Haynes and Boone, LLP Partners Polly Fohn and Mark Trachtenberg have received Houston Bar Association’s (HBA’s) President’s Awards in recognition of their leadership for the 2018-2019 bar year. They accepted the prestigious award at the HBA Annual Dinner on May 16.
Outstanding Service – The Houston Lawyer
Fohn received the President’s award for Outstanding Service in recognition of her role as editor-in-chief of The Houston Lawyer. There, Fohn works with the HBA staff and a talented board of volunteer lawyers to set editorial priorities for the bi-monthly publication. She also writes columns on topics ranging from reviews of new legal books to profiles of prominent local lawyers.
Fohn has argued to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and Texas appellate courts and has been involved in appeals of some of the largest jury verdicts in Texas since graduating from Harvard Law School in 2008. She served as a clerk for Judge R. Lanier Anderson on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and has spoken at numerous Texas State Bar CLE programs on preservation of error, summary judgment practice and proving up attorneys’ fees.
Earlier this month, a Haynes and Boone appellate team led by Fohn won mandamus relief for a client, TAH Investments, LLC. The team persuaded a Texas appellate court to overturn “death penalty” discovery sanctions against the client.
In February, Fohn was selected to serve as a director of the Houston Bar Foundation (HBF) for 2019-2021. The HBF was established in 1982 as a charitable arm of the Houston Bar Association. The Foundation supports programs that help provide legal representation to the indigent, promote community understanding of the legal system and foster the administration of justice.
Outstanding Service – Appellate Practice Section
Trachtenberg was honored with the President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the HBA as chair of the Appellate Practice Section. This was the first year an award has been presented for the work of section. In his role as chair of the appellate section, Trachtenberg helped organize an exceptional year of quality CLE programming, expanded the section’s social media presence, and helped introduce new Texas appellate and Fifth Circuit judges to the local appellate bar.
As a partner in the firm’s appellate section, he has been involved in many high-profile cases in Texas. He is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Highlights of Trachtenberg’s career include obtaining a summary judgment in a False Claims Act case against a major oil company. The plaintiffs had sought billions of dollars in damages against the company, and Trachtenberg successfully defended the appeal of the take-nothing judgment in the Fifth Circuit. He also prevailed on a special appearance that shielded the firm’s Singaporean client from a potential $500 million judgment.
Trachtenberg is recognized as one of the top 100 lawyers in Houston and one of the top appellate lawyers in Texas by Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters. Ranked in Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners (2019) for appellate law in Texas, sources for the prestigious directory note his “excellent ability to see the broad picture and evaluate appellate issues before they even arise at the trial stage” and for being “very responsive, a superlative writer and a good ideas person.”
Trachtenberg headed the firm’s Houston office as its administrative partner from 2012 to 2018.