Our Team

Knowing the team you work with is the most important part in choosing a lawyer. We have some of the most experienced and down to earth lawyers you will find.

Samuel G. Vazanellis

Samuel G. Vazanellis

Managing Partner at the Law Offices of Samuel G. Vazanellis
Attorney of Counsel at Thiros & Stracci PC www.thiros.com
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 Lis

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

Languages: Greek



Carol Doyle

Carol Doyle

Administrative Assistant/Paralegal

Administrative Assistant/Paralegal in the practice areas of:

  • Criminal Defense
  • Personal Injury
  • Mortgage Foreclosures

Previous Employment:
Administrative Assistant at Thiros & Stracci from 2012 to 2013
Paralegal at Goodman, Katz & Scheele from 2010 to 2011
Paralegal at Lake County Public Defender’s Office from 2002 to 2010

Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration:  Major:  Management
also completed their Paralegal Certification program
Dean’s List

Professional Association:
Indiana Notary Public



Paula Tsilis

Paula Tsilis


Paralegal Specialist in the practice areas of:

  • Criminal Defense
  • Divorce
  • Paternity
  • Custody
  • Personal Injury

Previous Employment:
Paralegal at Cappas & Associates from 2003 to 2012
Paralegal at the Lake County Public Defender’s Office from 2001 to 2003
Paralegal Intern at Cappas & Jones 2000

St. Leo University, St. Leo, Florida
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, magna cum laude

Commonwealth Business College, Merrillville, Indiana
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies
Dean’s List, 4.0 GPA

Professional Association:
Indiana Notary Public


  • Indiana
  • Illinois

Areas of Practice

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

A personal injury is any injury you suffer as a result of someone else’s negligence. The sad truth is, when you are injured in an accident, insurance companies are not on your side. While they may offer a quick settlement, this is to protect their bottom line, not your best interests. The only way to get the compensation you are truly due is through legal action brought by an aggressive personal injury law firm.

These injures can all have long-term consequences such as medical expenses, lost wages, home and lifestyle modifications, and personal pain and suffering that demand aggressive legal action. Samuel G. Vazanellis will work with you individually, taking time to understand how an injury will impact every area of your life, and fight tooth and nail to get you every penny you deserve.
Any accident can result in personal injury.

• Auto accidents
• Construction accidents
• Defective products
• Medical malpractice
• Nursing home abuse
• Police brutality
• Premises liability

No matter what the cause of your accident, if you were injured or a loved one was killed, you are entitled to justice. The experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Samuel Vazanellis will do everything possible to see that justice is served.
Find out here: what our personal injury lawyers can do for you
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in any type of accident, please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.

No fees unless we win.

Criminal Denfense

Criminal Defense

We handle tough cases in Illinois and Indiana Courts including cases involving:

• Violent Crimes
• Murder
• Theft/Armed Robbery
• Assault & Battery
• Domestic Violence
• Illegal Possession of Weapons
• Vehicular Manslaughter
• Hate Crimes
• Drug Related
• Drunk Driving
• Possession
• Dealing
• White Collar
• Fraud
• Embezzlement
• Extortion
• Computer Crimes
• RICO/Racketeering

Samuel G. Vazanellis understands the seriousness of your situation and has the experience to help you present a vigorous defense. Many people are reluctant to hire a defense lawyer before they are charged, even when they’re being investigated for a violent crime. They worry that retaining an attorney will make them “look guilty,” or they’re just concerned about the cost.
However, the benefits of quickly hiring a defense lawyer in the early stages of an investigation are immense. Most people are unfamiliar with the legal system, and being introduced to it through a criminal investigation is a recipe for mistakes that could haunt you for years.
The Courts can be complicated places, and there’s a reason every court system discourages defendants from representing themselves. Samuel Vazanellis understands the criminal case process and how the State will proceed with its prosecution.
If you have been arrested or questioned by the authorities for any type of criminal case, please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.



Perhaps the most common mistake people facing a OWI/DUI charge make is to assume that a test result over the legal limit means they can't win and that they must plead guilty to a OWI/DUI. This is simply not true. There are many OWI/DUI defenses that work even where the blood-alcohol test is very high. Call Samuel G. Vazanellis today to learn what defenses are available in your case or how to avoid a OWI/DUI conviction.
Arrests/Convictions for OWI/DUI do result in license suspensions however, and when this occurs, we also represent clients in reinstating their licenses and obtaining a hardship license for employment and family responsibilities.


The benefits from an expungement can be numerous. When seeking a job, housing, or a professional license, an applicant who has his or her criminal record sealed or destroyed can legally assert that he or she has no criminal history. Generally, if a record has been expunged, a background search by an employer, educational institution, or a government agency of an individual's public records will not reveal a conviction or arrest. Expungement or sealing of a record is becoming increasingly important in the internet-age, given the ease of access to public information. Don't hesitate to contact our office to see if you qualify for an expungement.

Family Law

Family Law

We represent clients in the following matters involving family law:
• Divorce /marriage dissolution
• Child custody
• Marital property division
• Child support
• Spousal maintenance
• Paternity agreements and disputes
• Premarital /prenuptial agreements
Divorce and family law issues can create emotional and financial devastation. Resolving these problems can be frustrating. At the Law Offices of Samuel G. Vazanellis we approach every client with the deserved respect, unwavering committment, and genuine interest in helping that client navigate through the transition of divorce while providing practical advice and sound guidance.
Please contact Paula to schedule a free consultation to discuss your family law needs.

The National Trial Lawyers

The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers

The National Trial Lawyers - Top 40 Under 40

Contact Us

Get in touch with us today to discuss your case in a friendly, informal fashion.

1 888 SAM4LAW (726-4529) info@sam4law.com

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Law Offices of

Samuel G. Vazanellis

2546 45th Street
Highland, IN 46322

P: 219-924-4101
F: 219-924-4104

Mon - Thur: 9am to 5pm
Fri: 9am to 12pm
Sat and Sun:

by Appointment