Polly Towill is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office. She is the leader of the Toxic Torts and Products Liability team, and previously served as co-chair of the Global Climate Change team. She is also a member of the firm's Diversity Committee and Latin American team. Ms. Towill was recognized by The Daily Journal editors as one of the "Top Women Litigators."
Areas of Practice
Ms. Towill has extensive experience in litigating complex business issues in state and federal courts. Her varied practice includes representing clients in a number of substantive areas including, toxic tort litigation, products liability matters, commercial transactions, real estate transactions, fraud actions, unfair business practice claims, employment disputes and in performing internal investigations and audits. In addition, Ms. Towill has defended class actions alleging various business torts, unfair competition, false advertising, violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and others. She also has significant experience with government contract litigation, including defending contractors in False Claim Act actions (with parallel criminal proceedings).
Ms. Towill is the former law clerk to United States District Court Judge Manuel L. Real. While with the firm, she also worked as in-house counsel for Northrop Grumman Corporation, where she managed litigation and supervised outside counsel.
Defeated on the eve of trial, a headline-making case spearheaded by Erin Brokovich alleging that client's oil facility caused cancer in Beverly Hills High School students.
Had a primary role in successfully arbitrating the first False Claims Act action decided by two federal judges in a unique baseball arbitration brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice.
Represented owner of a valuable Picasso painting in Nazi stolen art case in action simultaneously pursued in state and federal courts in California and Illinois by private parties and the United States government. After successfully defeating personal jurisdiction in California trial and appellate courts, matter settled after review granted by California Supreme Court.
Achieved a jury verdict on behalf of one of the state's largest commercial printers in a case against another commercial printer, its president and one of its sales people. Client was awarded damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition. A jury also found in favor of client on cross-complaints for slander, libel and interference with prospective business advantage. The case was tried in the Orange County Superior Court.
Represented real estate developer in several actions for fraud and breach of contract involving 100,000 acre ranch located in Central California.
Investigation for Board of Directors of gourmet meal company of compliance with organic food laws.
Ms. Towill has represented such clients as Venoco, Inc., Herbalife International of America, Inc., Consolidated Graphics, Inc., Mattel, Inc., ColorGraphics, Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Systems Company, Dale Poe Development Company and Hughes Aircraft Company.
· Southern California Super Lawyer, 2009
· Named one of the Los Angeles Business Journal's Leading Environmental Lawyers in Los Angeles, 2008
· Named one of the Daily Journal's Top Women Litigators.
· Finalist, Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers In America, Lawdragon Magazine, 2007
· Received an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, highest rating an attorney can receive for legal quality and ethics.
· Member, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Defense Research Institute (DRI)
· Member, U.S.-Mexico Bar Association
· Q&A With Sheppard Mullin's Polly Towill, Law360, July 23, 2009
· Who's Who in L.A. Law, Los Angeles Business Journal, October 6, 2008
· The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32): Raising the Temperature of California Business, California Environmental Insider, March 15, 2008
· The Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32): Raising the Temperature of California Business, California Environmental Insider, November 15, 2007
· Top Women Litigators: Leaps of Faith, Daily Journal, May 10, 2007
· The American Lawyer Recognizes Sheppard Mullin Victory as "Big Suit", The American Lawyer, March 13, 2007
· New Protections That Shift The Balance Toward Companies, California Lawyer, May 30, 2000
· Keeping A Clean House, In-House Counsel, March 18, 2000
· Compound Solutions: California Leads The Way In Regulating Chemicals In Consumer Products, U.S.-Mexico Bar Association Newsletter, April 2009
· Beverly High Appeal, Los Angeles Business Journal, December 11, 2006
· Judge OKs Pursuit of Stolen Art, Daily Journal, January 21, 2005
· Chapters in the Compliance Manual for Health Care Providers to Prevent Fraud and Abuse, sponsored by the California Healthcare Association addressing civil enforcement actions, sanctions and voluntary disclosures
· Enfoque Latino - Spring 2008
· Speaker, "Understanding Products Liability and Recall Law in the United States and Mexico," December 2008
· Speaker, USMBA 2008 Annual Conference, "Investing in the Future of Cross Border Relations: Examining Laws that Bind and Separate Mexico and the United States," November 2008