December 29, 2011
Although I was generally familiar with Steve and Susman Godfrey through my involvement with major litigation, and their general reputation for excellence in the legal community, I did not meet Steve and his team until my involvement with the Chrysler bankruptcy.
In Chrysler, I served initially as co-chair of the Unsecured Creditors Committee, and was then appointed as Litigation Manager for the estate in their action against Daimler. In that capacity, I interviewed several firms interested in representing Chrysler in this billion dollar litigation, and although there were several quality presentations, it was clear that Susman Godfrey was the best choice in terms of their ability to quickly grasp the intricacies of what was a very complicated commercial scenario involving over forty different transactions, and to propose a comprehensive litigation plan within a relatively short period of time.
Once hired, I continued to work closely with the firm, reviewing all of their work, and participating in weekly conference calls that evaluated the status of all aspects of the case and set milestones as the case progressed. Throughout the case, I was impressed by the skill and insight demonstrated by all members of the litigation team working on the case, the quality of the work produced, and their ability to effectively manage litigation that could have quickly become unwieldy.
I also attended all of the court hearings associated with the case, and had the opportunity to participate in preparation for the hearings, and to observe oral argument. The excellence they had demonstrated throughout the case was similarly reflected in their performance in court. If you are looking for a bright, innovative and hard-working litigation team to handle major litigation, I would give Susman Godfrey my unqualified recommendation. It has been a pleasure working with them.
Brayton Purcell L.L.P.
ALAN N. GREENSPAN
November 29, 2011
To whom it may concern:
When Steve Susman and Stephen Shackelford showed up to our arbitration, it was obvious that we had picked the right lawyers. Both of them had spent the weeks leading up to the trial tirelessly preparing themselves and us. They both knew the case inside and out, and had anticipated every eventuality. Steve Susman’s cross-examination of the primary adverse witness was masterful. We don’t have a result yet, but win or lose, I am sure that Steve Susman gave us the very best opportunity to win. We are very pleased and certainly understand why Steve is considered one of the finest trial lawyers in the country.
Alan N. Greenspan
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
February 28, 2009
To Whom it may concern
I want to take this opportunity to give my strongest recommendations for the law firm of Susman Godfrey.
My name is Gregory Handschuh and I was previously senior vice president and general counsel for Platform Solutions Inc. and prior to that, vice president and general counsel for Amdahl Corporation from which Platform Solutions had been spun. Platform Solutions was a small start-up company that found itself in major patent and antitrust litigation with IBM. This was, in every sense of the word, “bet your company” litigation. PSI was fortunate enough to have retained Susman Godfrey as its lead counsel. Working with Steve Susman and the firm’s other lawyers in New York and Los Angeles, PSI was able to craft both a defense as well as assert counterclaims which ultimately enabled a settlement of the law suit. I was most impressed, not only with the firm’s ability to grasp the technical issues that were unique to the case, but also to effectively manage the related administrative complexities associated with document identification and production and the retention of experts related to a patent and antitrust case, and also to coordinate and and manage the efforts of a subsidiary law firm brought in to assist with the case. In addition, as a start up, PSI’s ability to financially sustain the burden of litigation at a time when its normal business operations were on hold was under constant and extreme stress. We were fortunate enough to be working with a firm that was flexible enough in its billing and fee arrangements to enable us to sustain this burden without compromising the defense and prosecution of the law suit.
I unhesitatingly recommend Susman Godfrey to anyone faced with the prospect of major litigation. Susman Godfrey is a first rate law firm with first rate lawyers.
February 27, 2009
I want to repeat myself. Win, loose, or draw, I want to thank you and your firm for a magnificent job.
The work you did the way you did it, the way you managed the effort, was as good as it gets.
In the courtroom, it was a total mismatch.
Steve, my Dad is smiling.
RUSSELL M. FRANKEL
February 21, 2008
When legal expertise including litigation is needed to solve a problem, I strongly recommend the firm of Susman Godfrey LLP. The firm recently represented me in a dispute involving complex contractual, legal and financial issues. Instead of taking years to conclude, Susman Godfrey helped me to achieve a settlement that exceeded all my goals and did it in a timely manner. Furthermore, both parties resolved their conflicts in a civil and respectful manner.
