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John M. O'Quinn Estate and Foundation Announce Lawsuit Settlement

 OCW readers will recall the fierce collecting habits of the late John O'Quinn, the famous Houston trial lawyer that quickly built a 2,000-plus car collection, many of which were purchased at auction from such houses as RM Auctions sales. O'Quinn's collection included many famous vehicles, many with famous owners. Before his untimely death, O'Quinn had a soft spot for exotic prewar cars, especially Duesenberg, and owned an incredible two dozen examples. Since the accident that claimed his life in 2009, the fate of the cars and collection have been in litigation, although cars have been trickling out of the collection at large national auctions. Today, a conclusion to the litigation was announced, but the exact fate of the cars still remains unknown.Read on for the release from the John M. O’Quinn Foundation.

HOUSTON – The John O’Quinn estate and The John M. O’Quinn Foundation are announcing the amicable settlement of a lawsuit involving the late prominent lawyer’s longtime companion, Darla Lexington.

“This is a great day for the memory of John O’Quinn and the legacy of the charitable foundation he established,” says attorney Dale Jefferson, who represents the executor of the Houston attorney’s estate.

Mr. O’Quinn died in a car crash at age 68 in October 2009 following an illustrious legal career that earned him national recognition.

He established The John M. O'Quinn Foundation before his death, leaving his estate to the foundation in his will. The foundation supports initiatives that promote health care, mental health, children and education, and paid out a total of almost $3 million in 2011.

Ms. Lexington, the estate and the foundation reached the agreed settlement late Wednesday. The settlement will end Ms. Lexington’s lawsuit against the estate in Judge Mike Wood’s Harris County Probate Court No. 2.

“I am pleased on behalf of John, and I’m pleased for Darla and the foundation. I’ve always hoped we’d be able to resolve this,” says T. Gerald Treece, a close friend of Mr. O’Quinn who serves as executor of the estate and works as a dean at South Texas College of Law.

Rob Wilson III, president of the O’Quinn Foundation, says the settlement will allow the foundation to do more to aid the causes Mr. O’Quinn cared for greatly and to continue in the spirit of Mr. O’Quinn’s generosity.

“This settlement clears the way for a distribution from the estate that will allow the foundation to support even more good works,” says Kathy Patrick, attorney for the foundation.

Established in 1986 by the late Houston trial lawyer, The John M. O'Quinn Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in the Houston area and across the country dedicated to the care of abused children, the support of those struggling with addiction, medical research and educational endeavors.

Organizations receiving 2011 grants from the foundation include: Bridges to Life; Camp Aranzazu; Arrow Child & Family Ministries; CanCare; The Children’s Assessment Center in Houston; Chinquapin School; Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids; Cornerstone Recovery; Council on Alcohol & Drugs Houston; Crime Stoppers of Houston; Cristo Ray Jesuit College Preparatory School; DePelchin Children’s Center; Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance; Donald B. Cowan Legacy Choir; Dress for Success; First Baptist Church in Pollock, La.; Foundation for Teen Health; Hope Stone Inc.; Houston Center for Photography; inZONE Foundation; The Joy School in Houston; Legacy Community Health Services; March of Dimes; Memorial Hermann Foundation; The Menninger Clinic; Mental Health America of Greater Houston; Monarch Institute for Neurological Differences; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Pathways for Little Feet; Sam Houston Area Council of Boy Scouts of America; San Jacinto Battleground Association; Sight Into Sound; St. Martin’s Episcopal Church; Texas Heart Institute; University of St. Thomas; University of Texas Health Science Center; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Yellowstone Academy.

For more information about the John M. O’Quinn Foundation, contact Mary Flood at or 800-559-4534

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