Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP Partner Rachel Powitzky Steely has been named among the state's top female litigators by Texas Lawyer in its 2014 "Winning Women" list published this week.
Ms. Steely, an employment trial partner in Gardere's Houston office, was recognized for her role in multiple litigation victories, including for her work in U.S. Zinc Corp. v. U.S. Global Steel Dust. In this matter, Ms. Steely led a team of nine attorneys to successfully defend her client, a startup company, against claims brought by a competitor in an attempt to keep it from building a $20 million facility in Tennessee. This included reviewing 155,000 documents, responding to requests for production within five days, and deposing 13 witnesses in 10 days. A Harris County District Court judge denied in full plaintiff's request for relief and found in favor of Gardere's client.
"The achievements of the honorees named to Texas Lawyer's 'Winning Women' list are inspiring to all lawyers," says Gardere Chair Holland N. O'Neil. "Rachel's dedication to her profession, while juggling the demands of being a working mother with three very active daughters, made her a perfect candidate for this award. We congratulate Rachel on receiving this well-deserved recognition."
In its feature, Texas Lawyer compared Ms. Steely's practice style to that of a firefighter because she handles her client's employment law emergencies "right then." "I like her because she's very client-centric," says Gardere Partner Geoffrey H. Bracken, co-chair of the Firm's litigation department. "She kind of does it all."
Ms. Steely is board certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and her practice involves counseling companies and executives on matters involving expedited injunctive relief, non-competition and non-solicitation covenants, embezzlement, terminations, trade-secret misappropriation, harassment, wage and hour issues, disability laws, discrimination, retaliation, ERISA, safety and OSHA.
First published in 2011, Texas Lawyer's "Winning Women" list highlights leading female attorneys in the state who have achieved significant victories, have a proven track record in high-stakes cases, won large monetary awards, successfully defended against substantial damage claims, handled first-of-their-kind cases, made a substantial change in the practice of law, or claimed a victory in a case that had a national or statewide impact.
The publication received over 150 nominations for inclusion on this year's list, and Ms. Steely was one of only 19 attorneys selected. Ms. Steely and the other attorneys on the "Winning Women" list will be recognized at a luncheon hosted by Texas Lawyer on Oct. 8 in Dallas.