Texas Tech University

Vaughn E. James

Judge Robert H. Bean Professor of Law, 2001

Email: vaughn.james@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-3013

Admitted to practice in New York, Texas, United States Tax Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Professor Vaughn James has a very diverse background. Born in Dominica, West Indies, he began his teaching career (in 1977) as an elementary school teacher at the St. Joseph Elementary School. During the many years he has spent in the teaching profession, Professor James has taught at all levels, and has served as a high school assistant principal and acting principal, and as director of an adult education program. In legal education, apart from teaching at Texas Tech University School of Law, he has taught – either as a full-time member of the faculty or as a short-term visiting professor – at Syracuse University College of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law, and Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He has also taught International Taxation (a law school course) at Dominica State College in Dominica, West Indies. Wherever he teaches, Professor James brings his distinct Caribbean flavor to the classroom, teaching his classes in the relaxed atmosphere prevalent in his native Caribbean.

Outside the classroom, Professor James is very active on the national and international scenes. A musician and recording artist for over thirty-five years, Professor James still records and performs with his calypso and reggae band, King Shakey & The Banned (based in Toronto, Canada). In recognition of his contribution to Caribbean music, in May 2007, the University of the West Indies – Dominica Center presented him with the Heritage Legend Award. In 2011, he was inducted into the Dominica Calypso Music hall of Fame. A graduate of both the Newburgh Theological Seminary and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, he is an ordained minister of religion who spends most weekends in pulpits in America and the rest of the world speaking on religious topics, especially as they relate to Religious Freedom, the First Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended). He is very active in the International Religious Liberty Association, of which he is a member of the Board of Experts. Ever eager to increase the cultural diversity at Texas Tech University, Professor James organizes and conducts the annual School of Law Cricket League, at which students learn to play the game of cricket and then engage each other in competitive matches.

Professor James is an avid researcher and writer. He is particularly interested in Caribbean and Third World issues. His 2002 law review article, Twenty-first Century Pirates of the Caribbean: How the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Robbed Fourteen CARICOM Countries of Their Tax and Economic Policy Sovereignty, was well covered by the Caribbean press, and is included in the Economic Affairs collection at the United Nations Library in Geneva, Switzerland. His research interests also include Law & Religion and Elder Law. Library Journal ranked his book, The Alzheimer's Advisor: A Caregiver's Guide to Dealing with the Tough Legal and Practical Issues (New York, NY: AMACOM Books, 2009), as one of the Top Twenty-four Consumer Healthcare Books of 2009. He is also a contributing editor of the Nonprofit Law Prof Blog.

Professor James has a passion for community service. He once organized the Wills Clinic, wherein students in his Wills and Trusts class prepared wills for indigent members of the community. He currently serves as Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, where he and his students represent low-income taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and in the United States Tax Court. He also represents several clients on a pro bono basis. In recognition of his community service and other achievements, in 2009 Texas Lawyer Magazine included him in its list of Twenty-five Extraordinary Minorities in Texas Law.

Photo Description


  • B.A., University of the Virgin Islands
  • M.B.A., State University of New York - University at Albany
  • J.D., Syracuse University


  • Elder Law
  • Federal Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • International Taxation
  • Law and Religion
  • Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

Selected Publications

No Help for the Helpless: How the Law Has Failed Persons Suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, 7 JOURNAL OF HEALTH AND BIOMEDICAL LAW 407 (2012).

Defamation of Religions versus Freedom of Expression — Finding the Balance, 2008-2009 FIDES ET LIBERTAS 43 (2009).

The Alzheimer's Advisor: A Caregiver's Guide to Dealing With the Tough Legal and Practical Issues (New York, NY: AMACOM Books 2009).

The African-American Church, Political Activity, and Tax Exemption, 37 Seton Hall L. Rev. 371 (2007).

Reaping Where They Have Not Sowed: Have American Churches Failed to Satisfy the Requirements for the Religious Tax Exemptions?, 43 Cath. Law 29 (2004).

Comments on the Game of Cricket, Proc. Int'l Culture & Comm. Connection 12 (2003).

Twenty-first Century Pirates of the Caribbean: How the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation Robbed Fourteen CARICOM Countries of their Tax and Economic Policy Sovereignty, 34 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 1 (2002).

Strategies for Reaching the Welfare-to-Work Population, 6 Community Tax Law Report 12 (2002).