Let’s be honest: Despite one popular catchphrase for the Lone Star State, there are plenty of ways to “Mess with Texas,” legally speaking -- the Texas Tort Claims Act chief among them. But detractors who are calling for ouster of University of Texas football coach Mack Brown, who is experiencing a rocky 2013 season, will have to contend with UT’s biggest booster, Houston plaintiffs lawyer Joe Jamail (pictured).
“If anybody outside of the University of Texas, without the authority to do so, interferes with Mack Brown's contract, I’ll file a lawsuit,” says Jamail, whose multimillion-dollar contributions to UT have led the university to place his name on the football field and academic buildings on campus. “Anybody outside of the University of Texas. That’s the quote,” Jamail says.
Jamail notes that Brown, who has coached more than 200 wins, including a 2005 national championship, has a contract with the university to coach the Longhorns through 2020.
“Mack Brown will stop coaching when Mack Brown decides to stop coaching. The [UT] regents are behind him, and the administration is behind him. Mack Brown is fine,” Jamail says.
And those from outside the university who want to interfere with Brown’s contract will have to contend with the man who tried Texaco v. Pennzoil, a case in which Jamail won more than $10 billion from a jury in the 1980s on behalf of Pennzoil.
“That’s what Texaco was about. It was the biggest case in the history of law. Texaco interfered with a contract. So, I know something about that,” says Jamail, who is 87 years old. “I’m still trying lawsuits. I’m going to trial on Dec. 9," Jamail says. “It’s my Christmas present for me.’’
--- John Council