Susan has earned a reputation as a hard working and talented trial lawyer. Since 1995 she has been certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association, a distinction achieved by less than one percent of women lawyers in Minnesota. Martindale-Hubbell, the most respected legal directory in the legal community, gave Susan an AV Preeminent 5.0 Rating, its highest rating for professional skills and integrity. She is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an elite organization of accomplished trial attorneys whose qualifications require demonstrated significant courtroom skill and experience, high personal character, and an honorable ethical reputation.
Recently Susan was inducted into the International Society of Barristers, an honor society of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by peers based on a rigorous screening process that considers the lawyer's ability, experience, accomplishments and ethical standards as assessed by trial lawyers and judges. She has also received peer recognition many times as a Leading Minnesota Attorney, Top 40 Personal Injury Lawyer, Top 100 super Lawyer and Top 50 Women Super Lawyer, and is recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America.
In addition to her successful trial practice, in 2008 Susan was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice to chair the Special Master Panel in the specially created compensation process for survivors of the I-35W bridge collapse. Her responsibilities included designing and implementing a claims process, completing hearings and damages determinations in 179 claims, and deciding a fair distribution of the $36.64 million appropriated by the legislature to compensate survivors of that disaster.
Susan's career has included extensive involvement in law related organizations and bar associations, including leadership as president of the Minnesota State Bar Association (2005-2006) and president of the Hennepin County Bar Association (1999-2000). She serves on the American Bar Association's House of Delegates as well as the boards of a variety of other professional associations and community organizations including non-profits in the Twin Cities and in northern Minnesota where she grew up.
Susan has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions which include 2011 Law In Public Service Honor Roll Award from the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, 2009 Fidelis Apparitor Award from the College of St. Benedict, 2009 Professional Excellence Award from the Minnesota State Bar Association, 2008 Outstanding Service to the Profession Award from Minnesota Lawyer, 2008 President's Award from the Minnesota State Bar Association, 2007 Superior Service Award from Northwest Minnesota Legal Services, 2006 Distinguished Alumna Award from William Mitchell College of Law, 2006 Member of the Year Award from Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, 2006 David Graven Public Service Award from the MSBA and 2005 Attorney of the Year Award from Minnesota Lawyer.
Susan is admitted to practice in the Minnesota State and Federal Courts, the Federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. She is also a frequent author and lecturer in the areas of trial practice, substantive law, and ethical leadership in the profession.