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Polly Estes served for more than a decade as a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, both within the court’s motions unit and as the Chief Law Clerk to the Hon. Carlos T. Bea. In those roles, she gained perspective on the Ninth Circuit from every angle, as the positions required that she work, at one point or another, with virtually every judge on the court. That unique experience gives Polly extraordinary insight into how the Ninth Circuit’s judges think, what questions they want answered, and how to tailor arguments so they have the best chance of success.
Over the course of nearly a dozen years with the court, Polly participated in all aspects of the appellate process, including writs, emergency motions, drafting bench and en banc memoranda, opinions, dissents, orders, and memorandum dispositions. She handled appeals of every type, from class actions to nationwide business disputes; Sherman and Lanham Act claims to administrative challenges; section 1983 civil rights suits to criminal appeals and habeas corpus petitions.
In addition to working for courts, Polly spent six years working for two prominent national law firms, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, and Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenfeld (now Dentons). While with those firms, Polly handled a number of appeals, and was often brought in when another firm lost at trial. She won nearly every appeal. She also stepped in to handle amicus briefs in appellate courts around the country for the firms’ clients with interests at stake.
Polly worked her way through college and law school, earning a B.S., with honors, from the University of Colorado, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. She is admitted to practice in both California and Texas, and she also has Texas state court appellate experience, having served as a law clerk on the Texas Court of Appeals and as an extern at the Texas Supreme Court.