Erica W. Harris
"Ms. Harris is the best damn lawyer in Houston . . . . Erica knew more about natural gas contracts one month into the case than the suing parties [that] had been using the contracts for 10+ years."
— Patrick A. Locke, III, Cannon Interests
Your case is unique. The facts of every case are different, and the facts matter. I do not shy away from difficult tasks. Understanding your business, your industry and your history is important. I do not gloss over nuances in the law or details in the evidence. I will understand everything about your case and apply the law to your unique facts to put you in the best position to win.
"What a huge difference a great lawyer makes! Erica took over the defense eight weeks before trial. She analyzed our situation, clearly explained our options, and expertly laid out the likely outcomes of each of the many strategic decisions facing our board in this very fluid and time compressed case. In just five weeks, Erica put the case in a position to be tried and enabled me and my board to make the best decisions for our company."
— Cinta Putra, CEO, Everbridge, Inc.
You deserve the truth. I will not tell you everything is rosy if it isn’t. Nor will I paint the world with a black brush. I will communicate clearly my best assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You will know what to expect and understand the advantages and disadvantages to every decision you make.
"In 2009 our business was blindsided with an unexpected lawsuit, . . . Erica Harris and Shawn Raymond. . . engaged the suing parties head on and in good faith. In less than sixty days the lawsuit was unconditionally dismissed and never went to trial!"
— Rodney Stephenson, President, Trinity Retail Construction
Your case is not the only thing happening in your business or your life. I understand that while I love to try cases, you may not want to go to trial. The cost of litigation can be devastating. I will work with you to achieve your goal even when your goal is to end the litigation as quickly as possible.
"To observe Erica in a courtroom setting is an opportunity to watch genius at work. . . . if trial is the only option, Erica's meticulously thorough preparation for trial is very comforting and calming for the business executive involved in ‘bet the company’ litigation. You always have the feeling that she has it all under control."
— Dave Spray, President, Tax Export Advisors, Inc.
You need a trial lawyer, not a discovery litigator, for trial. All litigation before trial will be focused on what matters at trial. I will distill your case into language that is easily understood and present the story of your case fluidly. Most importantly, I will reveal the truth through cross-examination of the other sides’ witnesses. The ability to cross-examine effectively is a skill not every lawyer has. Click here to read a recent examination I did at trial of an adverse party's president.
The University of Texas, JD, high honors, Vice Chancellor (second in class), Order of the Coif, Associate Editor, Texas Law Review
Rice University, BA, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, Best Senior Thesis, graduated in 3 years
Judicial Clerk, Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal, Southern District of Texas
- AV Preeminent Rating (5.0 out of 5) from Martindale Hubble
- "Texas Super Lawyer," Texas Monthly, 2013
- "Houston Top Lawyer," H Texas Magazine, 2008, 2010-2012
- "Houston Top Lawyer for the People," H Texas Magazine, 2008-2010 (publication stopped in 2010)
- Olin Fellow, Visiting Lecturer in Law, University of Virginia School of Law, 1997-1998
- Elected to Executive Committee in 2007
- Chair of Employment Committee, 2004-2005
- Chair of the Practice Committee, 2006, 2010
- One of Three Partners in Charge of Practice for the Nationwide Firm, 2009, 2011
- Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
- Life Fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation
- Strathmore's Who's Who, 2010
- Working on the Clock: The Advantages of Timed Trials, The Texas Lawyer
- Employers Beware: Layoffs May Result in Theft of Information, Houston Business Journal
- Changing Times Bring New Threats to Houston Commerce, Houston Business Journal
- Discovering Fraud Post-Confirmation: Is there recourse after 180 days?, ABA Commercial & Business Litigation Newsletter
- Multiple Parties: Alliances, Traps and Tactics, The Jury Trial 2009, The University of Houston Law Foundation CLE
- Business and Commercial Litigation Update, State Bar of Texas
- The Regulation of Managed Care: Conquering Individualism and Cynicism in America, Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law
- Corporate Restructuring, Technical Change and the Distribution of Labor Income, The Macrofoundations of Economic Growth
- Controlled Impairments Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Search for the Meaning of "Disability," Washington Law Review
- Is Age Discrimination Really Age Discrimination?: The ADEA's Unnatural Solution, New York University Law Review
- In Defense of Targeted ERIPs: Understanding the Interaction of Life-Cycle Employment and Early Retirement Incentive Plans, Texas Law Review
- How the State Judiciary Can Increase Professionalism Within the Bar, Harris County Civil Judicial Conference
- OMG! Text me, Please!, Rantings of a Partner . . . and Pushback from the Associate, American Bar Association (2011)
- Poly-America LP v. Stego Industries, L.L.C. Lead counsel for plaintiff in this trademark invalidity action. Result: Court found for plaintiff on its trademark invalidity action, declared the trademark invalid, ordered cancellation of the trademark, and enjoined defendant from initiating or pursuing infringement litigation against plaintiff or its customers, dealers, agents or employees based on the federally registered trademark or any claimed common law rights related thereto. Stego appealed its loss in the district court. After hearing oral argument, the Fifth Circuit affirmed.
