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James E. Payne

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Information about James E. Payne

Profile image of James E. Payne

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak, Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere He Can Golf
Favorite Quote:
I Play To Win.

Birthplace

Born:
3/3/1968
Birth Location:
Port Arthur, Texas

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak, Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere He Can Golf
Favorite Quote:
I Play To Win.

Birthplace

Born:
3/3/1968
Birth Location:
Port Arthur
See how James E. Payne is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Lawyer James E. Payne was born on March 3, 1968 in Port Arthur, Texas to James C. Payne and Jessie Payne. He attended Port Arthur Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, where he played on the basketball team, winning the 1986 UIL Championship game. He then earned his B.S. degree in political science with honors from the University of Houston in 1989. He earned his J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 1993.

Payne interned for Florida Congressman William Lehman in 1989. In 1993, Payne was hired as an associate lawyer at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. Wanting to gain more trial experience, he left the firm to join the Provost Umphrey Law Firm, L.L.P. There, Payne practiced products liability, industrial work site accidents, automobile accident, and premises liability law. He was certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and as a civil trial advocate and a pretrial practice advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In one of his more high profile cases, Matthews Smith et al. v. Star Enterprise et al., Payne argued on behalf of 250 plaintiffs against Texaco’s discriminatory employee practices. The plaintiffs received a $9 million settlement. This case, along with a number of others, allowed Payne to become a certified member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal work, he served as a youth minister at Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church in Beaumont, Texas, where he organized the Sunday school program R.E.A.L. School for Young Adults.

Payne was featured on the “Texas Super Lawyers” list by Thomson Reuters in 2003, continuing to make appearances on the list for many years. He was also named one of their “Top 100: Houston Super Lawyers” in 2013. Payne was featured on the US News and World Report “Best Lawyer” list from 2006 to 2017. He also organized “The Buy 90 Campaign for BOBs (Black Operated Businesses)” in Southeast Texas. A life member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Payne served as Grand Sire/national President of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

Payne and his wife, Tracie Yvonne Wilson, have three children: Taryn, Joshua and Caleb.

James E. Payne was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2016.

See how James E. Payne is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James E. Payne's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James E. Payne lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James E. Payne describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James E. Payne describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James E. Payne describes his father's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James E. Payne recalls how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James E. Payne lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes his early community in Port Arthur, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James E. Payne describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James E. Payne talks about the racial demographics of Port Arthur, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James E. Payne describes his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James E. Payne remembers being injured by a television explosion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls his family's lawsuit against Magnavox
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James E. Payne describes the result of the lawsuit
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about lawyer Thomas A. Peterson's influence on his decision to practice law
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James E. Payne remembers playing basketball at Abraham Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James E. Payne describes his basketball team's training regime
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James E. Payne recalls the racial discrimination faced by the basketball team
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James E. Payne recalls his favorite teachers at Abraham Lincoln High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James E. Payne recalls his early interest in pursuing law
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James E. Payne remembers playing basketball at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James E. Payne recalls being chosen for a congressional internship
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James E. Payne remembers the death of his father
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James E. Payne describes his internship with Congressman William Lehman
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James E. Payne recalls his decision to attended University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James E. Payne describes his organizational involvement in college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James E. Payne talks about his experience with police brutality
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James E. Payne recalls the results of the Rodney King trial
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes the racial demographics of his law class
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - James E. Payne remembers racial discrimination from his law school professors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes his involvement in moot court competitions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls his first impressions of Vinson and Elkins LLP
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James E. Payne remembers leaving Vinson and Elkins LLP for Provost Umphrey LLP in Beaumont, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James E. Payne recalls being underestimated in court because of his race situations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James E. Payne remembers the Matthews Smith, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., et al. discrimination case
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James E. Payne recalls results of the Matthews Smith, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., et al. trial
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James E. Payne talks about his board certifications
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes the role of race in his representation of clients
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - James E. Payne talks about discriminatory practices in jury removal challenges
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - James E. Payne describes his bar association memberships
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes the Buy 90 Campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James E. Payne recalls the public response to the Buy 90 Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James E. Payne talks about the impact of integration on black businesses, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James E. Payne talks about the impact of integration on black businesses, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James E. Payne recalls meeting and marrying his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James E. Payne remembers the formation of CUSH Magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James E. Payne shares his thoughts on prejudice and racial bias
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James E. Payne talks about his reasons for ending the distribution of CUSH Magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James E. Payne describes Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James E. Payne talks about influential members of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes the differences between Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and other organizations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James E. Payne talks about Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity's philanthropic approach
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James E. Payne remembers being elected as grand sire of the Boule
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James E. Payne recalls his accomplishments as grand sire of the Boule, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James E. Payne recalls his accomplishments as grand sire of the Boule, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James E. Payne shares his plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James E. Payne talks about his youth ministry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James E. Payne describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - James E. Payne reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James E. Payne describes his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James E. Payne talks about his personal philosophy for success
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James E. Payne reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James E. Payne narrates his photographs