High-priced, hot-shot attorney Sam Rappaport came to town to defend Todd Manning from rape charges. Sam was an old friend of Todd's from Chicago and used to coach Todd in football. He received an even bigger surprise when he ran into his ex-lover, Nora Buchanan, a woman whom he's never completely given up on. Later on, Sam became Todd's divorce lawyer in the divorce case between Todd and Téa Manning. He helped Nora go through her whole turmoil with Bo and defended Bo Buchanan against the charges of murder in the first degree in the death of Georgie Phillips.
Sam's ex-wife Lindsay showed up in Llanview and asked him to take care of their 17 year old son, Will, for the summer. Sam was seeing Blair Cramer, but when she tried to make Sam jealous and failed, she left for a vacation with Max Holden. Will finally arrived in town and moved in with his father. Blair came back to town, dumped Max and tried to get close to Sam again. Sam defended Todd in his kidnapping trial and Todd was found not guilty. Sam was angry when he found out that Todd has been faking his DID and that Blair knew about it the whole time.
After Bo's son Drew was killed, Nora wanted to give her husband a reason to live and lied and said that she was pregnant. Believing that Bo was unable to have anymore children, Nora convinced Sam to sleep with her in order to become pregnant. Nora did become pregnant, but Lindsay knew the truth of what happened and a drunken Lindsay publicly announced to the world that Nora had betrayed Bo by sleeping with Sam. Bo broke up with Nora, but Sam stayed by her side and they became closer during the pregnancy.
Sam rushed Nora to the hospital during a snowstorm and she gave birth to a baby boy and named the child Matthew, who almost died shortly after being born. Matthew pulled through and Nora and Sam are both devoted to their little boy. With Nora's marriage to Bo over, Sam and Nora grew much closer and even came close to getting married on several different occasions, but never tied the knot. Nora and Sam, however, did move in together and formed a happy family with their son Matthew.
Sam was devastated when Nora was believe killed in a train crash. He had a hard time accepting that she was dead and kept looking for her. He almost found her several times at Colin's house, where Colin was holding her prisoner, the last time Todd Manning had "rescued" Nora and taken her away moments before Sam arrived. When Nora returned to Llanview, she had lost most of her memories thanks to a drug that Lindsay had given her and didn't remember Sam at all. Even after she regained most of her memories, she only remembered Sam from the old days when they worked together in Chicago, she remembers nothing about Matthew being born or her relationship with Sam in Llanview. Sam has tried to back off and give her space. Sam has his hands full with other things right now, anyway, his daughter Jen has come back to town and is staying with him and he is defending Blair in her trial for shooting Max. Unfortunately, tragedy would strike when Lindsay became involved with Troy McIver. Feeling betrayed by Troy, Lindsay would plot to kill him only to fatally kill Sam instead.