Posts Tagged “Don Clark”

John O'Quinn will he RIP

JOHN M. O’QUINN, dedicated and extremely successful trial lawyer, generous benefactor, and devoted friend to those who loved him, has ended his earthly journey far too soon. John’s journey was always exciting because he demanded so much of himself. Born on the 4th of September 1941, he passed away Thursday, the 29th of October 2009.

John spent his professional life as a powerful advocate for the powerless – he was the courtroom champion of the ordinary person. He seemed bigger than life with his dynamic personality and folksy presence, which cleverly masked a giant intellect. He believed that the courtroom was the great common denominator: this was where each person was truly equal. John was the “difference maker” in so many major cases. He considered the courtroom much like the athlete considers the playing field. John took each and every case seriously and personally. As the “people’s champion,” even those who opposed him in court soon realized his unflinching commitment to his clients, and that even they were enhanced by his presence. Each client was unique; each case special. John was very much the home-town boy – he loved the city of Houston which helped create his legendary skills: both were robust, confident, extremely successful, with an unyielding attitude. Recognized publicly as a legal icon, he was named one of the 100 Legal Legends of the Law by the Texas Lawyer and recognized by the National Law Journal and Harvard Law Review as one of the Best Lawyers in America, receiving four of the largest verdicts in Texas legal history. An honors graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, he served as a Regent for the University of Houston, as well as a trustee of the UH Law School Foundation. He truly loved the UH Law School and all UH athletic activities.

John used his fame and fortune to assist not only the University of Houston with the John O’Quinn Law Library and the John O’Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium, but also The Children’s Assessment Center, The Women’s Center, Baylor College of Medicine, The End Hunger Network, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, the South Texas College of Law Advocacy Center, and so many more endeavors of equal importance. He was a man who was determined to give back to the city, which had been so very good to him. He once said, “The only things you get to take with you are those things you give away.”

But despite the public persona, John O’Quinn was also a very complicated private person. He seemed as if he were a walking contradiction. Few people knew the John O’Quinn who helped so many when no one else would. Not many knew of the wonderful friendship he shared with the few people who saw this private manifestation of his generous nature. The private John O’Quinn was the first to answer the call when a friend was in need, and he was loved by his classmates at the UH Law Center. From this class developed a strong bond between John and his contemporaries – Alvin Zimmerman, Jack Raines, Al Levin, and especially this writer, Gerald Treece. He was a friend to all of us and he is already being missed more than any of us can truly express.

The private John O’Quinn faced many demons. He fought them with the same zeal he approached the courtroom. John was a proud member of The 12-Step Fellowship, a group known as the “Motley Crew.” Only one woman was invited into this group, Darla Lexington, and together with these men, the group helped one another to fight the monster called alcoholism. John’s friends made him stronger and he them. His sobriety was nearing eleven years.

He truly loved these guys. standing by his side was Darla Lexington, the love of his life. They shared a passion for philanthropy, the arts, and classic cars. Their dream was to build an automotive history museum in Houston and Darla intends to build that legacy in John’s name. They escaped to their beautiful ranch in Wimberley, Texas whenever they could and planned to retire there.

John also deeply cared for Darla’s daughter, Michelle Coopwood, and referred to her as his daughter. John also leaves behind his beloved aunt, Ruth O’Quinn, and cousin, Carol O’Quinn, his extended family, as well as many dear friends. Darla, along with the guidance of Dr. Ed Young and others at Second Baptist, helped John on his journey to find his spiritual self. We can all rejoice that John found peace, and that he knows the full love of God, which is forever.

A writer to the Houston Chronicle, responding to the news of John’s death, wrote, “JMO was a brilliant attorney. He was a generous soul. The last samurai warrior. A real gunslinger. JMO championed the causes of the nameless and faceless individuals who did not have the means to challenge the mammoth defendants. UH has lost its son. Houston has lost its friend. The world has lost a generous soul….He loved hard work. He was a dedicated man.”

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 3rd of November, at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.All are invited to the funeral service to be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, the 4th of November, in the Sanctuary of Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway Drive in Houston, where Dr. H. Edwin Young, Pastor, is to officiate. A reception is to immediately follow the service in the adjacent Deacons’ Parlor. The entombment services are to be privately conducted on the O’Quinn River Ranch in Wimberley, Texas.

