Erica Harris
Partner
Houston Office Phone: (713) 653-7810 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education
  • 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 Kappamagna cum laude, Best Senior Thesis, graduated in 3 years
Judicial Clerkship

Judicial Clerk, Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal, Southern District of Texas

Erica Harris
Partner
“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

I try bet-the-company cases for clients in federal and state courts around the country and in international arbitrations. Whether I am representing a Fortune 50 energy company or an individual seeking justice against such a company, I bring to each case vigor, grit, and a determination to win.  Key to accomplishing that goal is understanding your business, your industry and your history. 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 for success.

“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.

“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 am passionate about trying cases, your desired end result may not be a trial. I will work with you to achieve your goal even when that goal is to end the litigation as quickly as possible. Click here to read more client feedback.

Notable Representations
CURRENT HIGH STAKES LITIGATION
  • I currently represent Chevron U.S.A., Inc. and Chevron Corporation in climate change litigation filed in courts across the nation.  See, e.g., City of Oakland v. BP, PLC, et al, 325 F. Supp. 3d 1017 (2018).
  • I currently represent Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc. in commercial litigation arising out of the 2019 Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC Deer Park Explosion and antitrust litigation against the leading national railroads
PAST WINS
  • I have represented Chevron U.S.A., Inc. and affiliates in numerous other commercial and environmental litigation matters.  See, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Ronald Guajardo, et al, Southern Cause No. 4:17-cv-01549. Click here to read about Temporary Restraining Order entered.
  • I represented KBR, Inc. in a quarter of a billion dollar dispute with Halliburton Co. Click here to read the Law360 article.
  • I represented Poly-America LP in its trademark invalidity action against Stego Industries, L.L.C.  The Court found for my client on its trademark invalidity action, declared the trademark invalid, ordered cancellation of the trademark, and enjoined defendant from initiating or pursuing infringement litigation against my client.  Our opponent appealed its loss, but we won affirmance in the Fifth Circuit. See Poly-America, LP v. Stego Industries, LLC, 694 F. Supp. 2d 600 (N.D. Tex. 2010), aff’d, per curiam (5th Cir. 2012).
  • I represented Cannon Interests-Houston against Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, L.P. on an approximately $15 million dollar breach of contract claim, which settled after my client won three motions in a row.
  • I represented Lyondell-Citgo Refining LP against the state owned Venezuelan oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, SA, and PDVSA-Petroleo, S.A. in a $250 million dollar breach of contract action. The case 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. See 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).
  • I represented Clear Channel Communications, Inc. in a $1.5 billion antitrust action brought by Univision, obtaining both a dismissal of the action in the lower court and affirmance of that decision in the Eleventh Circuit. See Spanish Broadcasting System v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., 376 F. 3d 1065 (11th Cir. 2004).
  • I represented Ace Bermuda Insurance Ltd. against a $150 million dollar breach of contract dispute brought by an insured.  We obtained a winning judgment for defendant after a three week international arbitration.
  • I represented pensioners in an ERISA action brought against RJR Nabisco, Inc. The case settled after we won an appeal before the Fifth Circuit.
Honors and Distinctions
  • Named one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in the United States by Lawdragon magazine (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • “The Best Lawyers of America,” Commercial Litigation (2019, 2020)
  • Named a Litigation Trailblazer by National Law Journal (ALM, 2019)
  • Named a Woman Who Means Business – Outstanding Leader in Law by Houston Business Journal (2019)
  • Top 50 Female Lawyers in Texas,” Texas Super Lawyers magazine (2019, 2018, 2015 Thomson Reuters)
  • AV Preeminent Rating (5.0 out of 5) from Martindale Hubble
  • “The Top 100” for Houston Region, Texas Super Lawyers magazine (Thomson Reuters; 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Recognized on Lawdragon 500’s 2019 list of the country’s Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers (2019)
  • “Texas Super Lawyer,” Law & Politics Magazine (Thomson Reuters; 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • “Top-Rated Lawyers in Intellectual Property Law” by Martindale-Hubbel, 2014
  • “Winning Women,” Texas Lawyer 2014. Click here to view the article
  • “Top Lawyers,” Texas Monthly magazine (2018)
  • “Houston Top Lawyer,” H Texas Magazine, 2008, 2010-2015, 2017
  • “Houston Top Lawyer for the People,” H Texas Magazine, 2008-2010 (publication stopped in 2010)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession, Shortlist (Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: USA 2019)
  • 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, 2017
  • 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
Articles
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd, 5th, and 11th Circuits
  • Federal Circuit
  • 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 Mentor 2010-present, Teach Texas Volunteer 2017)
  • Fort Bend Exchange Club – ACE Award judge (2014-present)
  • ESCAPE Family Resource Center, Inc. (Board Chair 2017-2018) (Vice-Chair 2016-2017) (Executive Committee 2015-2018) (Board 2011-2018)
  • Greater Houston Partnership’s Women’s Business Alliance (Steering Committee 2014) (f.k.a. Women’s Leadership Committee 2012-2014)
  • UT Law CLE, Page Keeton Civil Litigation Conference (Planning Committee 2014, Co-Chair 2015, Senior Co-Chair 2016)
  • Houston Philosophical Society
  • Rafte Partner’s Breakfast Roundtable (2008-2012)
Audio / Videos

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