Dax S. Cowart slipped into heaven from his home, the evening of April 28, 2019. Dax celebrated 33 years as a Texas Trial Lawyer, and as a Patient Right’s Advocate. He had his own Texas law practice, worked with Bob Hilliard at Hilliard and Munoz, in Corpus Christi; was a trial skills teacher at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College, in Dubois, Wyo.; was of counsel for Samantha Berryessa, Attorney At Law; and participated as trial counsel and advised strategy for many other attorneys.
Dax enjoyed sailing with friends in Texas, and farming avocados in California with his wife. He was also a member of the VFW Post 1924, in Fallbrook, Calif. Dax wrote books, poetry and participated in film documentaries and recordings surrounding his work.
Dax was born in Harlingen, Texas, on Dec. 16, 1947, where his father Thomas Ray Cowart and mother Ada Bernice Cowart, raised Santa Gertudis cattle. Later, because of a drought, his family moved from South Texas to Henderson, where Dax grew up.
Dax attended Texas A&I University and enjoyed being a Delta Tau Delta member. He was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, achieving a BBA in finance; Texas Tech University, School of Law, in Lubbuck, where he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence; and was a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College.
Dax enjoyed being a trial lawyer. As injured as Dax was, it was the closest occupation he could achieve, to being a pilot, bull and bronc rider and playing football with his beloved Henderson Lions. Dax was also a Vietnam War Veteran. He flew C-141’s with the United States Air Force, while serving our country.
Dax Cowart had a selfless commitment to educating the medical and legal community on patient rights to autonomy. This life’s work arose out of a life changing explosion caused by leaking propane from an underground pipeline in East Texas. Dax lost his father in the explosion. Dax was severely burned, lost both eyes, his fingers were amputated, and his hearing was profoundly damaged. Dax was forcibly treated for 14 months when he requested only that doctors alleviate his pain, so that he could die from the severe injuries. In this regard, when lecturing, Dax’s recited a favorite quote from Chief Justice William Brandies “...the right to be left alone, the most comprehensive of all rights, and the right most valued by civilized man.”
Dax’s work has been chronicled in many films, books, newspapers and articles.
Links to some of his work are: A Tribute to Dax Cowart by William J. Winslade, PhD, JD, http:// www.bioethics.net/2019/05/a-tribute-for-dax-cowart-1947-2019; Please Let Me Die, http:// medhum.med.nyu.edu/view/10105; Dax’s Story, https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=WAQHuaua4W0, and many other books, films, writings and auditory recordings.
Dax is survived by his widow, Samantha Berryessa Cowart, his sister Elizabeth (Beth) Roach, his brother James Cowart, his Goddaughter, Kerri L. DeSersa, his tribally adopted brother, Charles Abourezk, along with many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Dax died of leukemia and cancer. He died a brave and courageous man as well as a loving, trusting man. He fought all his life to live as a free man. It was Dax’s request that his own Life, be his Memorial, and that no memorial services be held.
Gifts in Dax’s memory may be made to Trial Lawyers College (TLC) in Wyoming toward the education of disabled trial lawyers and for veterans who are trial lawyers. Gifts can be made at: http://www.triallawyerscollege.org/support-tlc. The address for the college is: 1623 Central Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001, or folks can call (307) 432-4042 and give a donation in Dax’s memory.