For those desiring, contributions in memory of John M. O’Quinn may be directed to the University of Houston John O’Quinn Memorial Fund, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204-5016 (please indicate whether you prefer to support the UH Law Center or UH Athletics); The Texas Heart Institute, 6770 Bertner St. (MC3-116), Houston, TX, 77030 (please indicate whether your contribution is designated for Dr. Willerson’s Research or Dr. O.H. Frazier’s Surgical Research); The Children’s Assessment Center, 2500 Bolsover St., Houston, TX, 77005; The Women’s Center, 1010 Waugh Dr., Houston, TX, 77019; or to the John M. O’Quinn Foundation, 3518 Travis St., Suite 200, Houston, TX, 77002.


Executor Gerald Treece with John O'Quinn

In other news about John O’Quinn’s Estate the sole executor of the Estate of his good friend, Gerald Treece, gave an interview on November 1 to the Houston Chronicle about the big question in car collectors minds. “What will become of the museum and the collection?”

“The simple answer is I don’t know,” said Gerald Treece, a longtime friend who also will serve as executor of the estate. Treece said O’Quinn’s personal property has been left to the foundation that served his charitable giving. It will take awhile to determine whether the cars in effect belong to the foundation or to the separate corporation, Treece said. …O’Quinn was not married and had no children, reducing the likelihood of a probate dispute. His longtime girlfriend, Darla Lexington, oversaw the corporation in charge of the collection and usually accompanied him on his trips to car auctions around the country.

….after his 60th birthday, it resumed at a classic car auction in Katy and continued until the prominent Houston litigator died in a car accident last week, when he had invited an overseas expert and a film crew to witness the rebirth of one of the great novelties of his vast collection: the oldest existing working automobile.

Starting on that day in 2003 when he purchased 14 cars at his first auction, O’Quinn became a towering figure in the world of automotive collecting. He amassed a collection that numbers more than 800 vehicles, from the overtly silly Batmobile to a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow once owned by a maharaja. …from the world’s best assortment of Duesenbergs — including the most expensive one ever sold — to iconic American muscle cars to the rarest Ferraris to a Lincoln ordered by Queen Elizabeth II. Certainly a main attraction of the museum would be a Rolls-Royce purchased by Houstonian Howard Hughes for his new bride from a local Packard dealership. …… O’Quinn surpassed them all, and he boasted a vision beyond the mere acquisition of cars for personal whim or pleasure. He planned to build a museum to display them that he claimed would be the greatest in the world. He had already hired people to compile archival research on cars and to take oral histories from important automotive figures. … He had even scouted potential sites. He was intrigued by one tract near downtown and one closer to the Museum District. He predicted the museum would be completed by 2010, and he acknowledged he was far from finished buying more cars. …What car lovers wandering through such a museum might someday see are samples of a mind-boggling inventory assembled in a stunningly short amount of time…

…O’Quinn was a force previously unwitnessed in the classic car world. He bought and bought and never stopped…

The irony of the way O’Quinn died — a car wreck on a wet street near downtown — was lost on no one aware of the passion that had come to consume him, and surprised no one who had ever ridden with him as he drove at breakneck speeds around town.

Gerald Treece besides being the sole executor of John O’Quinn’s Estate is rumored to be one of three “succession administrators” of the John O’Quinn Law Firm to be sure it continues as a tribute to his friend’s memory in the legal world and also maintains the power of a force to be dealt with in litigation. The succession plan was announced as being in place early Friday Morning, October 29, 2009 on the O’Quinn Law Firm’s web site.


The service and official obituary for Johnny Lee Cutliff has not yet been announced however when it is we will give it the same space as we have to Mr. O’Quinn, it seems that he was the type of man that would have wanted Mr. Cutliff remembered as well.

For all of you who are emailing us wanting to know if Mr. Cutliff will get the same type of coverage by Rose as John O’Quinn has and our answer is YES.

We have asked for a formal obituary for Mr. Cutliff and will have that up once we receive it. We have been now been able to confirm that Duncan Funeral Home Chapel will be the providing the arrangements for Johnny Lee Cutliff. Viewing will be on Viewing Friday, November 6, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Funeral Service will be Saturday, November 7, 11:00 at the funeral home chapel as soon as we get Mr. Cutliff’s official obitiuary from his family or the O’Quinn law firm it will appear here with Mr. Cutliff’s pictures members of the O’Quinn Law Firm will be able to attend both services this week.