Susman Godfrey’s expertise and professionalism were critical to the outcome. Legal and economic issues were quickly grasped, analyzed and understood by the litigation team. Emotions were diffused. My needs were handled promptly and supportively. As closure approached, the firm’s assessments and recommendations were clear, and I was well advised by the firm in making good decisions for me. My confidence in the team never wavered.
Litigation is never pleasant. However, should it become necessary, I am certain Susman Godfrey will provide the very best representation possible.
Russell M. Frankel
23900 LECCO (ITALY) — VIA LEONARDO DA VINCI, 15
Avv. Alberto Bonaiti AC/ac Lecco, 12 December 2006
Avv. Antonio Corti
Avv. Silvia Braga
Avv. Daniele Baccomo
Avv. Falvia Cognola
Avv. Christian Malighetti
Dott. Angelo Di Santo
Dott. EIisabetta Pozzi
Dott. Fabio Tucci
Dott. Andrea Sala
Mr. Eric MAYER
SUSMAN GODFREY L.L.P,
Attorneys at Law
Houston, TX 77002-5096
A client of our (Italian) law firm, had been sued in Houston, Texas, in a very important ex parte proceeding, leaving us really short time to find counsel there and to plan a defensive strategy.
We heard of the high reputation of Susman and Godfrey LLP, Houston, TX, and so we did contact partner Mr. Eric Mayer, for his experience in unfair competition issues and, particularly, in litigation.
We immediately perceived that it was a good choice.
We established from the beginning a very frank and friendly working relationship with him, and we had a huge personal support and a very high professional counseling.
In fact, in spite of the great geographic distance, we have been in a position to work with him at a high pace and with effectiveness.
Professionally, it has been a privilege to work with him and we will certainly advise Mr Mayer for any litigation issues.
Avvocato Antonio Corti
Studio Legale Bonaiti e Associati — Lecco (Italy)
TEL. (+39) 0341/363448 FAX (+39) 0341/285545 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
C.F. E PARTITA IVA 02665890139
October 26, 2006
Katherine Treistman has represented my company on several matters, and I have been impressed by her practicality, effectiveness, and smarts. She is easy to work with and efficient in the use and management of both firm talent (associates) and local counsel. Unlike lots of so-called “litigators” who are too risk averse to actually try a case, Katherine is at ease in the courtroom, and has the well-honed litigation skills to back us up in a fight if we need it. She is a winner.
General Counsel, North America
590 Madison Avenue
Tel: (212) 317-6000
Fax: (212) 317-6047
25 April 2006
To Whom It May Concern:
Since 2001, Equitas has assigned 6 major litigation matters to Susman Godfrey. With one exception, they are all successfully resolved. In no case was a trial necessary. That was a bit of a disappointment to the SG lawyers. They love to try cases. That is precisely why they did not have to.
The retention of Susman Godfrey sends an unmistakable signal that the principles in dispute are important and worthy of the most vigorous advocacy. Counterparties understand that when SG is retained, it is no longer business as usual.
I mentioned that there was one matter that was not resolved. It is still pending and I have every confidence in SG’s ability to bring it to a successful conclusion. That case will likely be the only one of the six that proceeds to trial. We are entirely comfortable with the possibility that SG may need to defend our rights in the courtroom. After all, that is exactly why we hired them.
Glenn E. Brace
33 St Mary Axe
13 April 2006
Steve Susman, Esq.
Thank you and Susman Godfrey for all you have accomplished in Sky Technologies v. IBM.
IBM has the largest patent portfolio and is the most powerful company in the technology industry. They are the acknowledged masters of intellectual property, they have virtually unlimited resources, and they don’t lose infringement and misappropriation cases. It is truly a noteworthy accomplishment that Susman Godfrey has beat them at their own game.
Of course, their licensing my technology and inventions is a wonderful vindication for me personally. Beyond that, the outcome of this case sends a loud and clear message that intellectual property for software, even in the hands of a sole inventor, cannot be ignored without serious consequences. Every inventor endures years of struggle and sacrifice, holding on to the belief that all the hard work will make a difference. You deserve not only my gratitude for this victory, but also the thanks of all software entrepreneurs and inventors for shifting the balance of power for software innovation so noticeably.
