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When Gods Ruled the Texas Courts

By Mark Curriden – There are more than 100,000 lawyers practicing in Texas today. The Texas Lawbook identified 50 legendary attorneys – the profession considers them to be Lions of the Texas Bar. We interviewed each one of them in a yearlong project and have now updated each profile with new information and added videos featuring these Lions.

What makes these lawyers Lions of the Bar? They scored billion-dollar wins for individuals and businesses. They sued to remove dangerous products off store shelves or to force unfit doctors to end their medical practices. Many of them defended companies from frivolous lawsuits and against unfair rules and regulations or advised corporations in mega-mergers and acquisitions. Some are judges who authored controversial and landmark decisions that changed how we live. Others are legal educators who trained generations of lawyers and influenced the decision-makers with their scholarly work.

“These attorneys are the last of a great generation – a time when gods truly roamed the courthouse,” says former American Airlines General Counsel Gary Kennedy, who serves on the Pimco Board of Directors.

We hope you enjoy this project as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Ray Guy ‘Would Not Change a Thing’ about his Impressive Career

Ray Guy told fellow UT Law students that he was the Oakland Raiders star punter of the same name and would play NFL games on the weekends and then fly back to school for classes. “Then they saw me play intramural sports and quickly knew better,” he says.

At 66, Guy is at the pinnacle of the legal profession. For four decades, he has represented some of the biggest global companies, including Credit Suisse, American Airlines and Verizon, in some of the most complex and controversial cases the litigation practice has to offer. This is his story.

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Billie Ellis – A Pioneer in Private Equity & Corporate Real Estate Dealmaking

Billie Ellis posed as a rancher in 1984 to buy 2,500 acres in Arizona to develop a scientific experiment called Biosphere II, which was a dome designed to recreate Earth as a way to possibly settle Mars. He helped Bob Bass buy The Plaza Hotel for $250 million in 1988 and resold it to Donald Trump six months later for $410 million.

For four decades, Ellis has been recognized as the best commercial real estate lawyer in Texas history. He’s represented some of the most powerful and wealthy individuals in the state, including the Bass brothers, Richard Rainwater and David Bonderman. And does he have some stories to tell.

Nina Cortell: A Lion with the Bloodline of Albert Einstein

The first woman lawyer and partner at Haynes and Boone, Nina Cortell is widely respected as one of the best appellate lawyers in Texas. She successfully argued scores of appeals on behalf of corporate giants, including American Airlines, AT&T and Exxon Mobil. And she is the only Lion who is a descendant of Albert Einstein.

“We searched for the best appellate lawyer to handle our case and everyone pointed us to Nina,” says NextEra Energy General Counsel Charles Sieving. “Nina did not disappoint.

Mike Boone is a ‘Counselor in the True Sense’ – Updated

During 50 years of practicing law, Boone negotiated the location of the Ray Nasher museum in Dallas, represented the Dallas Mavericks and Stars in contract talks with the American Airlines Center and was SMU’s point man in convincing the Bush Foundation to locate the George W. Bush Presidential Library at the school.

“Mike is a lawyer-counselor in the true sense,” says AT&T General Counsel David McAtee. “He is trusted by everyone. His character as a person and a lawyer is above reproach. CEOs and general counsel call Mike for advice on much more than just legal issues.” Updated profile with new video.

Bill Dawson: ‘Trials are a lot like life itself’ – Updated

When Delta Airlines faced being banished from operating flights at Love Field last year, the Atlanta-based carrier hired Bill Dawson to battle the City of Dallas and Southwest Airlines in hostile territory. Dawson and Delta won. Dr. Phil McGraw, Energy Future Holdings and Google also hired him in nearly impossible cases to win. But he did. In fact, he successfully sued big accounting firms, which were so impressed with his skills that they later hired him to represent them in subsequent trials.

Dick Sayles: Dog Bite Case to Airplane Crashes – Updated

Dick Sayles has taken more than 150 cases to trial and won more than a dozen jury verdicts of a million dollars or more, including a 2009 case when he represented a division of Johnson & Johnson a patent infringement case involving a popular arthritis medication, Humira. The jury returned a verdict of $1.67 billion.

“When the judge read the verdict, it was an out-of-body experience,” Sayles says. “I don’t think my feet touched the ground for blocks.”

