Joseph D. Jamail is an 88 year old trial lawyer from Houston Texas. Last week Joe and Ron Krist, another Houston lawyer spoke at the International Accademy of Trial Lawyers at a meeting in Newport, California, Lita and I attended. I’ve known Joe and Ron for a number of years through professional
organizations we belong to and both are extraordinary story tellers. They had the audience entertained
Forbes Magazine gives Joe’s wealth at $1.5 billion. His 1985 verdict for his client Pennzoil against
Texaco because of Texaco’s interference with a merger with Getty Oil resulted in a $10.5 billion dollar jury verdict.
One of the stories Joel told was about Houston criminal defense lawyer Perce Foreman,
who was himself a notorious character. Percy sued for neck and back injuries from a rear end collision.
Percy had testified he had no previous neck or back problems only to have the defense lawyer, on cross examination, bring out nine previous hospitalizations and considerable treatment for his neck and back. Joe says he asked Percy on re-direct why he had lied to the jury and Percy said “Oh, Joe, I didn’t
think it was important enough to mention.” In argument, Joel told them jury that Percy had been a great trial lawyer throughout his life, but now he was an old man who was growing senile, which is why he hadn’t told them about the past medical problems. At that moment, Joe said, Percy jumped up and yelled at him: “You goddamed son of a bitch.! Joe, looked at the jury and said: “See what I mean? He doesn’t even know where he is right now.” The jury awarded the full $75,000 Joe had asked for.
I’m starting a jury case this week, Hpefully if we get a courtroom, so I may be late in keeping this blog current.