Wendell Odom, Jr.Houston Criminal Attorney
A Thomson Reuters Super Lawyer (2006-2015) and recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating, Wendell Odom has earned a national reputation as a criminal defense attorney.
To the public, Wendell is best known for his representation of Andrea Yates after she tragically drowned her five children. He obtained a “not guilty by reason of insanity” verdict in her incredibly high profile re-trial which touched off a national debate over insanity laws and our system of justice.
Wendell has had a long and successful history of trial advocacy in criminal law. A Houston native, Wendell is the son of Judge Wendell A. Odom and grew up in and around the trial and appellate courts of Houston and Austin, Texas. Wendell graduated from Baylor Law School in 1974 and became an Assistant District Attorney under the legendary Carol Vance in Harris County, Texas. He quickly rose from the trial section to special crimes where he was the Chief of the Consumer Fraud Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
In 1978, Wendell was lured away to the United States Department of Justice and became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. There he was assigned to the Fraud and Public Integrity Section investigating and prosecuting RICO crimes, notable politicians, individuals involved in the ABSCAM investigation, fraud, and public corruption cases in the Rio Grande Valley.
In 1981, Wendell left to start his own law practice. His representation has included the defense of major national corporations investigated and/or prosecuted under State and Federal laws, including Criminal Pollution, Fraud and Voting Rights Act violations. Wendell also has an active practice in defending persons charged with both State and Federal criminal tax violations. While Wendell’s practice includes many high profile cases involving bank fraud, tax evasion and white-collar crimes, he also successfully represents those charged in Texas state courts for offenses ranging from DWI to Capital Murder.
Respected by his peers, Wendell was named Attorney of the Year by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association in 2002 and has received a number of other distinctions over the years. He has been a Thomson Reuters Super Lawyer repeatedly for over a decade (2003, 2004, 2006-2019) and is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell. He was president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association in 2005 and currently is the Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Committee on Pattern Criminal Jury Charges. He was an original member and currently serves on the Committee that approves and oversees the appointment of attorneys under the Criminal Justice Act in the Southern District of Texas. He has been a co-editor of the Houston Bar Journal and has lectured on criminal topics at various universities. Wendell has also conducted seminars and appeared on a number of national and local television and radio shows as an expert and “talking head” discussing high profile criminal cases.
Wendell is married to a real estate attorney and has one child.