Philip M. Gommels is a Houston criminal defense attorney and principal of The Law Office of Philip M. Gommels, PLLC. He has extensive trial experience and has represented individual clients in a wide variety of legal matters. He is admitted to practice in Texas state courts, as well as federal courts for the Southern District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas, and Fifth Circuit. In 2013 and 2014 Houstonia Magazine named Mr. Gommels a “Top Lawyer” in the field of Criminal Defense. And in 2014 the National Trial Lawyers Association listed him on of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” in the state of Texas.
Mr. Gommels is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. In 2015 he was elected by his peers to the board of directors of the Harris County Criminal Lawyer’s Association. He also sits on the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association. In addition to his service to these professional organizations, since 2014 Mr. Gommels has served as a Director on the Board of Directors of the Open Door Mission—a faith and evidence based recovery and rehabilitation facility dedicated to transforming the lives of the most severely addicted, destitute, homeless and disabled men in Houston.
Mr. Gommels is a frequent lecturer around the world. Most recently Mr. Gommels has spoken about the use of technology in trial (Dallas, TX; Plano, TX), sexual assault prosecution and defense (Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Bukavu, DRC), and mental health prosecutions (Houston, TX)
He is one of two practicing criminal defense attorneys in Houston formerly assigned to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Mental Health Section. And Mr. Gommels maintains relationships with the local mental health treatment community.
CRIMINAL LAW EDUCATION
Mr. Gommels received his juris doctorate from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. As a law student, he was active in appellate advocacy. He was a member of the Administrative Law Moot Court team received the Best Oralist in Round honor in the Jackson Walker Moot Court Competition.
Mr. Gommels earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics, philosophy, and economics with a minor in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania (“Penn”) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate, he served as the chairman of the Student Activities Counsel—one of six branches of student government. He also served the community as a volunteer with the West Philadelphia Tutoring Program and as the President of Penn’s Rebuilding Together undergraduate board.
OTHER LEGAL EXPERIENCE
Mr. Gommels began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas. As a prosecutor, he compiled an outstanding trial record, and became known as a knowledgeable and thorough lawyer—traits that serve his clients today. In addition, Mr. Gommels developed a reputation as an expert in mental health law. He also served in the DIVERT (DWI Pretrial Intervention Program) and Juvenile Sections before leaving the District Attorney’s Office in 2012 to form The Law Office of Philip M. Gommels, PLLC.
Three months after the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Centers on 9/11, Mr. Gommels joined the United States Army Reserves as a Combat Medic. After less than three years he had risen to the rank of Sergeant—a Non-Commissioned Officer. In 2008 the Army mobilized Mr. Gommels in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He served on active duty at Fort Bliss, Texas until February of 2009, when he moved to Houston.
Mr. Gommels was born and raised in Copperas Cove, Texas. In his free time, Phil enjoys riding his motorcycle, and eating Texas barbecue. On Saturday mornings, he can often be found running in Memorial Park or the Rice University loop where he is usually training for a marathon or other long-distance race (He’s run marathons in Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Houston). He is also a member at a church called Ecclesia in Houston.