Texas

Prominent trial lawyer, UT megadonor Jamail dead at 90

Then Texas coach Mack Brown, right, points to a Texas ring worn by attorney Joe Jamail on April 1, 2012, in Austin. An athletic complex attached to the stadium is named after the famous Texas attorney, who died Wednesday.
Then Texas coach Mack Brown, right, points to a Texas ring worn by attorney Joe Jamail on April 1, 2012, in Austin. An athletic complex attached to the stadium is named after the famous Texas attorney, who died Wednesday. AP archives

Joe Jamail, a swashbuckling trial lawyer who toppled Texaco in court and so lavished the University of Texas at Austin with donations that his name adorns its football field, has died at age 90.

UT President Gregory Fenves said via Twitter on Wednesday that the university “lost a great friend.”

Jamail’s Houston law firm didn’t immediately return phone messages. But the Austin-American Statesman reported the cause of death as complications from pneumonia.

Known for peppering legal proceedings with vulgarities, Jamail represented Pennzoil in a dispute with Texaco.

He won a colossal $10.5 billion verdict in 1987 that drove Texaco into bankruptcy. A jury found that the firm interfered with Pennzoil’s plans to acquire Getty Oil.

Former Secretary of State James Baker called Jamail “one of the finest attorneys the world has ever known.”

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