‘Don’t Call Me Professor – Call Me Bill’: Dorsaneo’s Impact in Texas Immeasurable – Updated

Bill Dorsaneo garnered the name “Wild Bill” during his four decades of teaching civil litigation at SMU Dedman School of Law, but his first big case was in 1962. He was 17 and arguing before the city council that a proposed curfew on young people was unconstitutional. “I had no substance in my argument… I found the experience of standing up and arguing for a cause to be exhilarating,” he says.

Experts agree: No lawyers other than Supreme Court justices have had more impact on the Texas civil justice system than Dorsaneo.

H. Ron White: Breaking Barriers and Setting Standards – Updated

Ron White has scored huge courtroom victories and represented some of the nation’s largest corporate clients. He’s mentored some of the most successful lawyers in Dallas, including several judges. He built his law firm from scratch. But White is unlike the other 49 Lions. None of them have experienced anything close to White’s life and career. He is the only one of the 50 who is African-American.

Harold Kleinman – A Pioneer of M&A in Texas – Updated

For six decades, Harold Kleinman pioneered the modern-day corporate M&A law practice in Texas. With clients such as Neiman Marcus, Centex, Lone Star Steel, Noble Energy and Lennox International, Kleinman led Thompson & Knight to become a powerhouse in the energy sector. He also was a founding father of Texas Access to Justice, which provides funding for poor people to have a lawyer.

“I was just a lawyer who represented clients and believed everyone deserved a fair shake under the law,” he says.

Judge Royal Furgeson: A Truly Great American – Updated

During his four and a half decades as a lawyer, Royal Furgeson has had some great jobs. He spent a quarter a century as a trial attorney and two decades as a federal district court judge. Now, he is dean of the University of North Texas College of Law. Furgeson is also the unofficial lead cheerleader for the legal profession. “I’m as excited about the law today as I was 45 years ago,” he says. (Editor’s Note: Article contains new videos.)

The Passing of Lion Vester Hughes: ‘Never a Finer Man or Lawyer – Updated

He rewrote the federal estate tax code. He advised the wealthiest Americans on estate planning. He founded Hughes & Luce, one of the most prominent law firms in Texas history. He clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court, served as a U.S. Army Judge Advocate General during the Korean War and argued two cases before the Supreme Court. Until his January 2017 death, the late Vester Hughes, 88, still cherished going into the 28th floor office at K&L Gates to advise clients and younger lawyers on tax law.

Nathan Hecht’s Supreme Judicial Career – Updated

Nathan Hecht has been on the Texas Supreme Court for more than 10,000 days – longer than any other justice in state history. He played a crucial role raising juror pay from $6 to $40 a day, significantly increase funds for legal aid for the poor and established a statewide electronic court filing system. He also engineered a dramatic and historic conservative and pro-historic shift at the Supreme Court.

Hecht is promising he will not put down the gavel for at least eight more years.

Frank Branson: A Passion for Law, Life & Big Jury Verdicts – Updated

Frank Branson has spent a lifetime representing people who have been horribly injured and business leaders who have been screwed over by unscrupulous partners. He’s tried more than 100 cases to a verdict – nearly 20 of them resulted in multimillion-dollar jury verdicts. The Texas Lawbook estimates that the combined jury verdicts and settlements achieved by Branson for his clients approach $1 billion.

But it didn’t start out that way.

‘Uncle Darrell’ Jordan: Senior Statesman and ‘Damn Good Lawyer’ – Updated

Darrell Jordan may have his law degree SMU, but he got his street smarts as a lawyer from the so-called Henry Wade University. One of the most respected lawyers in Texas, Jordan has a client list – Haagen-Dazs, Citibank, TV journalists, just to name a few – that is the envy of many lawyers. But it is his passion for public service and his career of championing legal services for the poor that makes him a senior statesmen in the legal profession.

Don Godwin: From Bagging Groceries to Winning the Biggest Environmental Lawsuit in U.S. History – Updated

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Don Godwin was on his way to the Kentucky Derby in 2010 when Halliburton’s GC called. The BP Deepwater Horizon had exploded. Eleven people were dead and 210 million gallons of oil poured into the Gulf. Lawsuits piled. The Houston oilfield services company faced $10 billion in liabilities.

“This case is unprecedented, both in terms of the size of the litigation and the amount of money at stake,” Godwin says. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Nobody has.”

