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Joel R. "JD" White

1960 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Joel R. "JD" White Obituary
Joel R. White, JD, age 58, died unexpectantly, on July 22, 2018 from septic shock while traveling in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
Joel was born in El Paso, Texas on June 1, 1960. He graduated from Coronado High School in 1978. He then received a degree in History from University of Texas at El Paso in 1983, graduating Summa Cum Laude and was the Flag bearer for the College of Liberal Arts.
Joel was a nationally recognized First Amendment attorney, a former President of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, a member of the FOI Board of Directors, and a longtime champion of open government.
In his most recent law practice in Austin, for the past 10 years, he represented news media clients in various types of cases, including court access, open records and libel.
In the previous 18 years, Joel worked in Houston, first at Liddell, Sapp, Zively, Hill & Laboon representing clients in media, finance, energy, construction and manufacturing. Then, at his own firm, Ogden, Gibson, White & Brooks, where he frequently represented the Houston Chronical, the Galveston Daily News and the Bryan Eagle in First Amendment cases. This included retrieving film and obtaining the release of a Houston Chronical reporter and photographer after film had been illegally confiscated and the photographer and reporter jailed during the Waco Branch-Davidian standoff.
He was a 1987 Honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law where he received 3 American Jurisprudence awards and served on the U.T. Texas Law Review. He practiced in all Texas and Federal courts and was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar and was board certified in Appellate Civil Law.
He was repeatedly named one of the Best Lawyers in America in both First Amendment Law and Business Litigation by Best Lawyers in America and U.S. News & World Report. He has also been repeatedly named a Texas Monthly "Super Lawyer."
Joel is survived by his wife, A. Melinda Rainey, MD, his sons, Austin David White and Samuel Mason White, and his two dogs, Boo and LuLu (he was always happy that he was beloved by his many friends, family and dogs in his lifetime).
He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy (Dotty) Alderson White and his two brothers, Jason and Marcus White. He is further survived by his father, J.C. White and sisters, Julie and Suzanne White and niece, Taylor Davis, all of El Paso.
A Memorial Service will be held on 9/16/2018 from 2 to 4 pm at Camp Lucy at 3509 Creek Road in Dripping Springs, Texas 78620.
In lieu of flowers, charitable donations should be made to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas ( and to the National Freedom of Information Coalition.
Published in El Paso Times from Sept. 2 to Sept. 16, 2018
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