He’s won over $13 billion in judgments for his clients over more than 500 jury trials, but is most well-known for winning a contract case for Pennzoil against Texaco with a $10.53 bill verdict in 1985.
It’s the largest verdict ever upheld on appeal and the case eventually settled for $3 billion.
These facts and figures are well known in the Lone Star State, but the Slate list provides an opportunity to look at an ABA Journal profile of Jamail from last spring, which let us know how he prepared for the closing statement in that Exxon trial and is full of expletive-filled thoughts on the state of litigation.
The night before closing was going to be a quiet one of preparation and reflection, until Willie Nelson and former Texas Longhorn football coach Darrell Royal swung by to pick him up for a night of debauchery. He told them it was “the biggest damn case of my life,” but to no avail. “They kept me up all f***ing night drinking. I could barely see straight the next morning.”
Jamail was just shy of 60 at the time.
He plans on trying cases for another decade or so, and at the time of the profile in March he said he was representing three Fortune 200 companies in “bet-the-farm” lawsuits. Many litigators may take heart to know that Jamail thinks there will always be good work for trial lawyers, but he does not think white-shoe lawyers are the ones to handle it.
“The corporate boardroom mentality and structure encourages companies and their executives to f***each other,” he told the Journal. “So, there’s always going to be a need for good lawyers…By good lawyers, I mean good trial lawyers.”
“They’ve invented this new term, litigator. What the f*** is a litigator? I’m a trial lawyer. I try cases. There are some lawyers who do nothing but this mediation bulls***. Do you know what the root of mediation is? Mediocrity!”
There is no point in trying to out quote Jamail, and so if the above is not enough, his website provides quite a list.
The whole article is here, and worth a read.
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