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Wreckage of John O'Quinn fatal car wreck

On the way to work Prominent Houston attorney John O’Quinn was killed in a one car accident when the SUV lost control and slammed into a large tree on Allen Parkway just west of downtown Houston Texas. Police said the accident occurred about 8:00 AM this morning, October 29, 2009.

Per the Houston Chronicle article up on their news website the SUV jumped the median, onto oncoming lanes and another median before slamming into a tree, which was uprooted with the force of the collusion.

John O’Quinn and what appears to be his bodyguard, Johnny Cutliff, were pronounced dead at the scene. Workers had to chop down and remove the tree before the SUV could be towed due to the impact of the wreck. From a video of the crash scene it appears as though the SUV was almost sliced down the middle and cut in half.

Police do not know what caused the accident but are looking at excessive speed and rain-slicked pavement.

John O’Quinn gave millions of dollars in charity throughout the Houston area from Hospitals to the University of Houston.He gave money to the Harris County Children’s Assessment Center, the Houston Council on Alcohol and Drugs and various Texas Medical Center institutions including St. Luke’s Hospital, which has a tower bearing his name.. The football field at the University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium also is named for O’Quinn, a big UH supporter.

People only post comments of sorrow for those who worked for him and those who loved him, the announcement will be moderated and all negative comments will be removed.

As we get more information we will be updating this article.

John O'Quinn dead from fatal car wreck

John O’Quinn was widely known as one of the most prominent and successful trial lawyers in the country. He won a $1 billion verdict in 2006 against Wyeth for its diet drug, fen-phen; wrested a $17.3 billion settlement from the tobacco industry on behalf of the state of Texas, and won $100 million on behalf of victims harmed by silicone breast implants made by Dow Corning. His estimated worth at the time of his death was over $1 billion. Mr. O’Quinn was 68 years old.

About John O’Quinn and The O’Quinn Law Firm:

The firm’s operating principles and values appropriately reflect those of its founder, John M. O’Quinn, whose strong work ethic and focused nature took root during his working-class upbringing in Houston.

As a young man, he learned the value of a hard day’s work firsthand as an employee in his father’s auto mechanic garage — a lesson that served him well years later at The University of Houston Law Center, where he graduated first in his class.

In addition to this honor, O’Quinn served as editor of the Houston Law Review and won a state moot court championship, rounding out a trio of feats unmatched before.

Today, O’Quinn is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished trial lawyers of his time, holding some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the country. John O’Quinn was named one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal, and one of the five best trial lawyers of the past century by the Houston Chronicle.

With a penchant for nurturing a unique culture of civic involvement and private philanthropy, he used the personal experiences that have undoubtedly shaped his career to just as clearly define the firm that carries his name.

He was known as an avid car collector.

We here at Rose extend our deepest sympathy to his colleagues, friends and family at this horrible event and what must be earth shattering for so many, especially for those charities Mr. O’Quinn was so generous in giving back to his city Houston, Texas.

©Rose Turner
October 29, 2009
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

The expressions in this blog article are based on the opinions of Rose Turner or our featured authors, please remember we are not lawyers and those opinions expressed here are each of our individual opinions and should not be taken as legal advice and/or legal opinions. The comments following this blog article are the opinions and sole property of the blog site members and do not necessarily reflect those of the site owners.

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The main stream media has now picked up the video of Roland Carnaby being shot to death by the Houston Police Department, [HPD], and the coroner ruled it homicide but was it murder? Why did the HPD and the City of Houston fight so hard to keep this video and the others out of the public domain?

If you look at Susan Carnaby’s list of witnesses, she has an expert by the name of Roger A. Clark, from California, that is listed as a court certified expert in jail and police procedures in Federal and State Courts. The HPD however does not list anyone that is not connected to the HPD. Which leads to the question of why no FBI or ex-FBI? The other question is since the computer in Roland Carnaby’s SUV ended up in the same building as the CIA, why are there no CIA or ex-CIA are listed on the HPD witness list? Why did Don Clark allegedly lie about knowing Roland Carnaby, to have it however later be shown Clark not only knew him, Carnaby had introduced Don Clark at a speech he gave only the year before.

Why was there no aid rendered to Carnaby after he was shot in the back? Some reports right after the shooting said that no police personnel had “rubber gloves that would have allowed them to render aid”. However, they did handcuff Carnaby so they were not afraid to touch a man that lay bleeding to death in front of them.

