Thursday, December 24, 2015
Not a law professor, but a fabulously successful trial lawyer in Houston and a major benefactor of my former employer the University of Texas at Austin (I once held the Joseph D. Jamail Centennial Chair in Law). I recall a speech he once gave to the law faculty, he was extremely humble and complimentary towards us, and he always spoke in support of interdisciplinary legal education. He was probably about 80 then, and everyone said he had mellowed from the days when he was banned for life from the courts of Delaware for his, shall we say, "combative" manner, some of which is famously captured in this YouTube video of a deposition (Jamail is not visible on the right, except for his hands. He calls opposing counsel, variously, "big boy" and "fat boy," and the witness being deposed "asshole" [the witness was an asshole actually!].) Jamail was also a liberal Democrat in a state not known for them. After the Hopwood striking down affirmative action, I recall that he donated ten million dollars to create a private fund for the recruitment of African-American students to the university.