Of all the lawyers in texas, there may be possibly just one that marched via germany with patton's military, obtained the silver star, served within the cia and went skydiving for his 80th birthday. At age 85, but searching manner younger, dallas civil litigator james e. Coleman jr. Continues to be hard at paintings at carrington, coleman, sloman & blumenthal, the company he co-based in 1970. Getting coleman to speak about his lifestyles is like pulling enamel. Despite the fact that he has been venerated bountifully for his professionalism, coleman is satisfied his story can not be interesting enough to print. "i'm a chunk exposure-shy," he says. "nowadays, i think lawyers bask in too much exposure." for higher or worse, coleman's early milestones regularly coincided with our kingdom's. Born in georgia in 1923, he began first grade in 1929, the yr the melancholy started. "human beings have been leaping out windows on wall avenue," he says in a drawl this is greater georgian than texan. "my own family had no longer been wealthy but they had a reasonably excessive trendy of dwelling. My dad lost the whole lot." aiming for a university soccer scholarship, he turned into a 195-pound lineman at north fulton high college in atlanta. "these days and time, i'd be a water boy," he says. And he had just entered georgia institute of generation with goals of playing football when the japanese struck pearl harbor. Coleman gave up hope on university and playing football. He enlisted at age 19. He set his points of interest on the navy air corps but located out he turned into colorblind, so wound up as a platoon leader within the 87th infantry in 1944. Even as combating in patton's 0. 33 army, his unit marched through europe and across the rhine river. "he turned into hell-bent," coleman says of patton. "there has been an esprit d'corps inside the third navy that turned into an immediate result of his leadership and strategies." coleman might not describe what gallantry ended in his being offered the silver celebrity. "it become some thing anyone else might have performed," he says. Via the battle's stop, coleman had his fill of military hierarchies. "i concluded i needed to do something in which i will be unbiased," he says. "i concept approximately the ministry but notion again maybe there had been too many individuals who'd need to run your life. So i settled on matters, being a doctor or a lawyer." he back to georgia tech for his bachelor's diploma and then went to regulation college on the college of virginia. He obtained his ll. B. In 1951. Before he could get a regulation exercise going, the military called reservist coleman again for the korean conflict. "i was starting to think they couldn't have a warfare without me," he says. "i got orders to report to washington, d. C., and went to a big constructing that had ‘u. S. Postal service' on the front. I concept this ought to be a mistake, however it grew to become out to be the cia." coleman's eyes light up with secrets and techniques he can't tell approximately his cia challenge. "i thought it was exciting, and the people had been wonderful and thrilling. The cia turned into in reality a totally finely run organisation, so much so, i seriously considered staying in, however congress become beginning to stick its nose in, and it is gotten worse," he says. He could not tell his spouse, margaret, approximately his cia venture. "it turned into years of her asking, ‘how are you?' but not asking what i did at the workplace that day," he says. Coleman's felony career started out in earnest whilst he and his developing own family got here to dallas in 1953. Like many veterans, he selected texas due to the fact the nation turned into booming with gasoline and oil offers. He says he enjoys litigating complex instances. One such case, a lawsuit filed by means of the metropolis of san antonio against coleman's patron, a gasoline generating business enterprise, stored him away from home years. "it turned into a ‘bet your corporation' type of case," he says, "and for about six months of it, we tried what's called a plea of privilege case: ‘wherein should the case be tried?' since the metropolis became claiming that my client had raised the charge of gasoline, and consequently anyone became freezing to demise and little youngsters had been going hungry, we were looking to get the case transferred to houston." the decide's rulings leaned in coleman's favor, so the metropolis asked for a settlement, rather than face trial in a less-sympathetic venue. The settlement thrilled coleman's consumer. After the case, coleman says, "my spouse advised me, ‘a good marriage will take best one of these,' due to the fact i used to be gone two years and simply home on the weekends." all through his career, coleman has served as a mentor to young lawyers and a staunch advocate for professionalism inside the practice of regulation. He advises new attorneys to "discover what it is to be a actual attorney and a actual expert. Discover how the profession were given began and what the cause for being a attorney is." this year, coleman and his colleagues on the senior lawyers committee of the dallas bar affiliation evolved a pilot mentoring software that pairs about a hundred twenty five new lawyers with mounted lawyers. "maximum law colleges make a mistake by means of now not coaching more about the roots of the profession. Being a lawyer isn't always about getting cash, and it is no longer approximately exposure, and it is now not approximately having achievement without hard paintings," he says.