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About me

Samuel G. Vazanellis

Managing Partner at the Law Offices of Samuel G. Vazanellis
Attorney of Counsel at Thiros & Stracci PC
Public Defender for Lake County Indiana Conflicts Division focused on major crimes including but not limited to Murder, Class A and Class B Felonies. 
Merrillville Judge Pro Tem 

Areas of Practice: 
Criminal Law Defense • Personal Injury • Trademark Prosecution/Litigation
Copyright Contracts • Paternity • Divorce • DWI/DUI & Traffic


Litigation Percentage:
95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Previous Employment:
Associate Attorney at Thiros & Stracci, PC previously named Cohen & Thiros PC from 2004 until 2014
Law Clerk at Cohen & Thiros from 2002 until 2004
Merrillville Town Attorney from 2004 until 2012

Bar Admissions:
Indiana, 2004
Illinois, 2005
U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 2004
U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 2004

Valparaiso University School of Law, Valparaiso, Indiana, 2004 J.D.
Indiana University, Bloomington/Gary, Indiana, 2002 B.S.
Honors: Dean's List
Major: Chemistry 
Minor: Mathematics/Physics
Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana
Honors: Dean's List

Professional Associations and Memberships:
American Bar Association, 2003 - Present
Lake County Bar Association, 2004 - Present
Calumet Inns of Court, 2003 - Present
Indiana State Bar Association, 2004 - Present
Illinois State Bar Association, 2005 - Present

The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers

The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40



Languages spoken: Greek

Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 100%



Hourly ($200-300/hour), contingent (33-40%), Fixed (sometimes), Free consultation (120 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Joseph B. Moore III

    I have known Sam for nearly 20 years. He is a brilliant scholar who happens to be an attorney. He handles a wide variety of cases for all kinds of clients, big and small. In addition to working in Indiana, he can also represent client's needs in Chicago. From personal injury cases to criminal defense, hiring Sam is one of the smartest decisions you can make.


    Joseph Moore Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Worked for lawyer

  • Paul Gerald Stracci

    I endorse this lawyer. Sam is a skillful and passionate lawyer who gets excellent results. He has a huge heart and cares deeply about his clients.


    Paul Stracci Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Supervised lawyer

Contact info

Law Offices of Samuel G. Vazanellis

2546 45th Street
Highland, IN, 46322


ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law200505/17/2016
INActive In Good Standing200407/03/2016

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority.

  1. Suspension
    issued in IL, 2014


    Suspension means an attorney lost his or her license to practice law for a specific period of time. The attorney typically returns to practicing law when the suspension expires.

    Samuel’s comment: “30 Day Suspension from 10/01/2014 to 10/30/2014 for forgetting to pay licensing fee. Once realized, fee was paid immediately.”

Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 100 Trial LawyersThe National Trial Lawyers2014
Top 40 Under 40The National Trial Lawyers2014
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerLaw Offices of Samuel G. Vazanellis2014 - Present
Judge Pro TemTown of Merrillville2014 - Present
Murder felonyLake County Public Defender's Office2008 - Present
AssociateThiros & Stracci2010 - 2013
Associate General CounselCohen & Thiros2004 - 2009
Town AttorneyTown of Merrillville2004 - 2010
Law ClerkCohen & Thiros2002 - 2004
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysN/A2014 - Present
Illinois State Bar AssociationN/A2005 - Present
Lake County Bar AssociationN/A2004 - Present
Calumet American Inn of CourtBarrister2004 - Present
Indiana State Bar AssociationN/A2004 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
State Of Indiana v. Jerode CurseyNot Guilty
State of Indiana v. Kelvin McGillNot Guilty
State of Indiana v. Jermaine BeckNot Guilty
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Valparaiso University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2004
Indiana UniversityChemistryBS - Bachelor of Science2002
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Experts and ForensicsExpert WitnessesN/A