The Haynes and Boone family suffered an incalculable loss Monday with the passing of our beloved colleague and friend, George W. Bramblett Jr.
The funeral service will be at 2 PM Monday, Nov. 28 in the Highland Park United Methodist Church main sanctuary, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75205; (214) 521-3111. More details will be posted here as they are available.
George genuinely loved the practice of law, as evidenced by the almost eternal twinkle in his eye. His passion, along with his keen intelligence and ability to hold forth in a courtroom, allowed him to achieve towering success as a trial lawyer. Anyone who spent time with George could attest to his ability to tell a story in a way that would keep an audience spellbound.
For more than 40 years, George served as one of the pillars of this law firm. Mike Boone, George’s fraternity brother at Southern Methodist University, credits his decision to recruit his friend to Haynes and Boone in 1974 as a key turning point for the young firm. He said George had the sort of unerring judgment that separates the merely good lawyers from the truly great ones. “He had an innate ability to make good decisions, to always know what to do at the right time and in the right way,” he said.
Robert Wilson, another of the firm’s founding partners who knew George at SMU, said George always voiced particular pride in the fact that so many of the firm’s founders came from middle-class backgrounds and succeeded by virtue of their hard work. “George always emphasized that we all came from middle-class America,” he said, adding that George helped instill the idea that the firm should hire people from all backgrounds because of their merit, not their connections.
George forever remained deeply engaged in helping to chart an ambitious course for Haynes and Boone. He was a keen observer of the legal industry, constantly reading and studying news and insights about the practice of law, which allowed him to anticipate industry trends long before others. George built the firm’s litigation practice. He was also a member of its first executive committee and was its inaugural “marketing partner,” spearheading the firm’s first website and ad campaign.
But George’s legacy at Haynes and Boone — along with the impact he had in Dallas and throughout the country — rests even more fundamentally on his humanity. His colleagues at Haynes and Boone always referred to him as a gentleman. He had an unusual ability to work through differences in a constructive fashion. That was a prime reason, colleagues say, that he was not only respected but truly beloved by members of the bench and bar.
He also cared deeply about mentoring young lawyers, about sharing credit with members of the many legal teams he captained, and about being inclusive in hiring and promoting women and minority lawyers. “He never hesitated to give young lawyers incredible opportunities,” said Partner Nina Cortell, who counts herself as one of the many beneficiaries of George’s magnanimity.
As his reputation grew, Bramblett's courtroom prowess extended to highly visible representations, including successfully challenging the state's public school financing method, defeating a whistleblower case against client Abbott Labs, and defending the Catholic Diocese of Dallas in cases of priests abusing children.
The many honors George accumulated speak to his profound influence on the practice of law and his broader community. He was recently named by the Texas Lawbook as one of the “Lions of the Texas Bar” and has also been named a Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Dallas Bar Association. In 2015, he was featured in D CEO Magazine's Dallas 500 as one of the "most influential leaders in North Texas.”
George was equally proud of the impact he had outside of the law. He was a lifelong, passionate Democrat who supported many countless Democratic candidates and party initiatives. His board service included the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System of Texas, the board of trustees of the Baylor College of Dentistry, and the Dallas Zoological Society. In 2009, he was selected to receive the Dallas Lawyers Auxiliary's 27th annual Justinian Award honoring dedication to community service.
“George was our inspirational leader,” said Tim Powers, managing partner of Haynes and Boone. “He always pushed us to reach our highest goals and made us all believe that we could do it. He was one of a kind: a great trial lawyer, builder, friend and mentor.”
Over the years, many of us at Haynes and Boone had the good fortune to get to know George’s beautiful wife, Pedie, and wonderful children and grandchildren. They, too, are members of our extended family. Today, we all feel a tremendous sense of loss at George’s passing, but we take comfort in knowing that his values and compassion will forever endure at Haynes and Boone and within those who were fortunate enough to know him.