In the News

Haynes and Boone Lawyers Widely Recognized in Texas Rising Stars 2014

Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers have followed last year’s strong showing in the Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars directory with an impressive group of 32 firm attorneys that editors have chosen for inclusion in the 2014 edition. Ten of the 32 made their first appearance in the special directory, which recognizes the top up-and-coming lawyers in the state. >>



Recent Publications

The United States Supreme Court Further Cements the Enforceability of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

Recently, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, a third opinion in what is now a trilogy of cases upholding the validity of class action waiver clauses in contracts containing arbitration agreements. >>



Polly Graham

Associate

Houston


1221 McKinney Street
Suite 2100
Houston, Texas 77010
T +1 713.547.2570
F +1 713.547.2600

Areas of Practice

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2008, cum laude, Journal on Legislation, Supervising Editor
  • B.S., Chemistry, Brown University, 2004, magna cum laude, with honors

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2009

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Judicial Clerkships

Law Clerk for Judge R. Lanier Anderson, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Polly Graham

Polly Graham works with trial teams to preserve error and craft innovative and winning legal arguments from before trial through appeal. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Ms. Graham served as a law clerk to Judge R. Lanier Anderson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Today, she draws on that experience to assist clients in both state and federal court.

Ms. Graham has presented oral arguments in state courts of appeals and has drafted appellate briefs to numerous state and federal courts of appeals. At the trial level, she has argued motions, prepared jury charges and drafted dispositive motions, such as motions for summary judgment, judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and new trial. Skilled in trial and appellate procedure, she has developed significant substantive experience in the following areas:

  • Fraudulent inducement
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Breach of partnership duties
  • Slander of title
  • Breach of warranty

Selected Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Summary Judgments in Texas," State Bar of Texas Advanced Personal Injury Course (San Antonio, 2013)
  • Speaker, "Effective Communication," Women Driving Medicine Series, West Houston Medical Center (2013)
  • Speaker, "Reasons for Reversal," State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial Course (Houston and San Antonio, 2012)
  • Speaker, "Appellate Case Update," Houston Bar Association Appellate Section (Houston, 2012)
  • Co-author, "Fifth Circuit Civil Appellate Update," The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Report, Fall 2011, Vol. 24, No. 1.
  • Co-author, "Texas Supreme Court Update," The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Report, Winter 2010, Vol. 23, No. 2.

Honors

  • Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition, 2014

Professional Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition in Appellate (2013)

Professional Leadership

  • Editorial Board Member, The Houston Lawyer (2011-2013) 
  • Young Leader, United Way of Greater Houston (2010-2013)

Selected Representative Experience


Greater Houston Partnership v. Abbott, No. 13-0745 (Tex. 2013, pet. filed)
Represent Greater Houston's chamber of commerce before the Texas Supreme Court in a challenge concerning the release of records under the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA).

Class Action Against Major Refinery (S. Dist. Tex. 2013)
Defeated class certification in lawsuit alleging that owners' property values were diminished by alleged emissions from a refinery and seeking $10 billion in damages.

Jesco Operating, L.P. v. Hess Corporation, 402 S.W.3d 320 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 2013, no pet.)
Successfully defended a take-nothing judgment following a jury trial that defeated a multi-million dollar claim for breach of contract arising out of a pipeline construction dispute.

Settlement of a Trade Secrets Misappropriation Lawsuit
Secured a favorable settlement of a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit in federal district court in North Carolina. Haynes and Boone represented the plaintiff, a technology company headquartered in Houston. On the third day of the jury trial, the defendants, a former plaintiff executive and his new company, announced their consent to an agreed permanent injunction and agreed to dismiss all of their counterclaims, pay all of plaintiff’s damages, surrender their inventory, and pay a portion of plaintiff’s attorney’s fees. The case involved the misappropriation of the formula for a proprietary catalyst used to treat hydrocarbons at refineries worldwide. The former executive claimed to have independently developed the formula after leaving the company, but shortly before trial began the formula was discovered in a spreadsheet that proved defendants’ claim was untrue.

Fazio v. Cypress/GR Houston I, L.P., 403 S.W.3d 390 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied) (en banc)
Persuaded an en banc court to reverse a panel opinion and affirm a take-nothing judgment in favor of a defendant accused of fraudulently inducing the plaintiff to purchase commercial real estate by allegedly failing to disclose material facts regarding the economic condition of the property.

