University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Joseph D. Jamail Oral History Collection, 2013-2016



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Jamail, Joseph D.
Title: Joseph D. Jamail Oral History Collection
Dates: 2013-2016
Abstract: Within the Joe Jamail Oral History Collection, Mr. Jamail and those who knew him well discuss his largest and most important legal cases.
Accession No.: 2015-285; 2016-278
Extent: 0.5 ft.
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Joseph D. Jamail (October 19, 1925 – December 23, 2015) was one the foremost attorneys in the United States during his exceptional and long legal career. He is most widely known for arguing the largest civil verdict in U.S. history in Pennzoil vs. Texaco, which resulted in an $11.53 billion jury verdict. The interviews included in this collection include material on Mr. Jamail’s early life, his philosophy of law, and his secrets of the courtroom, in addition to his many colorful stories.


Scope and Contents

Within the Joe Jamail Oral History Collection, Mr. Jamail discusses his largest and most important legal cases, including: Pennzoil vs. Texaco, U.S. National Bank of Galveston vs. Coopers and Lybrand. Also covered is Mr. Jamail’s long career in fighting for ordinary citizens in product liability, including the cases Coates vs. Remington Arms, Webster vs. Honda, Trawick vs. Sandoz, Green vs. Honda, Williams vs. GM, Watz vs. Zapata Petroleum, Robertson vs. Rig-a-Lite, and Aspromonte vs. General Motors. Some of Mr. Jamail’s probate, medical malpractice, and environmental negligence cases are also covered, as well as his general thoughts on legal topics such as voir dire, jury selection, closing arguments, tort reform, settlement negotiations, and structured trusts. In addition, there are interviews with his former staff members Frank Staggs and Janet Hansen, both attorneys, as well as Mr. Jamail’s longtime assistants Denise Davidson and Elisha Kimball, and his son, Randall.

Erica Lies conducted all the interviews with Mr. Jamail in his Houston office during the final years of his life.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Restricted access.

Access to portions of this collection is restricted. Contact repository for further information.

Use Restrictions

Restricted use.

Use of audio material by appointment only. Contact repository for further information.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Jamail, Joseph D., 1925-2015
Subjects
Oral history.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Joseph D. Jamail Oral History Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Jamail, Joseph D.

Interviews, July 13, 2013 - September 17, 2014
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2X110 Audio discs service copies
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2X99 Audio discs [Restricted]
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2N33 Transcripts



 

Jamail, Randall

Interview, March 29, 2016
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2X110 Audio discs
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2N33 Transcripts



 

Denise Davidson, Janet Hansen, and Elisha Kimball

Interview, March 29, 2016
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2X110 Audio discs
box
2N33 Transcripts



 

Staggs, Frank

Interview, March 30, 2016
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2X110 Audio discs
box
2N33 Transcripts