Gregory S. Coleman was born October 31, 1963, in San Francisco, California. He attended Texas A&M University, graduating magna cum laude with an undergraduate degree in applied mathematical sciences in 1987. The same year, he married Stephanie Miller Coleman, with whom he would later have three sons. In 1989, he graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M with an MBA. He then went on to the University of Texas School of Law, graduating with high honors in 1992. In law school, he was a member of the Chancellors Honor Society and served as managing editor of the Texas Law Review.
After law school, Coleman clerked for Chief Judge Edith Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 1993, he began work as a lawyer at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in Houston. While at the firm, he served as an adjunct professor at the South Texas College of Law, teaching civil procedure and constitutional law. In 1995, Coleman left Weil to clerk for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court of the United States, returning to Weil the following year. In 1999, he was appointed the first Solicitor General of Texas, a post he held until 2001. During that time, he served as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, teaching a class in advocacy before the Supreme Court of the United States. After stepping down as Solicitor General of Texas, Coleman rejoined Weil to head its Austin office. In 2007, he established his own law firm, YetterColeman LLP.
Coleman’s record of academic excellence, his clerkship experiences, and his intellectual curiosity and discipline made him an extraordinarily successful appellate advocate. He handled appeals across a broad legal spectrum, including all types of complex business litigation, undertaken on behalf of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to governmental entities to individuals. He was especially passionate about his advocacy related to public policy and constitutional issues, many times involving years of litigation and performed on a pro bono basis.
Coleman argued numerous high-profile cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Texas, and many federal and state appellate courts. Throughout his career in public service, private practice, and legal academia, Coleman earned a reputation for his work ethic, integrity, and professionalism. He also made a point of fostering the professional growth of young lawyers, generously sharing him time with them as a mentor.
Coleman established close personal bonds with those who knew and worked with him, taking genuine interest in others’ lives. He was a voracious reader, a lifelong student of American history, an avid golfer, and an accomplished sportsman. One of his greatest pleasures was fishing with his sons on his boat out of Port O’Connor, Texas.
Coleman’s life was tragically cut short on November 23, 2010, when the airplane he was piloting to a Thanksgiving celebration crashed in Destin, Florida. Two family members, Coleman’s mother-in-law Charlene Miller, and her brother, James Black, also died in the crash.
Coleman was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is remembered as deeply Christian, known for his integrity, honor, and generosity both in his personal life and his professional life. He was eulogized by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Judge Edith Jones. He is buried in the Texas State Cemetery, in honor of his outstanding service to the State of Texas.