Sylvanus Polky
Associate
Houston Office Phone: (713) 653-7832 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education

Brown University (A.B., magna cum laude, 2009)

Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2015)

Judicial Clerkship

The Honorable David S. Tatel, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Sylvanus Polky
Associate

Recognized as a litigator who is “On the Rise” by Texas Lawyer, Sy Polky represents plaintiffs and defendants in high stakes commercial litigation across the United States.  Since joining Susman Godfrey he has become a respected and sought-after trial lawyer to clients and partners.

In his five years at the firm, Sy has distinguished himself as a trial lawyer who can handle all stages of a case, is ready to stand up in court, and helps secure favorable results for his clients. Sy has handled key witnesses and arguments in numerous nine and ten-figure lawsuits and arbitrations.

Some of Sy’s most noteworthy matters include:

  • Confidential Business Dispute Arbitration, where Sy helped several oil and gas limited partnerships and their owners defeat a departing partner’s effort to challenge the valuation process for departing partners and obtain over $100 million in damages. After significant motion practice, the departing partner abandoned its claims and walked away with zero dollars.
  • Marshall v. Marshall Litigation, litigation pending in multiple courts in Texas and Louisiana, including Texas Probate and District Courts. Sy’s work on the cases includes handling critical arguments and briefing in multiple courts. Recently, Sy examined a key third party witness and secured favorable testimony for his client in a bench trial in Texas state court.
  • Multiple Confidential Energy Arbitrationswhere he recently tried  several nine-figure arbitrations for a major international energy company.
    • In the first, he helped obtain for his client oil and gas interests worth over one hundred million dollars, handling key direct and cross-examinations and delivering part of the closing argument
    • In the second, Sy focused on the technical aspect of the case and played a critical role in eliciting testimony during both direct and cross-examination.
  • Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Purdue Pharma L.P. et al., where he is part of a team that was selected by the City of Baltimore to hold opioid manufacturers, distributors, and prescribers responsible for the damage they have caused the city. In the matter, Sy has argued critical motions against partners from some of the best law firms in the country.

Despite his full docket of cases, Sy makes time to represent the underserved and in need.  He worked pro bono to obtain a successful result for a juvenile immigrant seeking to establish parental rights with his mother.

Sy joined Susman Godfrey after clerking for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Sy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School after serving as Executive Editor to the Harvard Law Review. Before attending law school, Sy worked as a fifth-grade teacher in Houston with Teach for America. Sy graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University.

Honors and Distinctions

On the Rise, Texas Lawyer (2021, ALM)

Executive Editor, Harvard Law Review

Phi Beta Kappa

Articles

Note, The Psychology of Cruelty: Recognizing Grave Mental Harm in American Prisons, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 1250 (2015)

Supreme Court Case Comment, Fernandez v. California, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 241 (2014)

Recent Case, Morrow v. Balaski, 127 Harv. L. Rev. 811 (2013)

Professional Associations and Memberships

State Bar of Maine

State Bar of Texas

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas