TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Friday, April 7, 2006

Expert Depositions

Note: This video is now in this post.

This is worth watching:

P.S. I enjoyed studying in the Jamail Library at UT, and the painting of him never talked to me like that.

P.P.S. If  the movie's causing trouble, follow this link.

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» Jumpin' Joe Jamail from PointOfLaw Forum
Christine Hurt over at Conglomerate points to this William Childs provided-video of an expert witness deposition that provides a glimpse into the well-known (at least in Houston legal circles) combative style of famed Houston plaintiffs lawyer, Joe Jam... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 8, 2006 8:58:57 AM

» How Joe Jamail conducts a deposition from Overlawyered
Dignity of the profession dept.: this YouTube video of the famed Texas lawyer and UT benefactor in action is making the rounds (warning: offensive everything). It's discussed by BrainWidth, Froomkin, Childs, Hurt, Kirkendall, Caron, Metafilter,... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 8, 2006 3:58:15 PM


every law professor from every law school should join in a petition to disbar the lawyers involved in this deposition or throw in their academic robes

Posted by: Moe Levine | Apr 10, 2006 10:45:11 AM

Geez... they may as well have just whipped out their schlongs and passed around a ruler.

Posted by: Gonzo | Apr 10, 2006 5:35:29 PM

Calling another lawyer "Fat Boy" and a deposed party a "dumb son-of-a-bitch" transcends every known definition of professionalism I can think of. He may laugh all the way to the bank over his behavior but if you are a lawyer who respects him, shame on you.

Posted by: David Walton | Apr 13, 2006 9:00:06 AM

I particularly liked the way the witness made the little jump up move, which made Jamail jump back.

Posted by: Oilacct | Apr 16, 2006 7:17:43 PM

You bunch of damn wimps. If he's fat, call him fat. If he's a dumb son of a bitch, call him a dumb son of a bitch. Welcome to Texas.

Posted by: Ten Gallon | Apr 18, 2006 7:10:33 AM

Even in Texas, you have a professional obligation to be courteous:

Order of the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals

The conduct of a lawyer should be characterized at all times by honesty, candor, and fairness. In fulfilling his or her primary duty to a client, a lawyer must be ever mindful of the profession's broader duty to the legal system.

The Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals are committed to eliminating a practice in our State by a minority of lawyers of abusive tactics which have surfaced in many parts of our country. We believe such tactics are a disservice to our citizens, harmful to clients, and demeaning to our profession.

The abusive tactics range from lack of civility to outright hostility and obstructionism. Such behavior does not serve justice but tends to delay and often deny justice. The lawyers who use abusive tactics, instead of being part of the solution, have become part of the problem.

The desire for respect and confidence by lawyers from the public should provide the members of our profession with the necessary incentive to attain the highest degree of ethical and professional conduct. These rules are primarily aspirational. Compliance with the rules depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily upon reenforcement by peer pressure and public opinion, and finally when necessary by enforcement by the courts through their inherent powers and rules already in existence.

These standards are not a set of rules that lawyers can use and abuse to incite ancillary litigation or arguments over whether or not they have been observed.

We must always be mindful that the practice of law is a profession. As members of a learned art we pursue a common calling in the spirit of public service. We have a proud tradition. Throughout the history of our nation, the members of our citizenry have looked to the ranks of our profession for leadership and guidance. Let us now as a profession each rededicate ourselves to practice law so we can restore public confidence in our profession, faithfully serve our clients, and fulfill our responsibility to the legal system.

The Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals hereby promulgate and adopt "The Texas Lawyer's Creed -- A Mandate for Professionalism" described above.

In Chambers, this 7th day of November, 1989.

The Supreme Court of Texas

Thomas R. Phillips, Chief Justice
Franklin S. Spears, Justice
C. L. Ray, Justice
Raul A. Gonzalez, Justice
Oscar H. Mauzy, Justice
Eugene A. Cook, Justice
Jack Hightower, Justice
Nathan L. Hecht, Justice
Lloyd A. Doggett, Justice
The Court of Criminal Appeals

Michael J. McCormick, Presiding Judge
W. C. Davis, Judge
Sam Houston Clinton, Judge
Marvin O. Teague, Judge
Chuck Miller, Judge
Charles F. (Chuck) Campbell, Judge
Bill White, Judge
M. P. Duncan, III, Judge
David A. Berchelmann, Jr., Judge


A lawyer owes to opposing counsel, in the conduct of legal transactions and the pursuit of litigation, courtesy, candor, cooperation, and scrupulous observance of all agreements and mutual understandings.

for both, see

For whatever it's worth, I observed or defended a good number of Texas deps in high-stakes pharma litigation. While there was certainly a fair amount of what I'd call incivility, it never approached this.

Posted by: Bill Childs | Apr 18, 2006 7:33:51 AM

Does anyone know when this took place? It looks old but one of the comments made it sound like it might be more recent.

Posted by: Fred Norris | Apr 19, 2006 9:42:57 AM

My initial sense was that it was old; the witness seems to be channelling 1970s-scientist-garb. But comments elsewhere (I don't remember where) made me think it's in the last five years or so. I'm not sure when videotaping depositions became routine.

Posted by: Bill Childs | Apr 19, 2006 9:51:55 AM

Ed Carstarphen, purportedly the defense attorney, was licensed in 1982. That puts it in some context.

Posted by: Nord | Apr 19, 2006 2:18:59 PM

Ten Gallon:

Okay, you dumb fat son-of-a-bitch. You aren't worthy of a license to practice law you narrow-minded mental midget.

Posted by: Nperpetuity | Apr 26, 2006 2:48:26 PM

Most of the previous comments are off base. The incivility here is not from Joe Jamail. "Tucker" raises a pertenant question to which Ed responds in the unprofessional manner. Joe, the most successful lawyer ever, responds by justifiably telling Ed he is out of line. When Ed continues his attempt to bully the other lawyers (Ed's a Vanderbilt asshole), Joe dominates his existance, as he should have done. Welcome to Houston.

Posted by: Mike | Jul 28, 2006 8:36:56 AM

I'm changing careers (currently an actuary) I'm taking the LSAT and going to law school, because I want to be like Joe.

Posted by: LonghornLaw | Apr 27, 2007 8:05:54 AM

I have been in a number of depositions that make this one look tame. I used to work for Jack Tucker. I deeply respect the man and his practice of law.

Posted by: Trial Lawyer | Apr 3, 2009 8:14:04 PM

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