- Cannon Interests-Houston v. Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, L.P. Lead counsel for plaintiff in this approximately $15 million dollar breach of contract claim. Result: Won three motions in a row prompting a favorable settlement.
- Lyondell-Citgo Refining LP v. Petroleos de Venezuela, SA and PDVSA-Petroleo, S.A. Counsel for plaintiff in this $250 million dollar breach of contract action. Result: Settled after we obtained an adverse inference against the defendants for refusing to produce documents and while plaintiff's motion for summary judgment was pending.
- Spanish Broadcasting Systems, Inc. v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc. and Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation. Counsel for defendant in this $1.5 billion antitrust action. Result: Obtained both a dismissal of the action in the lower court and affirmance of that decision in the Eleventh Circuit.
- DeGeorge v. Residential Funding Corporation. Counsel for plaintiff in this financial fraud case. Result: Settled on remand after winning reversal from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals of a $96 million judgment against our client.Wyeth v. Ace Bermuda Insurance Ltd. Counsel for defendant in this $150 million dollar breach of contract dispute. Result: Obtained winning judgment for defendant after three week international arbitration.
- Bussian et al v. RJR Nabisco, Inc. Counsel for pensioners in this ERISA action. Result: Settled after winning appeal before Fifth Circuit.
- Luna v. Poly-America, Inc. Lead counsel for defendant in this wrongful termination case. Result: Win in the district court and again before the Texas Supreme Court.
- Dalton v. Maroon Bells. Counsel for plaintiff in this executive compensation dispute. Result: Settled immediately after opening statement at trial.
- Anne Butler Leonard, et al. v. Ida Jo Butler Moran, et al. Counsel for defendants in this shareholder oppression case. Result: Settled shortly after we won a motion to transfer venue.
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd, 5th and 11th Circuits
- Southern, Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
- State of New York and State of Texas
- American Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Fifth Circuit Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association (Professionalism Committee)
- ESCAPE Family Resource Center, Inc. (Board of Directors)
- Greater Houston Partnership's Women's Leadership Committee (Member and Steering Committee)
- Houston Philosophical Society
- Rafte Partner's Breakfast Roundtable (2008-2012)
- Poly-America, LP v. Stego Industries, LLC, 694 F. Supp. 2d 600 (N.D. Tex. 2010), aff'd, per curiam (5th Cir. 2012).
- Dahl, et al. v. Bain Capital Partners, LLC, 589 F. Supp. 2d 112 (D. Mass. 2008)
- In re Poly-America, LP, 262 SW 3d 337 (Tex. 2008)
- Lyondell-CITGO Refining, LP v. Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. and PDVSA-Petroleo, S.A., 2004 WL 2698218 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 19, 2004)
- Spanish Broadcasting System v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., 376 F. 3d 1065 (11th Cir. 2004)
- Residential Funding Corp. v. DeGeorge Financial Corp., 306 F. 3d 99 (2nd Cir. 2002)
Oral Argument before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, on behalf of Poly-America, LP, June 6, 2012
Negotiation Tips for Women, clip from a speech before the National Business Women's Luncheon, November 16, 2011