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Law School Community Mourns the Loss of Noted Appellate Lawyer Gregory S. Coleman, ’92

It is with deep sadness and regret that the Law School has learned that Gregory Scott Coleman, ’92, died November 23, 2010, when the plane he was piloting crashed in the waters of Choctawhatchee Bay near Destin, Florida. Coleman was a partner at Yetter Coleman in Austin, and ran the firm’s appellate litigation practice. He successfully represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals, and numerous state supreme courts and intermediate courts of appeals. He also served as the first solicitor general for the State of Texas, where he was lead appellate counsel for the state. Two others were also killed in the plane crash, which occurred in the evening under heavy fog as the plane was coming into land at a Destin airport.

“Greg Coleman was an extraordinary lawyer and a marvelous citizen of our Law School community,” said Law School Dean Larry Sager. “It is hard to grasp the full tragedy of a fine life like Greg’s brought to a sudden and much too early end. We offer our condolences to Greg’s family and many friends, and mark his passing with deep regret.”

Coleman graduated from the Law School with high honors in 1992, after receiving a BS and MBA from Texas A&M University. At the Law School, he was managing editor of the Texas Law Review and elected to Chancellors. After law school, he clerked for Edith Hollan Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for Clarence Thomas on the United States Supreme Court. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at South Texas College of Law and at the Law School. He was an active member of the Law School community, including having served as president of the Law Review Association.

“He was one of my favorite students and provocateurs,” said Professor Charles Silver, Roy W. and Eugenia C. MacDonald Endowed Chair in Civil Procedure.

Coleman appeared often before the U.S. Supreme Court, most recently on October 13, 2010, in Skinner v. Switzer, where he faced Rob Owen of the Law School’s Capital Punishment Clinic. “I was shocked and saddened to hear of Greg’s unexpected and premature passing,” Owen said. “He was a hard-working and consummately talented advocate, and as cordial an opposing counsel as I’ve ever faced. His death is an enormous loss to our professional community and to the University of Texas family.” Coleman also argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District v. Holder; Ricci v. DeStefano; Rothgery v. Gillespie County TX; Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc.; Exxon Mobil v. Saudi Basic Industries; C&L Enterprises v. Citizen Band Potawatomi; Texas v. Cobb; and Norfolk Southern R. Co. v. Shanklin.

The Law School has set up a fund to create the Gregory S. Coleman Memorial Scholarship. Please log on to our Donations Page, and select “Gregory Coleman Memorial Scholarship” from the drop-down menu, if you would like to contribute to it.

Contact: Kirston Fortune, UT Law Communications Office, 512-471-7330, or kfortune@law.utexas.edu

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