HMC Hotel Properties II, LP v. Keystone-Texas Property Holding Corp., No. 04-10-00620-CV, 2011 WL 5869608 (Tex. App.–San Antonio Nov. 23, 2011, pet. denied)
In an appeal arising out of a commercial real estate dispute, persuaded the San Antonio Court of Appeals (1) to affirm an approximately $50 million judgment in favor of our client, and (2) in a cross-appeal, to reinstate the jury's $7.5 million punitive damages award that the trial court had declined to incorporate into the judgment. Also persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to deny HMC’s petition for review.

LHC Nashua Partnership, LTD v. PDNED Sagamore Nashua, LLC, 659 F.3d 450 (5th Cir. 2011)
Won reversal of a $25.5 million jury award in which the Fifth Circuit vacated the damages for alleged lost profits arising out of a contract concerning the transfer of rights to purchase shopping mall property.

Main v. Royall, 348 S.W.3d 381 (Tex. App.--Dallas 2011, no pet.)
Represented amicus curiae in an interlocutory appeal obtaining reversal of the trial court’s order denying summary judgment on defamation claims against two media defendants regarding the book, Bulldozed: 'Kelo,' Eminent Domain and the American Lust for Land.

Jesco v. Hess, No. 2009-45089 (165th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.) (May 2011)
Assisted trial team in preparing and arguing a jury charge, directed verdict motion, and all post-verdict briefing in the trial of a pipeline construction dispute that resulted in a favorable defense verdict on all claims.

Minnis v. Citrin Holdings, No. 2006-78939 (133rd Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.)
In a real estate partnership dispute, assisted plaintiff's trial counsel with post-trial briefing and formation of judgment issues in connection with the entry of $54.6 million judgment in favor of our client.

Barnes v. Stone Way Limited Partnership, 330 S.W.3d 925 (Tex. App.--Beaumont 2011, no pet.)
In a pro bono representation, obtained reversal of a default judgment evicting a low-income tenant from her apartment by persuading the court of appeals that the trial court abused its discretion in denying the tenant's motion for a new trial.

Westergren v. National Property Holdings, L.P., No. 2008-36847 (269th Dist. Ct., Harris County, Tex.)
Argued jury charge and persuaded the trial court, through a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), to set aside the jury's multi-million dollar verdict and enter a take nothing judgment in a real estate dispute involving claims for breach of contract, fraud and breach of partnership duties.

In the Matter of Asarco L.L.C., 401 Fed. App'x 914 (5th Cir. 2010)
Persuaded the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization, which was challenged by a competing bidder and the company's union.

H. v. C. (S.D. Tex.-Houston Div. 2010)
Won a take-nothing summary judgment to defeat a multi-million dollar claim alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract based on a claim that a joint venture existed between the parties.

HMC Hotel Properties II Ltd. Partnership v. Keystone-Texas Property Holding Corp., No.05-CI-14229 (166th Dist. Ct., Bexar County, Tex.)
In a commercial real estate dispute, assisted trial team with strategy, legal briefing, and preparing and arguing the jury charge in a trial that resulted in a favorable judgment of approximately $50 million.

United States ex rel. Abbott v. BP P.L.C., BP America, Inc., BP Exploration and Production, Inc.
Representation of BP in United States ex rel. Abbott v. BP P.L.C., BP America, Inc., BP Exploration and Production, Inc. (S.D. Tex.), a False Claims Act qui tam suit involving allegations of false certifications of compliance with regulations governing defendants’ offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Online Publications

07/09/2013 - The United States Supreme Court Further Cements the Enforceability of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements
Recently, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, a third opinion in what is now a trilogy of cases upholding the validity of class action waiver clauses in contracts containing arbitration agreements.

03/01/2012 - Vivienne Schiffer: Preserving History through Fact, Fiction, and Film
As seen in The Houston Lawyer, March/April 2012.

01/01/2012 - One Good IDEA Reaches Thousands of Students Across Houston
As seen in The Houston Lawyer, January/February 2012.

11/01/2011 - Review: David & Lee Roy: A Vietnam Story
As seen in The Houston Lawyer, November/December 2011.

09/01/2011 - Fifth Circuit Civil Appellate Update
As seen in The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Report, Fall 2011, Vol. 24, No. 1.

04/01/2011 - Texas Supreme Court Update
As seen in The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Report, Winter 2010, Vol. 23, No. 2.