Highest Standards of Litigation Excellence, Exceptional Service

Derek Merman

Alex Brown attorney

Derek Merman specializes in wrongful death claims, catastrophic injuries, admiralty claims, aviation claims and product defect cases. Derek has successfully litigated these cases against Fortune 500 companies including: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Cooper Tire, DuPont de Nemours, United Airlines, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, British Petroleum and dozens of trucking companies and industrial companies.  Throughout his career, he’s tried numerous cases to verdict in both State and Federal Court, including multiple eight-figure verdicts.  

Raised by his mother on their ranch near Waco, Texas, Derek learned the importance of compassion at age six, when his father died in plane crash caused by defective aircraft. The misfortune, though tragic, sparked Derek’s interest in law and instilled a genuine sense of empathy that has proven instrumental in his work for the injured, and for those who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of others.

After graduating from Baylor University in 1998 with a B.S. in Biology, he attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center, where he graduated cum laude in 2004.  In 2007, Derek Merman founded Merman Law Firm, with the express purpose of treating clients like family and serving them as a powerful advocate against corporations and large companies.  Now that he has joined forces with the Heard Law Firm, his ability to advocate for the injured has increased exponentially. 

Derek is married to Shana Merman; they have three children, Gretchen, Clara and James Bruce. They attend St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Houston and enjoy fishing, hiking, biking, playing at the park and eating good Texas BBQ. The Merman family supports several charities locally and nationally focused on education and helping people that have suffered recent tragedy.

Derek Merman is licensed to practice law before every State and Federal Court in both Texas and Iowa, as well as in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Texas State Bar, the Maritime Lawyers Association, the National Trial Lawyers Association, the Houston Bar Association, and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. He also speaks Spanish proficiently.




  • Derek is licensed to practice law before every State and Federal Court in Texas and Iowa
  • Derek is licensed to practice in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States



  • American Bar Association
  • Texas State Bar
  • The Maritime Lawyers Association
  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association


Notable achievements

  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Texas – The National Trial Lawyers Association 2009 - present 
  • Texas Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters - 2014-2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America (Aviation Law, Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs) - 2020-2021
  • Rising Stars 2009, 2013, 2014 – Top Young Lawyers in Texas - Super Lawyers/Texas Monthly Magazine
  • NAOPIA "Nationally Ranked Top 10 Attorney Award" - 2013
  • Top Verdicts in Texas – 2013 – $11,965,000 - Industrial Accident
  • Top 40 Trial Lawyers under 40 – 2012-2015 - The National Trial Lawyers Association 
  • Largest Individual Civil Rights Verdict in Texas History -  $16,050,000 - January 2011

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