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 E. James began his teaching career (in 1977) as an elementary school teacher. Since then he has taught at high school, college, graduate school and law school. He has also held administrative positions including assistant high school principal, acting high school principal, and director of an adult education program. In legal education, apart from teaching at Texas Tech University School of Law, he has taught 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 is also a contributing editor of the NonProfitLawProf Blog

Outside the classroom, Professor James is an ordained minister of religion who – although he lives in Texas – serves as the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Director of the New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists headquartered in Syracuse, New York. He is also a member of the Panel of Experts of the International Religious Liberty Association, and a member of the North American Religious Liberty Association. He is a graduate of both the Newburgh Theological Seminary (PhD in Christian Education – Administration) and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University (Master of Divinity).

Professor James has had – and still maintains – a strong involvement in Caribbean music. Under the sobriquet King Shakey, he is a six-time winner of various calypso competitions in his native Caribbean, and is a member of the Calypso Music Hall of Fame. He was once a member of the Trinidad-based Sparrow's Young Brigade Calypso Tent, a group of calypso performers headlined by the Mighty Sparrow, dubbed by calypso enthusiasts as the Calypso King of the World.  In recognition of his contribution to Caribbean music, in 2007 the University of the West Indies (Dominica Centre) presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. His calypso/reggae/cadence-lypso band, King Shakey & The Banned, is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

Photo Description


  • B.A., University of the Virgin Islands
  • M.B.A., State University of New York - University at Albany
  • M.Div., Andrews University
  • J.D., Syracuse University
  • Ph.D., Newburgh Theological Seminary


  • Elder Law
  • Income Taxation
  • Law and Religion
  • U.S. Taxation of International Transactions
  • Wills and Trusts

Selected Publications


  • ELDER LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (Esquire Books, 2019)
  • TEXAS ELDER LAW, 2018 Edition (ALM Publishing, 2017)
  • TEXAS ELDER LAW, 2017 Edition (ALM Publishing, 2016)
  • CURRENT CONFLICTS IN LAW AND RELIGION (Vandeplas Publishing, 2015)

Law Review Articles

Planning for Incapacity: Helping Clients Prepare for Potential Future Health Crises, 9 ESTATE PLANNING & COMMUNITY PROPERTY LJ 227 (2017).

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 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).

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).