams and you can see him cheering them on either at home, or at their stadiums.
- South Texas College of Law, J.D., 1985
- University of Texas, B.A., 1982
- State Bar of Texas
- Personal Injury Trial Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2001; recertified in 2016 and 2021
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- Successfully defended a leading trucking company in a two-truck accident. Plaintiff claimed he was permanently disabled following a total knee replacement and two level cervical fusion. The case was tried in Hidalgo county, a historically dangerous venue. Plaintiff sought compensatory damages in excess of $4 million, as well as punitive damages. The jury found the plaintiff 60% responsible thus resulting in a liability bar.
- Successfully defended a nursing home in a premises liability case involving a contractor who fell into a pit. Damages over $1M were sought for cervical disc herniations and a surgical shoulder. Defense verdict obtained in Nueces County.
- Achieved settlement resolution of 80+ first-party insurance lawsuits following Hurricane Ike in the Houston area. Most cases were favorably settled in two multi-day mediation sessions. Settlements were far less than the jury verdicts that have been announced in Ike litigation.
- Successfully defended an ophthalmologist who was accused of malpractice in a lasik surgery case. Plaintiff was a high salaried computer analyst who claimed permanent vision loss that disabled her from working. 12-0 defense verdict in Harris County.
- Successfully defended a trucking accident case in Duval County, a historically dangerous venue for defendants. According to the Judge, one of the few defense verdicts in this county.
- Successfully defended an oral surgeon in a dental malpractice case involving allegations of improper tooth extraction resulting in permanent facial paralysis. 12-0 defense verdict obtained in Harris County.
- Successfully defended a McDonald’s franchise in a premises liability case where an object fell from the ceiling striking plaintiff in the head. Plaintiff claimed a closed head injury and sat catatonic in the courtroom during the entire course of trial. Damages in excess of $1M were sought. A defense verdict was obtained in Harris County.
- Successfully defended a hospital whose nurses were alleged to have negligently made a bed transfer resulting in a permanent shoulder injury. Defense verdict obtained in Travis County.
- Successfully defended a hospital against allegations of improper version of breach delivery, resulting in brain damaged baby, causing over $10M in damages. 12-0 defense verdict in Harris County.
- Received a unanimous defense verdict in a post-Covid trial in federal court in Southern District of Texas. Case involved a leading trucking company sued over a lane change accident in Harris County. Plaintiff received a two-level lumbar fusion after countless injections and ablation procedures. Medical expenses claimed were close to $700,000. Damages asked in closing argument approximated $3M. The jury found no negligence despite the admission of the Defendant driver that he felt responsible for the accident happened.
- Member, Texas Association of Defense Counsel
- Member, Houston Bar Association
- Member, St. Luke’s Methodist Church
Publications & Speeches
- New CMS Reporting Requirements – 2009
- Lessons Learned in Litigation – Medical Clinic of Houston, 2003
- Anatomy of a Lawsuit -St. Paul Houston Commercial/Large Accounts Claim Conference, 1997; Fred Loya Insurance Co., 2005
- Texas Tort Reform -St. Paul Medical Regional Claim Conference, 1996
- C.R.N.A. Liability -St. Paul Medical Staff Attorney Conference, 1995
- Premises Liability Law – St. Paul Claim, 1995