Jim Cowles: Law Practice has Changed but Not for the Good – Updated

Jim Cowles was a high school freshman when his father asked him to pick a career. “Sir, I want to be a lawyer,” Cowles responded. Sixty-seven years later, he has tried nearly 600 cases to a jury verdict, including a dozen trials while he was still in law school. Cowles remembers the days before the billable hour. He says the law practice has changed and not for the better. This updated Lions profile of Cowles includes new quotes and video clips.

Mike Lynn is ‘Simply One of the Best Trial Lawyers’ – Updated

At age 40, Mike Lynn was a partner at a prestigious national law firm,but he wanted to try more cases. A mentor suggested Lynn quit and start his own law firm. “That’s a bit drastic, don’t you think?” Lynn responded. Twenty-three years later, Lynn runs one of the most successful litigation boutiques in Texas. During the past two years, Lynn and his team scored a $536 million courtroom victory for pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners and a $146 million win in West Texas for legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens. In between those two trials, he hiked the Appalachian Trail. Article updated with video.

Harriet Miers: A Counselor to Clients & Presidents – Updated

Harriet Miers is the epitome of what it means to be a lawyer. She zealously advocates for her clients, fought vigorously to preserve the sacrosanct relationship between lawyers and their clients and championed the need for improved legal services for the poor. She shattered numerous glass ceilings for women lawyers in Texas, including becoming the first women to lead a large, full service law firm.

And let’s not forget about Miers’ most famous client: the president of the United States.

The George Bramblett Dividend – Updated

Forty-eight years ago, George Bramblett won his first trial and scores more that followed over the next five decades. Bramblett did not shy away from unpopular clients or clients with unpopular causes. He represented Exxon in part of the Valdez oil spill litigation, defended the Catholic Diocese of Dallas in cases involving priests abusing children and advocated for wealthy public school systems in the school finance dispute. Bramblett died in 2016, but not before leaving a legacy that could last for generations.

The More Complex the Deal, the More Fun for Gil Friedlander

When EDS split ways with GM in 1996, the CEOs took center stage to praise the deal. Just off camera was EDS General Counsel Gil Friedlander, who lawyers say was the true mastermind of the transaction. Friedlander navigated internal landmines between the IT firm and the Rustbelt manufacturer. EDS was a fully-owned subsidiary of GM, but it also had its own tracking stock and its own board of directors. He engineered an unprecedented “split-off” that was tax-free for GM, addressed the automakers huge unfunded employee pension liability and unlocked billions of dollars in value for EDS. And that may not have been Friedlander’s most complicated transaction.

Mike McKool is on ‘Every Corporation’s Shortlist’

He’s practiced law for 42 years and tried more than 100 cases to juries, resulting in verdicts and judgments far exceeding $1 billion. Out-of-court settlements added another billion dollars in the pockets of his clients. He is a god of IP litigation. But Mike McKool’s favorite case has nothing to do with patents. It involves the history of a 40-mile stretch of river in North Carolina. Billions of dollars were at stake.

“Mike is the epitome of what it means to be a good lawyer,” says former American Airlines GC Gary Kennedy.

Walter Umphrey: 50 Years of Looking out for the Little Guy

Walter Umphrey has lived an extraordinary life. He’s won a $1 billion for thousands of asbestos victims. He got the tobacco companies to fork over $17 billion to the state of Texas to pay the medical costs of sick smokers. He even teamed up with Joe Jamail to force a trucking company to pay $16 million to a police officer who lost a leg.
Not bad for a former claims adjuster who has a soft spot for working folks.

Mike Wortley – ‘A Rock in the World of Corporate Law’

Michael Wortley represented Goldman Sachs in Dell’s IPO and then he advised Dell in its purchase of Perot Systems. He was the lawyer who took Southland Corp. and 7-Eleven private. He represented real estate and investment firm Trammel Crow in its sale to CBRE. He led the merger that created Pioneer Natural Resources.

Seasoned GCs agree that Wortley is one of the best corporate lawyers to ever practice law in Texas. He advised corporations in more than 120 major mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and initial public offerings – transactions that had a combined value of more than $250 billion.

Richard Mithoff: Million-dollar Verdicts that Save Lives

Richard Mithoff has won scores of million-dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients in various personal injury, products liability, commercial and contract disputes. He represented families of elderly people killed in 2005 on a bus fleeing Hurricane Rita and the families of men killed that same year at the BP Texas City explosion – securing multimillion-dollar judgments for victims in both tragedies.

“He wins the old fashioned way – by out-thinking, outworking and outperforming his opposition,” said former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips.

