Austin firm Graves Dougherty is one of the preeminent firms in
Texas and weaves deftly between banking, finance, trial and
appellate litigation, labor and employment, real estate, corporate
and securities, regulatory, tax and estate planning. The firm won
the Texas Lawyer largest intentional torts verdict in the
state for 2010, helping its client Texas Disposal Systems Landfill
Inc. achieve $25.45 million in damages against Waste Management of
A Judge and His Son-in-Law and a Bunch of
The story of Graves Dougherty begins with what was presumably a
happy marriage, that between Judge Ireland Graves's daughter and J.
Chrys Dougherty. Graves and his son-in-law teamed up to form their
namesake firm in 1946.
The firm has attracted the cream of the crop of Texas law and
politics. Along the way, it has picked up an Assistant U.S.
Attorney General, a Special Assistant Texas Attorney General, a
general counsel to the Governor of Texas, a U.S. Solicitor General
Office member, five U.S. Court of Appeals federal judges and a
president of the Texas State Bar.
No client is too big or too small for Graves Dougherty, which
transitions between individuals and multi-million dollar companies
with ease. The firm draws upon its loyal client base, which it has
built up over decades. Graves Dougherty has represented AT&T
Inc., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., LCRA, Milkshake Media, St.
David's Healthcare Foundation and SXSW Inc.
Chambers USA ranks Graves Dougherty in Energy:
State Regulatory & Litigation (Electricity) Insurance and
Best Lawyers in America names attorneys in areas including
Corporate Law, Energy Law, Commercial
Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Trusts &
Estates, Banking Law and Administrative Law. In
2011, Graves Dougherty had more listed attorneys than any other
firm in Austin and more lawyers listed in Administrative Law
than any other firm in the entire state of Texas. Client and
computer giant Dell Inc. nominated Graves Dougherty as a "Go-To Law
Firm" for Intellectual Property Litigation in American Lawyer
Media's In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies.
Oh Ye of Bad Faith
Graves Dougherty represented the Texas Mutual Insurance company
in the Texas Mutual Insurance Company v. Timothy J.
Ruttiger bad faith lawsuits, in which it won the landmark
verdict that the suits did not hold up under the Texas state
workers' compensation system, overturning a Texas Supreme Court
ruling made 14 years earlier.
Planned Parenthood Appeal
Graves Dougherty represented Planned Parenthood on appeal
against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Texas
Health and Human Services put forth an injunction against Planned
Parenthood, which excluded them from providing preventive health
and family planning services to women without insurance and under
the poverty level. The grounds for the injunction came from a
clause in the Texas Women's Health Program law, which prohibited
funding organizations which perform or promote abortion. Though the
Texas centers themselves did not perform abortions, they were
denied funding by their affiliation with parent Planned Parenthood
Branches which did. On the appeal team was Graves Dougherty lawyer
Pete Schenkkan, father of The O.C. and Southland heartthrob Ben
Stars and TED in Austin
Graves Dougherty boosts Austin's culture by sponsoring and
hosting cultural events like the 2013 Texas Film Hall of Fame
Awards Texas, which honors film and television professionals and
generates proceeds to benefit the Austin Film Society's grants and
educational seminars for up-and-coming filmmakers and TEDxAustin, a
locally and independently organized event in the vein of the
popular TED Talks series.
And They Sing, Too
Graves Dougherty spreads holiday cheer in a more musical manner
than most of its ilk. Every holiday season, the firm forms a choral
troupe known as the Graves Dougherty Singers, which visits
pre-schools, homeless shelters and retirement homes to perform