On the Rise: Sy Polky and Krisina Zuñiga Honored by Texas Lawyer
Houston Associates Sy Polky and Krisina Zuñiga have been recognized by Texas Lawyer as young lawyers who are “On the Rise” as part of the publication’s annual Professional Excellence Awards. Two of only five Associates in the state of Texas that made the list, Polky and Zuñiga are recognized for being lawyers under the age of 40 who have, “wielded influence in their practice areas in Texas and beyond” and demonstrated, “strong leadership qualities, showing expertise in litigation, and committing themselves to pro bono, charitable and professional volunteer work.”
Sy has distinguished himself as a litigator who can handle all stages of a case, is ready to stand up in court, and regularly secures favorable results for his clients. Sy has handled key witnesses and arguments in numerous nine and ten-figure lawsuits and arbitrations and frequently faces off against lawyers who are twice his age with five times his experience. During a 2020 bankruptcy case in the Southern District of Texas, In re Arena Energy, LP, Sy cross-examined the CEO and founder of a publicly traded oil and gas company regarding the company’s effort to challenge the bankruptcy proceeding. At the end of Sy’s cross-examination, the Court declared the company’s conduct “abhorrent” and the company dropped its challenge a few days later. In a recent confidential arbitration, Sy served as counsel to several oil and gas limited partnerships and their owners and defeated a departing partner’s attempt to challenge the valuation process for exiting partners and obtain over $100 million in damages. After significant motion practice and compelling work by Sy, the exiting partner abandoned all claims. In the Marshall v. Marshall litigation pending in multiple courts in Texas and Louisiana, Sy is a key team member who has handled critical arguments, witnesses, and trial and appellate court briefings.
Krisina is a rising star at Susman Godfrey, where in just four years at the firm (and after two federal clerkships), she has tried a case from inception through trial, winning a nearly $40 million judgment; taken critical depositions and elicited key testimony from witnesses; and argued and won major motions in court, including motions that led to favorable settlements for her clients. In a 2020 trial in the Western District of Texas, Diamondback Industries, Inc. v. Repeat Precision, LLC, et al., Krisina presented her client Repeat Precision’s president for an hours-long examination that the Court described as “virtually perfect.” Today, Krisina works on a varied docket that includes multiple patent infringement matters, a putative insurance class action, and several state court contract and fraud-related disputes. In addition to her busy practice, Krisina is active in the Houston legal community and currently serves as a director of both the Houston Bar Foundation and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston. From 2020–2021, Krisina served as the president of the Houston Young Lawyers Association, leading the organization through the pandemic and a significant shift in programming to an award-winning year. Krisina has also been recognized by the American Bar Association as one of the nation’s Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 and by Bloomberg Law as an “Intellectual Property Fresh Face.”