David Beck: ‘Can’t Believe They Pay Me to Do This’

The year was 1971. David Beck and John O’Quinn were young lawyers battling in court over a traffic accident. Two police officers claimed Beck’s client broadsided them at a cross street and yelled obscenities at them. “What O’Quinn didn’t know is that my client was in a German concentration camp.. he showed the jury the numbers that the Nazi’s tattooed on his wrist,” Beck says.

Beck was devastated when the jury ruled against his client. He went straight from court back to Fulbright and offered to resign. “If I couldn’t win that case, I needed to quit the practice of law.” Fortunately, he didn’t. Five decades later, Beck is one of the best trial lawyers in America.

Forrest Smith:  A Lawyer and GC with a Heart for Community Service

As Mobil Oil’s corporate counsel, Forrest Smith tried cases from Louisiana to Alaska. He mediated more than 500 disputes. Ninety-eight percent resulted with settlements. He took a major tax case to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

But none of the Lions have been more community focused than Smith. He chaired the Dallas Economic Development Board, the Parkland Hospital Board, the Texas Youth Commission, the Dallas Better Business Bureau and the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce. He helped create the General Counsel Forum and the Committee for a Qualified Judiciary. He’s even served as Honorary Counsel General of Thailand.

Rod Phelan: A Lawyer for Lawyers

Rod Phelan remembers his early days practicing law. His billable rate was $35 an hour. Carrington Coleman paid him $1,200 a month, which meant he brought his lunch to work to save money. He was “one of Jimmy’s boys” – meaning Jim Coleman, who encouraged him to take cases to trial, which he did often.

Four decades later, Phelan – now a senior litigation partner in the Dallas office of Baker Botts – has not lost his passion for trials. “I would rather watch a closing argument than a Cowboys game or Duke basketball,” Phelan says.

UPDATED – Buck Files: The Matlock of East Texas

During five decades as a lawyer, Buck Files has represented hundreds and hundreds of individuals and corporations in cases before juries and judges. Wearing his signature three-piece blue suit, he has taken cases from Justices of the Peace to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Files has represented clients charged with white-collar fraud and drug conspiracies to those involved in the possession of child pornography. Corporate counsel have hired him to represent them in criminal regulatory matters against OSHA, EPA, USDA and INS.

Robin Gibbs – The Father of the Litigation Boutique in Texas

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Long before Steve Susman, David Beck, Mike McKool and Mike Lynn left big law firms to start their own litigation boutiques, there was Robin Gibbs. “I had this feeling that there was a need for a small law firm that focused exclusively on litigation – a firm that represented businesses and individuals in suing bigger companies,” he says. “It turns out, there was such a demand.”

T. John Ward has the Patent on Trials and Judging

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With apologies to Ben Franklin, no other individual in American history has had a bigger impact on the enforcement of patents than T. John Ward. As a federal judge in Marshall for a dozen years, he rewrote all the rules and forever changed patent infringement litigation.

Oh, by the way, he’s a damn good trial and appellate lawyer, too. He’s got a letter on his wall from U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to prove it.

Ronny Krist: The Empathetic Advocate

When Ronny Krist opened his office in 1967 down the street from NASA HQ in Lake Clear, officials at the space agency gave it no thought. Five decades later, NASA knows Krist very well. He has successfully represented the families of space travel tragedies – from the 1967 launch pad fire that killed three Apollo astronauts and Challenger explosion on liftoff that killed seven in 1986 to the Columbia shuttle disaster on re-entry in 2003. During the past 48 years, Krist built one of the most successful plaintiffs law practices in Texas.

Chip Babcock: The First Amendment’s Champion

For nearly 40 years, Chip Babcock has been at the center of some of the nation’s largest media law disputes. Dr. Phil McGraw, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and multibillionaire Warren Buffett have hired Babcock when they were sued for libel and defamation. His corporate clients include CBS News, The Dallas Morning News, the Chicago Tribune and Google.

But no client was bigger than Oprah Winfrey. No trial brought more publicity than the Texas Beef Group case in Amarillo against Oprah.

Charles Matthews: The Legal Architect

During his four decades at Exxon, Charles Matthews successfully guided the Texas oil giant through the multibillion-dollar Valdez oil spill litigation and the $83 billion merger with Mobil. He championed increased legal aid for the poor. Jack Balagia, Exxon Mobil’s current general counsel, says Matthews has another important trait: “He’s a really good guy.”