The video is graphic and caution should be used viewing it. However as I watched it, I noticed a couple of things, I could see both of Carnaby’s hands as he got out of the SUV, that an officer slammed the SUV door on Carnaby as he was exiting the SUV, thus Carnaby had both hands out and viewable as he began to fall to the ground. Carnaby was shot in the back, and yet there were officers that could clearly see Carnaby from a front view and could see that both hands were out of the SUV. Why did an officer slammed the SUV driver door on Carnaby? Accounts say that as Carnaby was exiting the SUV, that an officer on the passenger side of the SUV was using a baton to smash the side window, thus another question of why?

Per the records and witness list of the HPD, Carnaby made multiple calls to the FBI and the Internal Affairs of the HPD, could they and did they assess Carnaby’s fear level, and if he was agitated and angry enough to be of danger to any officer in pursuit? Why did so many police vehicles including a HPD sniper join the pursuit?

I have more questions then answers, but why was there not an outside agency called to come in and investigate the shooting in a total objective view of all of the video, statements of officers, and decide if it was justifiable homicide or murder?

Roland Carnaby was “afraid” to be arrested and had never been arrested before, so why was the officer that pulled him over for speeding was told to “find something to arrest Carnaby on”? The fact that Carnaby like thousands of others in the state of Texas had passed the rigorous requirements to possess a concealed weapon is listed as one of the reasons officers felt threatened and shot Carnaby, so if any citizen of Texas with a conceal weapon permit is pulled over, should they fear being shot? Why was there no weapons located in the car at the scene of the shooting, but they were later found after the SUV had been impounded? Who had Roland Carnaby’s computer and will we ever know what was on it? Does an outside agency need to investigate how the HPD handles these situations as Susan Carnaby is asking that the HPD began to handle these situations in the future differently?

You see I have more questions then answers in this, but it does appear this is a trial in the federal court in Texas that many will be following, long after the 30 second clip of the shooting is no longer being shown by the main stream media. Which brings the final question, why is the mainstream media not covering who is Roland Carnaby?

Read the reports filed by the Houston Fire Department EMT, the autopsy report that Rose has obtained and watch the video. Then tell us what you think. Was this a “righteous shooting”, or was it murder?

The documents on the Roland Carnaby case is in our download section open to ALL, not just members of Rose

©Rose Turner
October 18, 2008
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

This article is the sole property of Rose Speaks unless otherwise stated. This article as with other articles is based on the opinion of Rose Turner, or our guest authors if so indicated. Please remember we are not lawyers and those opinions expressed here are each of our individual opinions and should not be taken as legal advice and/or legal opinions. The comments following this article are the opinions and sole property of the site members and do not necessarily reflect those of the site owners.

Please also read our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

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Roland Carnaby was he CIA

In a brief article picked by the Houston Chronicle reporter, Brian Rogers stating in part, “HPD Sgt. A. Washington and Officer C. Foster were no-billed today, said Donna Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Roland Carnaby was fatally wounded on April 29… Carnaby, 52, of Pearland was stopped for speeding… He showed the officer an identification card that he claimed came from the Central Intelligence Agency, but fled after police learned he had a license to carry a concealed weapon.

The CIA maintains that Carnaby was not involved with the agency.”

When we contacted Susan Carnaby’s attorney, Randall L. Kallinen, for a comment, he said he was not surprise at this.

We also briefly touched on the subject that slowly Mrs. Carnaby is making progress in federal Court with the latest Order that the Estate was entitled to an imaged copy of the complete hard drive of the laptop computer that Roland Carnaby had with him at the time of his death. Likewise, Mrs. Susan Carnaby was entitled to any Blackberry PDA’s, any cell phones to have the data retrieved the data, and to have any print out of any data previously printed out by any agency in possession of those items.

The City of Houston and Mrs. Carnaby has also agreed to, submitted and the Court has signed into Order the joint agreed schedule with the jury trial now scheduled for August 3, 2009.

When ask if Mr. Kallinen felt he was beginning to make progress in the case and chip away at the objections raised in filings by the City, he did feel like slowly the truth would continue to come out.

You can download the documents from this case in our download section open to ALL, not just members of Rose

©Rose Turner
July 24, 2008
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

This article is the sole property of Rose Speaks unless otherwise stated. This article as with other articles is based on the opinion of Rose Turner, or our guest authors if so indicated. Please remember we are not lawyers and those opinions expressed here are each of our individual opinions and should not be taken as legal advice and/or legal opinions. The comments following this article are the opinions and sole property of the site members and do not necessarily reflect those of the site owners.

Please also read our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

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