Today we’d like to introduce you to Cory Roth.
Hi Cory, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a competitor. I have almost always rooted for the underdog. I hate bullies. I don’t trust the government. I believe in second chances. What is more criminal defense than that? Those qualities, along with having a father who was once a criminal defense attorney and not really knowing what to do after graduating from UT Dallas with a degree in Government (other than maybe become a teacher and soccer coach), led me on a path to becoming an attorney.
In law school, what I already knew became even more clear: I wanted to be trial lawyer, I was going to be damn good at it, and the only two areas of law that I had an interest in were criminal defense and personal injury. Wedged between clerking for Rob Ammons, one of the best product liability and personal injury attorneys in the country, and interning at the Public Defender’s Office, I achieved the highest score in my Advanced Trial Advocacy law school class before passing the Texas and Florida Bar exams. My path was set, and the light was green.
The first few years were not easy. I made more money refereeing soccer than I did practicing law, but the dream never died, and I continued to learn.
I always imagined that being a trial lawyer was a lot like being a gladiator in the middle of the Colosseum, fighting against everyone and everything from all angles, and that is exactly what it is like! When I finally got my chance to fight, I was thrown straight into the fire! I was supposed to be a second chair spectator in my first trial, but at the literal last minute, I ended up trying it (a s*x offense case) essentially on my own and winning my first of many not-guilty verdicts (in Montgomery County, nonetheless). I was hooked. There is nothing like the intensity and thrill of meeting 24 to 65 new people, talking to them, reading them, eliminating the ones you think are the worst of the bunch, and then telling your client’s story of innocence while systematically, methodically, and ruthlessly cross-examining police officers, experts and lay witnesses to expose the reasonable doubt in the government’s case (except maybe taking a game-defining penalty kick, but that only lasts a few moments and doesn’t have any REAL consequences).
I have been licensed for 10 years. In that time, I have worked on everything from traffic tickets to a capital murder. I am proud that I am several lawyers’ favorite second-chair trial lawyer. I am approved to take 1st-degree felony appointments; I have gotten hundreds of dismissals and many no-bills and acquittals. I have also played a big role in shutting down both the Harris County and Fort Bend County administrative toll road debt collection courts, and I set three international precedents in FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber against all odds (it only took 7 years). The FIFA decisions have changed soccer in the USA forever and have worldwide consequences.
Today, I am excited to be working on building my practice, which has been primarily court-appointed for the last several years, into a successful and thriving practice that relies on retained business from clients who choose me to be their gladiator in whichever colosseum they find themselves charged. Nothing that has happened in the past or that will happen in the future would have been or will be possible, or at least as easy and fun, without the support of my family, friends, and mentors.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has not always been smooth. Coming out of law school, I made more money refereeing soccer than practicing law. Criminal defense practices are generally solo practices and not large, medium, or even small firms. To make matters more complicated, the Public Defender’s Office did not hire new attorneys back in the day, and the court appointment system basically required you to be a former prosecutor in order to be eligible for court appointments. In other words, if you wanted to pursue this passion, you had to had to find mentors, lean on them, hustle, and do the rest on your own. I am grateful for my dad, my mentors, as well as Judge Spradling Hughes and Laura Conte for giving me my first court appointments in 2015. I am glad that the barriers to working in criminal defense have lowered since 2013 while the quality of representation has risen at the same time. The evolution of the cash bail system has also made the road a lot smoother because fewer innocent clients (or at least potentially beatable cases) are pleading guilty than back when I started.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next, you can tell us a bit more about your business.
My practice, the Cory Roth Law Office, has been in existence for 10 years!
I am proud to be a criminal defense trial lawyer with over 1,500 happy clients. Does that mean I have tried 1,500 cases? No way! But I have put nearly every, if not all of my clients in better positions than they were in before I became their lawyer. Many of my clients received results that they did not even imagine were possible, let alone likely. I work every case as if it is going to trial, I treat opposing counsel with respect, and I am continuously learning. These factors lead to positive results.
I think what sets me apart from many, if not most, lawyers is that I love trial, and I am good at it. I understand my clients, I understand the situations they were in, I understand the facts, I understand the law, I understand the biases and motives of the other parties involved, and I understand how to convey powerful messages to judges and jurors alike.
Over the years, I have represented teachers, police officers, doctors, soldiers, business owners, athletes, and probably every blue-collar worker profession around. I would proudly hold my dismissal and acquittal rates up against the dismissal and acquittal rates of any lawyer in the Houston area. I am proud that I am able to communicate with my clients, that I am accessible, and that I offer excellent value.
Moving forward, I am focusing my practice on helping those accused of assault, and especially domestic violence. After winning a protective order trial in November ’23, I am offering my services to family attorneys (and directly to those accused) who need an experienced trial lawyer to help them try and defend protective order cases, which are essentially criminal cases in civil court that have massive implications on divorce and custody proceedings.
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was a pain in the ass growing up, and I was also bullied. Again, these are experiences and/or traits that are a recipe for making a badass attorney. I was fun, funny, and athletic. I was a child actor of sorts. I took acting classes, starred in a professional play, and participated in acting workshops that culminated in performing monologues at an off-Broadway theater. I loved soccer and played completely in club, for Westside High School and for the University of Texas at Dallas. I still play at a high level for a 36-year-old, and I’m good for a few goals and red cards a season. My other big interest was playing roller hockey, which is an absolute blast. My dad actually coached the Westside High School roller hockey team I played on to a city championship
- Website: www.attorneyroth.com
- Instagram: attorney_roth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AttorneyRoth/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coryrothjd/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@TexasCriminalDefence
Alvin Haynes Jr