Polly Graham Fohn

Practices

Education and Clerkships

J.D., Harvard Law School, 2008, cum laude, Journal on Legislation, Supervising Editor

B.S., Chemistry, Brown University, 2004, magna cum laude, with honors

  • Law Clerk, the Honorable R. Lanier Anderson, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (2008-2009)

Admissions

Texas, 2008

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

Profile

Polly 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.

Named a “Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, from 2013-2019, Polly has achieved victories for her clients even when the odds were stacked against them. For example:

  • Persuaded a court of appeals to stay execution on a multimillion dollar judgment pending appeal even through her client could not post a supersedeas bond.
  • Convinced a trial court to render a take-nothing judgment in the face of an adverse multimillion dollar jury verdict.
  • Obtained an emergency stay within hours of seeking relief from the court of appeals and ultimately went on to achieve mandamus relief for her client.
  • Successfully petitioned an en banc court of appeals to reverse a panel decision and render judgment for her client.

In addition to her work in the courts of appeals, Polly regularly collaborates with trial teams to obtain summary judgment, exclude or protect key expert witnesses, and draft and argue jury charges in high-stakes litigation.

Polly is also an active member of the legal community. She currently serves on the board of the Houston Bar Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Houston Bar Association. She is also the programming co-chair of the ABA Appellate Practice Section and former Editor-in-Chief of The Houston Lawyer magazine. Polly is a regular speaker on recovery of attorneys’ fees, preservation of error and summary judgment practice at State Bar of Texas CLE programs.

Polly gives back to her community as a Young Leader of the United Way of Greater Houston.

Appellate

Courthouse | Haynes and Boone, LLP

Haynes and Boone Secures a String of 9th Circuit Appellate Wins

Haynes and Boone appellate teams secured three wins in cases argued over three consecutive months before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Honors

Super Lawyers

Haynes and Boone Lawyers Selected as Texas Rising Stars 2019

Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2018, published by Thomson Reuters, has recognized 22 Haynes and Boone lawyers as up-and-coming practitioners in the state.

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • “Summary Judgment Practice & Procedure,” speaker, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial Course, San Antonio, Texas, July 17, 2019.
  • “Proving Up Attorneys’ Fees in State and Federal Court,” speaker and author, State Bar of Texas Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course, Houston and San Antonio, Texas, 2019.
  • “Recent Developments in the Award of Attorneys’ Fees,” speaker and author, State Bar of Texas Advanced Evidence and Discovery Course, San Antonio and Dallas, Texas, 2018.
  • “Texas Supreme Court Update,” speaker and author, State Bar of Texas, 34th Annual Litigation Update, January 11, 2018.
  • “Recent Developments in the Award of Attorneys’ Fees,” speaker, Harris County Judges Conference, August 9, 2017.
  • “Recent Developments in the Award of Attorneys’ Fees,” UT Law Conference on State and Federal Appeals, June 2, 2017.
  • “Interlocutory and Permissive Appeals,” moderator, Houston Bar Association’s 2017 Civil-Appellate Bench Bar Conference, Houston, Texas, April 6, 2017.
  • “Proving Up and Appealing Attorneys’ Fees,” speaker, State Bar of Texas’ Women and the Law Section Webinar, November 10, 2016.
  • “Texas Supreme Court Update,” Author, The Advocate’s Best of Litigation Update, Spring 2016.
  • "Texas Supreme Court Update: Focus on Business, Energy and Interesting Cases," presentation to the Association of Corporate Counsel Houston, April 22, 2016.
  • “The Texas Supreme Court: Focus on Business, Energy & Procedure,” panelist, Houston Bar Association Appellate Section Meeting, March 2016.
  • “Spotlight: Teach Texas Committee,” author, The Houston Lawyer, February 2016.
  • 5 Texas Supreme Court Energy Cases to Watch,” co-author, Law360, January 2016.
  • “Recent Developments in the Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees,” speaker and author, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial Course, Houston, 2015.
  • “The Honorable Brett Busby: Supporting the Houston Symphony,” author, The Houston Lawyer, June 2015.
  • “Malcolm Gibson: Sometimes it Takes a Brain Surgeon to Run a Marathon,” author, The Houston Lawyer, June 2015.
  • Texas Supreme Court Update: Focus on Energy, Business & Procedure,” speaker and author, Houston Bar Association, Appellate Section Meeting, January 2015.
  • “Preservation of Error at Trial,” speaker and author, State Bar of Texas Advanced Personal Injury Course, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, 2014.
  • “Surface Access, the Accommodation Doctrine, and Fresh Groundwater,” author, 27th Annual Energy Law Institute, Houston, 2014.
  • "Linda Marshall: The Beauty of Words,” author, The Houston Lawyer, October 2014.
  • “Summary Judgments in Texas,” speaker, State Bar College Summer School Course, Galveston, 2014.
  • "Summary Judgments in Texas," State Bar of Texas Advanced Personal Injury Course, San Antonio, 2013.
  • "Effective Communication," Women Driving Medicine Series, West Houston Medical Center, 2013.
  • "Reasons for Reversal," State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial Course, Houston and San Antonio, 2012.
  • "Appellate Case Update," Houston Bar Association Appellate Section, Houston, 2012.
  • "Fifth Circuit Civil Appellate Update," co-Author, The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Report, Fall 2011, Vol. 24, No. 1.
  • "Texas Supreme Court Update," co-Author, The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Report, Winter 2010, Vol. 23, No. 2.

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