Real Estate / Houses

Legendary Billionaire Lawyer’s Treasures Hit an Estate Sale

Palatial River Oaks Mansion Full of Prizes

BY // 11.17.16

This is not your average estate sale. Starting this week, you will be able to acquire a household or office item from one of the most celebrated attorneys in the world, one who championed the underdog, and amassed a fortune doing it that made him a regular on the Forbes Billionaire list.

The name commands attention, just as it did in the courtroom — Joe Jamail. America’s richest practicing attorney, reared on Houston’s east side during the Depression in a close-knit Lebanese family of grocers, was also its most successful. The late Houston lawyer stood up for the little man, wronged individuals and corporations alike, in a manner that makes today’s white-glove firms look downright insipid. He passed away December 2015 at the age of 90, still active and winning cases.

His $10.5 billion 1985 win for Pennzoil versus Texaco is still a benchmark of bravery and bravado — famously, the night before, he was dragged out on the town by best pals Willie Nelson and Darrell Royal. The late evening may even have helped loosen up his closing arguments the next day in the courtroom.

Jamail was friends across the aisles. The ardent Democrat and former Secretary of State James Baker enjoyed a warm friendship, with both being ex Marines — note the Semper Fi reference. (Photo courtesy joejamail.com.)

Here’s a fascinating video of Jamail taking a deposition from a witness: 

Jamail and his wife, Lee (who passed away in 2007), are fondly remembered for their out-sized generosity — exceeding $233 million to date — to a variety of causes, especially health care, education, medicine, and art. Their names grace everything from a Houston skate park to Baylor College of Medicine’s Lee and Joe Jamail Specialty Care Center, while Joe Jamail Field in Austin is home stadium for its benefactor’s beloved University of Texas Longhorns.

Now you can own a bit of the Jamail luster, when Judy Robinson Estate Sales organizes a five-day sale in the Galleria area spanning Thursday through Monday, December 8 through 12, 9 am to 5 pm daily. The prime address — 1650 Post Oak Blvd. Up for acquisition are treasures from the palatial River Oaks family home — antique furnishings, Oriental rugs, bronzes, sterling silver, crystal, china, Chinese porcelain, his private library, and prized sports memorabilia, and the couple’s art collection — as well as contents from the King of Torts’ One Allen Center headquarters.

For details, go to jrestates.com.


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