James was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and was a practicing attorney
in Houston for almost three decades focusing on appellate, admiralty,
and maritime law. He felt honored to have been a past Commodore of
the Houston Yacht Club, the current President of the Galveston Bay
Power Squadron, the current Historian of the Sussex Motor Yacht Club,
and a member of the national Flag and Etiquette Committee for the
United States Power Squadrons. He grew up sailing the waters of
Galveston Bay where hundreds of young sailors later enjoyed his tutelage.
James was a graduate of Clear Lake High School; attended Principia
College; graduated with a BA with honors in History from The
University of Texas at Austin in 1984, specializing in British
History; and received his law degree from the University of Houston
Law Center in 1987. While in law school, James served as Research
Editor of the Houston Law Review and President of the Admiralty Law
He practiced maritime law for almost thirty years with several firms,
first honing his skill as a central staff attorney for the First Court
of Appeals in Houston. He served as an adjunct professor of legal
research and writing at the University of Houston Law Center where
many future lawyers benefited from his love of the law and passion for
writing. James was admitted to the State Bar of Texas, the U.S.
District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas, as
well as the bars of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States Supreme Court.
James was an expert consultant worldwide for flag history, especially
nautical flags, and was a frequent Wikipedia editor, which fed his
life-long love of flags.
James revelled in the wonder and mystery of ships and the magic of the
sea. He loved a good limerick and everyone he met was his shipmate and
He is survived by his mother Roberta Liston, brother Jonathan Liston,
sister Becky Liston Carter, brother-in-law John Carter, nephew Alex
Carter, niece Tina Carter, Aunt and Uncle June and Cory Liston, Uncle
Perry Vogel, and cousin Tracey Liston.
A memorial service and celebration of life reception, will be held at
the Houston Yacht Club on Sunday, December 15 from 14:15 to 17:00.
Two causes close to his heart were CedarS Camps (cedarscamps.org) and HYC
Ragnots (houstonyachtclub.com/YouthActivities), if you desire, in lieu
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