Surendran K. Pattel is an Indian-born American lawyer and politician who became the judge of the 240th District Court in Fort Bend County, Texas, United States of America on 1 January 2023.
Surendran K. Pattel was born on Saturday, 29 May 1971 (age 51 years; as of 2023) in Kasaragod, Kerala, India. His zodiac sign is Gemini. He enrolled at the Government Higher Secondary School in Balal, Kerala in 1975. After completing his 10th standard in 1986, Surendran had to leave his studies to work as a daily wage labourer in a Beedi factory to help his family earn money. During an interview, he said,
As I hailed from a very poor family, we had to face severe financial challenges all along. I started working as a beedi roller when I was in Class 9 and also took up other manual jobs. After completing SSLC, I worked full time as a beedi worker. But that one year break changed my outlook about the future and the next year I joined the government college at Eleritattu for a pre-degree course.”
In 1987, he enrolled at the E. K. Nayanar Memorial Government College in Elerithattuu, Kerala, where he completed a pre-degree course in 1989. In the same year, he enrolled at the University of Calicut-affiliated Payyannur College in Kerala and earned a bachelor’s degree in arts in political science in 1992 and stood second in his class. While pursuing BA, Surendran was not allowed to appear for the exams due to low attendance as he used to go to work to support his family. In an interview, while talking about it, he said,
I told them that if I do not score well, I will discontinue. But when the results came, I became the topper. So, the next year, they were so cooperative with me. I graduated from college as a topper.”
In 1992, he joined the Calicut University-affiliated Government Law College in Kozhikode, Kerala, where he pursued and earned a degree in LLB in 1995. While studying in Kozhikode, he worked in Hotel Malabar as a part of the housekeeping staff. The Times of India Surendran wanted to pursue LLB from the University of Calicut; however, due to financial constraints, he was unable to do so. In 2009, he enrolled at the University of Houston Law Center, where he earned an LLM degree in International Law in 2011. He published a research work titled Crime of Aggression and International Criminal Court: Beyond Kampala Convention while pursuing LLM. Surendran K. Pattel – LinkedIn Mint
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
His parents were daily wage labourers who worked in Kerala. He has a sister and four other siblings.
Wife & Children
His wife, Subha Surendran, is a nurse working in the United States of America. He has two daughters. His elder daughter’s name is Anagha. His younger daughter’s name is Sandra.
In 1996, he started practising law in Hosdurg, Kerala as a senior associate withcivil and criminal cases, election law, matrimonial proceedings, and labour and industrial law. He left the organisation in 2004. He moved to Delhi with his wife in 2005 and started practising law in the Supreme Court. In 2007, after his wife was selected to join a hospital as a nurse in the United States of America, Surendran left his practice at the Supreme Court and moved to the US. There, he worked as a salesman at Kroger for some time. He moved to Houston, Texas after he received a permanent residence status in the US. In 2009, he appeared and passed the Texas Bar Exam on his first attempt. Later, he appeared for the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam and managed to secure a score of 113. In July 2015, he started a law firm in Texas named PKS Law Firm, PLLC.
As a lawyer, he has worked in affiliation with the Fort Bend Bar Association, Harris County Bar Association, State Bar College, and Exchange Club of Sugar Land. In 2017, he received American citizenship. In 2020, he contested the Democratic Party’s primary run-off elections against Kali Morgan for Texas 505th District Court’s general elections. He, however, lost the election to Kali by a margin of 8,897 votes. In 2022, as a candidate of The Democratic Party, he filled the nomination for contesting the general election for Texas 240th District Court that was held on 8 November 2022. The theme of his election campaigning was “Firm on Law, Fair on Justice,” which was aimed at talking about the judicial issues faced by the public. He said that during the campaigning, he was racially attacked by his opponents. Talking about it, in an interview, he said,
We decided not to respond to the negative campaign but to go to the people with our campaign slogans and our promises. However, during my interactions with media and people, I said that as a county which is one of the most diverse in the country in the world, it is natural to have diversity in accent, appearances and cultural differences among people and how can one be a good judge if you cannot tolerate the accent of another person.”
In the general elections, Surendran defeated Edward Krenek, a Republican Party candidate, by a margin of 194 votes. He was sworn in as the judge of the 240th District Court in Texas’ Fort Bend County on 1 January 2023.
Note: The salary mentioned above is according to the data provided by the US government in 2022.
- Surendran K. Pattel is multi-lingual and can speak English, Hindi, Malayali, and Sanskrit.
- He has served as the president of the Malayalee Association of Greater Houston.
- In March 2022, he was named one of the top ten lawyers in Texas by the National Academy of Family Law.
- In June 2022, he received an award for community leadership from Santee and Associates Foundation.
- Surendran K. Pattel is an avid dog lover. He has a pet Husky named Buddy.