Charles Parker: Changing the Definition of Success

Charles Parker has won some huge and hard fought litigation during his 40 years of practicing law. While the Yetter Coleman partner has no plans to retire, he has narrowed his agenda to focusing on cases that make a difference, mentoring younger lawyers and fighting to preserve the right to trial by jury in civil disputes.

Judge Patrick Higginbotham: The Lion of the Fifth

Patrick E. Higginbotham was born in 1938 in rural Alabama. His father was a dairy farmer who struggled to make ends meet. As a kid, young Higginbotham sold collard greens from the back of the truck to earn extra cash. As a teen, he traded his hunting knife for a tennis racket and moved into the YMCA to focus on playing tennis. He was good, earning a scholarship at the University of Alabama from its athletic director, legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Five decades later, Higginbotham is widely viewed as one of the most influential federal judges alive. This is his story.

Dick DeGuerin: ‘Every Case is a Big Case to the Client’

Dick DeGuerin has defended the high and mighty, as well as the low and friendless. He successfully represented elected officials accused of violating Texas ethics laws, a multimillionaire who admitted dismembering his neighbor and an impoverished, abused woman who tossed six of her children in Buffalo Bayou. “Some have more notoriety and attention than others,” DeGuerin says, “but all of them are important to the client.”

Carol Dinkins: A Trailblazer and the ‘Best Environmental Lawyer Ever’

Carol Dinkins blazed many trails in her 44-year career. She became an environmental lawyer when environmental law wasn’t yet cool. She was the first woman partner at a major Houston law firm (V&E in 1979). She was the first woman deputy attorney general of the United States. Executives at the largest oil and gas companies in the world call her the “best environmental lawyer ever.” Carol Dinkins is a mom, a grandmom, a cancer survivor and a truly historic figure in the history of Texas law.

Eduardo Rodriguez: The Lawyer to Call in South Texas

Eduardo Rodriguez weighed less than four pounds when he was born. When his older sisters spotted him in the hospital nursery for the first time, they called him Pee Wee and the name stuck.

“No one ever called me anything other than Pee Wee,” he says. “When I was nine, my dad was filling out some official papers and he had to list his children. For me, he wrote down ‘Pee Wee.’ They told my dad that they needed my real name and my dad had to call my mom to remind him what it was.”

Too Many Lawyers, Not Enough Joe Jamails

Joseph D. Jamail Jr. celebrates his 90th birthday today. He is arguably the most famous and successful trial lawyer in history. He has tried more than 500 jury and bench trials, which resulted in more than $13 billion in judgments for his clients — not too shabby for a guy who failed torts in law school.

Editor’s note: This article contains language some may consider offensive.

Jim Coleman: The Gentlemanly Lawyer

For six decades, Jim Coleman represented Ford, GM, John Deere and nearly every insurance company and bank in Texas in hundreds of trials. He won a multi-billion-dollar trial for Oscar Wyatt’s Coastal States in 1972, when billion-dollar cases were unheard of. Thirty years later, in 2001, Enron Chairman Ken Lay made Coleman one of his first calls when he saw trouble coming. He fired clients who hid evidence from the court or refused to work with women lawyers. Just about every award ever presented for professionalism, integrity, community service and justice are hanging on his wall.

Harry Reasoner: A Great Trial Lawyer with a Social Conscience

From winning a $1 billion judgment in a complex antitrust case to heading a 30-year effort to insure prison inmates’ First Amendment rights, Harry Reasoner combines a litigator’s instinct with a strong sense of social justice. He is credited with saving Vinson & Elkins’ reputation when its high-profile client Enron collapsed in spectacular fashion in 2001.

Diversity Champion Cathy Lamboley Reformed GC Suite

As general counsel of Shell Oil, Lamboley transformed how corporate in-house legal departments operate. She slashed the number of outside lawyers the oil company used from 600 to 28. She made diversity a priority. “The outside law firms were upset because they felt we were mucking in the management of their law firms, but I made it clear that this was our money and these were our priorities,” she says.

Martin Beirne: The Game Changer

The hallmark of Martin Beirne’s success has been his refusal to accept the status quo. Marty refused to believe that a firm’s size determined its capability or the kind of clients it could attract and serve. Clients agreed. Beirne served as lead counsel for GM in a three-year litigation campaign to stop the counterfeiting of motor vehicle parts. He helped draft and implement anti-counterfeiting statutes and enforcement procedures in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE. And he represented Conoco Phillips when its offshore oil and gas concession granted by the government of East Timor was challenged by another company.

