Larry D. Thompson
August 22, 1940 –
September 2, 2020
A life brilliantly lived, Houston famed trial attorney and renowned author, Lawrence Duncan Thompson, "Larry", died leaving a legacy of greatness for his loved ones to embrace. He is preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Oswalt Thompson; his father, Clarence "C.A." Thompson; his brother, famed author Thomas Thompson; his law partner, Tom Lorance; and the mother of his children, Charlotte Foster Thompson. He is survived by his wife of nearly 25 years, Victoria Lee Thompson of Cypress, Texas, his daughter Casey Eden Sollock and husband Ryan of Cedar Park, Texas, grand-daughters Colby and Brooklyn Sollock, his son Kelley Thompson of Pompano Beach, Florida, grand-children Jackson and Olivia, son Ryan Thompson of Vail Colorado, step-daughter Scarlett Renee Brann of Hockley, Texas, his granddaughter Ailli Josephine Sedillo, Scarlett's better half, Joe Sedillo and step-grand-children Isaac, Isiah, Ilijah, and Iliza. He was uncle to his brother's sons, Kirk of McKinney, Texas and Scott and wife Melinda of Burbank, California.
Larry grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, often seen traveling bare foot, alone on the city bus to the library to exchange books. He was an avid member of the Boy Scouts having achieved his Eagle Scout rank before graduating from Arlington Heights High School in 1957. Larry completed a combined undergraduate and graduate degree program in English and Law, graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Texas School of Law in 1964. On the day following Texas Bare results were announced he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he eventually served in the Judge Advocate's General office. Following his Honorable discharge he moved to Houston to begin his law practice with Liberty Mutual Insurance as an in-house attorney. During that time he reenlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves once again as a JAG officer.
Larry and his cousin Tom formed the law firm Lorance and Thompson in Houston in 1970, where Larry practiced for over 55 years. He led the firm through good times and hard times with a firm hand, compassionate heart and enthusiasm for the law. His trial practice was as fearless as it was stellar. He was Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial and Civil Trial Law, with more than 300 trials completed, and well over 1000 days before a jury in cases that went to verdict. His most storied cases spanned environmentalism, libel, product liability, judicial misconduct, medical malpractice and insurance bad faith. In the 1980's he headed the legal action to stop the planned dredging of a deep water canal through the Trinity Bay estuaries, up the Trinity River and into Dallas so it could have a shipping port. The Louisiana brown bear, estuaries, fish, wild life and precious forests of East Texas all were saved by his actions. His favorite trials came when he successfully defended his brother and publisher, Double Day in libel cases over the true crime best-seller, Blood and Money. He helped establish the Texas Supreme Court Committee to draw harsh national light on the graft and "ownership" of the court by one political party. The court remained balance for decades after that. He defended Soldier of Fortune Magazine, fought Firemen's Fund Insurance for a home builder and tried many "bet the Company" medical malpractice cases. He served on the State Bar Board for several years.
He prided himself in being an involved father, including YMCA Indian Maidens and Guides, Boy Scouts, soccer, tennis, miniature horse shows and too many activities to list. In his sixties he finally gave in to the urge to write and successfully published six novels that focus on current day issues wrapped around engaging characters so non-lawyers may be entertained and informed at the same time. His character Jack Bryant is now the subject of a mini-series being developed known as "Lawyer-No Fee." He was active as an International Thriller writer. He loved golf. He helped found the Houston Marathon through his running group. He finished the Boston marathon twice as well as numerous other marathons across the country. Most of all he was full of enthusiasm for life, compassion for all and grace in all endeavors. He is dearly missed and will be held forever in our hearts.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 8, 2020.