John Leroy Jeffers Jr.
b. 25 June 1942, d. 25 May 1989
- Father: John Leroy Jeffers b. 15 October 1909, d. 4 July 1979
- Mother: Nell Elise Walker b. 25 July 1910, d. 13 December 2015
- John Leroy Jeffers Jr. was born on 25 June 1942 in Harris County, Texas.
- The following appeared on 28 February 1944 in The San Antonio Light: Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Jeffers and son of Houston visited last week with Mrs. Jeffers' mother, Mrs. Samie A. Walker.
- He officially witnessed the death of John Leroy Jeffers on 4 July 1979 at St. Luke's Hospital in Houston, Harris County, Texas.
- John Leroy Jeffers Jr. died on 25 May 1989 at age 46 in Houston, Harris County, Texas, at Methodist Hospital.
- The following appeared on 26 May 1989 in the Houston Chronicle: John Leroy Jeffers Jr., 46, senior partner with the law firm of Baker & Botts and a member of the team of attorneys that won an $11 billion judgment against Texaco Inc., died Thursday in Methodist Hospital after a brief illness.
A native of Houston, Jeffers majored in English and history at Yale University before returning to Texas to study law at the University of Texas in Austin. His father, Leroy Jeffers, who died in 1979, was a senior partner at Vinson & Elkins and was president of the State Bar of Texas.
Jeffers specialized in business litigation, conducting numerous trials involving mergers and acquisitions. "John was one of the greatest trial lawyers ever to practice in the hundred-year history of Baker & Botts," said his law partner G. Irvin Terrell. "We will all miss him, both as a lawyer and because we love him."
During the Pennzoil -Texaco trial, Jeffers' 16-year-old daughter, Adrienne Elise, died in a car wreck. "He handled adversity as well as anyone I have ever known," said Joe Jamail, the flamboyant plaintiff's attorney who led the Pennzoil team.
"He had intuitive instincts that enabled him to be so sensitive to human feelings," Jamail said.
"John was a great lawyer, and it's a tragic loss to the legal profession," said opposing counsel Gibson Gayle Jr., managing partner at Fulbright & Jaworski.
The Pennzoil lawsuit was eventually settled for $3 billion after the judgment was reduced on appeal.
Jeffers served on the board of governors of the Federal Fifth Circuit, a judicial advisory council, and was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Law Institute.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Pinson Jeffers; son, John Franklin Jeffers; mother, Nell Jeffers; and sister, Mary Nell Lovett, all of Houston.
Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday in Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Ave. George H. Lewis & Sons in charge of arrangements.
- On 1 May 1990, a dedication ceremony was held for the John Jeffers Courtroom at the University of Texas School of Law, Austin. From the program, "At the time of his death at age 46 on May 25, 1989, John Jeffers had achieved preeminence as a trial lawyer and was a leader of the law firm of Baker & Botts in Houston. . . It is fitting that the University of Texas School of Law courtroom for the training of future generations of trial lawyers will bear the name John L. Jeffers."
- Last Edited: 11 Jun 2015
- Adrienne Elise Jeffers b. 11 November 1969, d. 25 March 1986