DALLAS—Darrell Jordan, a partner of the firm and one of Texas’ most successful and beloved trial lawyers, died on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at age 80. Jordan was a true leader in the legal profession, a champion of diversity and a passionate advocate for equal access to justice. His legacy includes an entire generation of talented lawyers who developed their skills under his guidance at Diamond McCarthy and his previous firms.
“Darrell hired me out of law school giving me my first professional job, helped train me as a young lawyer and partner, mentored me in life and became my dear friend,” said Allan B. Diamond, Managing Partner of the firm. “Diamond McCarthy has lost one its stalwarts and we will miss him terribly. Even as his practice transitioned in recent years, he remained one of our most esteemed colleagues, and his commitment to serving people from all walks of life remains an inspiration to everyone who knew him.”
Diamond added, “He devoted his life to the pursuit of helping others through an outstanding legal career that garnered countless awards, achievements and honors bestowed upon him – by the Dallas Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, the Texas Bar Foundation, and the American Law Institute, just to name a few.”
Jordan was president of the State Bar of Texas in 1989-1990, after serving as president of the Dallas Bar Association in 1982. A long-time Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, he was named “Outstanding 50-Year Lawyer” in 2015.
For nine years, Jordan defended the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program against claims that the program was unconstitutional. He eventually prevailed in 2003 when he appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court and it ruled in a 5-4 decision that IOLTA programs do not violate the Fifth Amendment.
In an interview about the landmark case, Jordan said, “I am a true believer in IOLTA. I thought the challenge to the program was wrong. It was very technical and didn’t address the economic reality that nothing was ‘taken’ from anyone through IOLTA programs. My belief in what we were doing kept me motivated.”
More than 15 years later, Jordan’s tireless work in support of IOLTA continues to enable greater access to justice for individuals and families living in poverty.
Jordan graduated from the SMU Dedman School of Law, after playing basketball during his undergraduate years at the University of Texas. During his more than five decades of practice, he represented many notable clients, including Citibank, Häagen Dazs, GE Capital, Mobil Chemical Co., the City of Arlington and numerous entrepreneurs with big dreams. But Jordan was equally zealous in his pro bono representation of clients throughout his career.
“Being a lawyer was what I wanted to do since high school. I wanted to get involved in a profession where I could make a difference,” said Jordan in 2005 when asked why he became an attorney. “For most of my career, I have taken two or three pro bono cases a year. I believe it is important for attorneys to work for people who need help without expecting payment.”
ABOUT DIAMOND MCCARTHY
Diamond McCarthy LLP represents clients from every major sector in complex, high-stakes business litigation. As a boutique trial firm with offices in Houston, Dallas, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Diamond McCarthy has earned a reputation for excellence in the legal and business communities. The firm works with– and often opposes – many of the country’s largest and most formidable law firms. The firm also investigates and litigates business claims arising from distressed financial situations, both nationally and in international forums.