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Telling Fortunes

No. 39: Joe Jamail Jr.

Age: 87Home: HoustonNet Worth $1.6 billion

Massive contingency fees, like the estimated $345 million he collected in Pennzoil v. Texaco back in the eighties, have made Joe Jamail America’s richest practicing lawyer. He’s one of the most generous too, having given away some $230 million, and the Jamail name can now be found on everything from the football field and the swim center at the University of Texas at Austin to the plaza in front of Rice University’s public policy school to a Houston skate park. But for some of us, his real legacy is the YouTube clip titled “Texas Style Deposition,” three minutes of a cross-examination cage match in an old case involving Monsanto. Parental guidance suggested.


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