A Judge of Distinction & Substance: Meet the Hon. Carolyn King

During 36 years on the 5th Circuit, Judge Carolyn King broke glass ceilings and shaped federal law to be more just. She was the first woman chief judge of Fifth Circuit and the first woman to chair the Federal Judiciary’s Executive Committee. Judge King has been a leading authority on sovereign immunity and consumer protection rights. Because of an opinion she penned, disability-based harassment claims are recognized under the federal disability act in the Fifth Circuit.

Dee Kelly: The Most Influential Lawyer in Fort Worth History

For six decades, legendary oil and gas lawyer Dee Kelly was involved in the biggest deals and the most important lawsuits in Tarrant County. Sadly, he passed away Oct. 2. “I have loved every minute of being a lawyer,” Kelly told The Texas Lawbook in a recent interview. “I practiced both transactional law and litigation. No lawyers today do both. Litigation was always my favorite.”

Tom Phillips: The Youngest Chief Justice in Texas History

Lots of lawyers say they knew they wanted to practice law when they were kids, but few dreamed of being a judge. Tom Phillips was the exception. “As a teenager, I found that telling people I wanted to be a lawyer or a judge got a lot more positive response than if I told them I wanted to be a cowboy,” he says. Not only did Phillips make it to the bench, he became one of the youngest and longest serving chief justices in Texas history.

Steve Susman: Trial Lawyer Rock Star

Houston trial lawyer Stephen Susman has achieved more success since he turned 65 a decade ago than most lawyers accomplish in their entire careers. He expanded his practice to New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. He’s tackling even bigger civil disputes. “I didn’t want to retire, I wanted to up-size,” he says. “I wanted a bigger life, bigger airplane, bigger everything.”

William Powers: Teacher, Leader, Lawyer

No one has a résumé like Bill Powers and his impact in Texas is undeniable. He’s taught jurisprudence and torts to thousands of students. He’s argued 50 cases before the Texas Supreme Court and the state appellate courts. He served five years as the dean of the University of Texas School of Law and another decade as UT’s president. Powers made diversity a priority and implemented policies and practices that quadrupled the number of minority students in the law school.

The Honorable Tom Reavley: The Pope of the Fifth Circuit

After 50 years as a judge, Tom Reavley’s influence on the law is immense, but his impact on the profession and those who practice it are immeasurable. At age 94, he continues to carry a full senior judge load. Always eager to work and serve, he has sat as a visiting judge for 11 of the other 12 federal appellate circuits. Always preaching the gospel of civility, honesty, morals and the rule of law, Reavley has inspired and encouraged generations of judges and lawyers to simply “do the right thing.”

Phil Hardberger – Trial Lawyer, Judge, Mayor, Pilot & Senior Statesman

Phil Hardberger has an unparalleled bio in legal history. During a 48-year career, he’s been an Air Force captain and piloted a B-47 Bomber. He served as executive assistant to Sargent Shriver in the Peace Corps. He was a successful trial lawyer, as juries four separate times awarded his clients more money than they sought at trial. As respected and prolific chief appellate judge, he authored more than 350 majority opinions. And he was the wildly popular mayor of San Antonio.

At age 82, Hardberger is not done yet.

Rusty Hardin Loves Juries and Juries Love Him

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For a guy who was rejected by 22 of 23 law schools, Rusty Hardin has won some huge trials. He’s won acquittals for Roger Clemens, Calvin Murphy, Warren Moon and the wife of TV evangelist Joel Osteen. He cross examined Anna Nicole Smith for three days. But none of it compares to the mother and father who recently hugged Hardin at the airport and thanked him for saving their son’s life.

Henry Gilchrist Took Dallas Law Firms National

Henry Gilchrist was the first of the great Dallas M&A lawyers. He was the go-to legal adviser for the Murchisons. He handled most legal issues for the Dallas Cowboys, including the hiring of the Cowboy Cheerleaders, writing contracts for Tex Schramm and Tom Landry, and the development of the Texas Stadium.

Jim Sales: A Leader in Court and at the Bar

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Jim Sales headed the litigation department at Fulbright & Jaworski for 20 years, overseeing its expansion from 80 to 240 attorneys. During that time, he witnessed the transformation of litigation from tort-centered cases to massive commercial cases such as those involving failed energy company deals.