I also want to acknowledge the dedication and professionalism of your colleagues, especially Max Tribble, Brian Melton, Lexie White and Cyndi Casseaux. They faced a steady onslaught from IBM, and not only held their own, but also consistently pushed the line in our favor. Aside from their incredibly hard work and impressive brilliance in the legal aspects of the case, they also showed admirable curiosity and perseverance in the technical aspects of software. I could not thank them adequately without also acknowledging their patience, diplomacy and good humor in respecting my inventor’s perspective on the world.
Thank you for taking this case in the face of daunting historical odds, and for helping so much to validate my work. I look forward to working with you in the future.
398 Columbus Avenue,
November 3, 2004
Stephen D. Susman, Esq.
Susman Godfrey LLP
I would like to congratulate you and your staff for the excellent work done in our cases and express our appreciation of your outstanding representation.
You law firm demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and skill, not to mention an exceptional talent for the law. One seldom sees such a radiant personality and vibrant intelligence encased in a small group of litigators. Our cases were conducted in a persuasive and artful manner. It was pleasure having Susman Godfrey as our counsel.
We wish you all the best.
José G. Díaz Tejera
Assistant Secretary of Justice
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Department of Justice
Office of Monopolistic Affairs
November 3, 2004
Via Fax: 713-654-3351
Stephen D. Susman, Esq.
Susman Godfrey LLP
Toronto Dominion (Texas), Inc. et al.
vs. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
We look forward to working with you to implement the Memorandum of Understanding, but I wanted to take a moment to say “Thank You” for what you have already achieved. Our sincere thanks to you, and to Marc Seltzer, Larry Vincent, Katherine Treistman, and your other attorneys and staff for achieving a very good outcome for all of the plaintiffs in the PwC litigation.
Frankly, all of the plaintiffs were looking forward to the trial. We would truly have enjoyed watching you and your team in the court, and I think we stood to potentially achieve a solid win over PwC. Nonetheless, with a surprisingly well-heeled jury panel and difficult reliance and other arguments for many of the plaintiffs, there was a wide range of possible outcomes and I think that everyone should be very happy with where we ended up. I believe that the settlement came very close to the maximum that PwC would ever be willing to pay without going to trial and was amazingly close to what you predicted almost two years ago.
We have all gained professionally from working with all of you and have personally very much enjoyed working with each of you. I’m not sure that we can ever see another litigation on the horizon, but if the opportunity presents itself we would both be pleased to work with you all again.
Thank you again and when your travels next bring you to New York, we would be most pleased to catch up.
Peter S. Spielman
18 Gardiner Street
Darien CT 06820-5109
Off Tel/Fax: 203.202.9035
September 18, 2003
To Whom It May Concern:
I am pleased to enthusiastically recommend the services of Susman Godfrey LLP as legal counsel in connection with litigation matters. Steve Susman, Mark Wawro and their team of professionals and staff were extraordinary, particularly in the areas of trial preparation and organization, witness preparation and trial execution. We could not have been represented by a finer firm or by more qualified and capable attorneys.
Feel free to contact me at (404) 266-8333 if you desire a more comprehensive reference.
Robert S. Prather, Jr.
President & CEO
Bull Run Corporation
4370 Peachtree Road, N.E.
To Whom it May Concern:
I am grateful for the opportunity to write this letter recommending the law firm of Susman, Godfrey. Cavalry Investments, LLC retained Susman, Godfrey to represent Cavalry as plaintiff in a breach of contract case and to date has worked with them for a period of nearly two years culminating in a jury trial in July, 2003.
Susman’s performance (and the jury award!) surpassed every expectation. Cavalry has been represented by some of the largest and best-known firms in the United States and none of them have provided the same levels of experience, skill, effort and results that we got from Susman, Godfrey.
I would recommend Susman, Godfrey without reservation to anyone who is interested in exceptional representation. Litigation does not always have a certain outcome but Susman, Godfrey’s hard work, skill, and attention to every detail can tip the odds in your favor!
Alfred J. Brothers, Jr.
Sr. Executive Vice President
October 12, 2001
Mr. Steve Susman
I am writing to you to thank you and your firm for representing Access Telecom in our anti-trust litigation against MCI Worldcom, SBC, and Telefonos de Mexico.
Your firm thoroughly proved its ability to take a piece of complicated international litigation from start to finish. At every moment during the process, I felt that I received insightful analysis from a set of incredibly efficient attorneys.
I have hired many firms to advise me of various aspects of the law. Susman Godfrey stands out as a firm where the well-known senior partners interact with the associates to create a fantastic team. While the firm may have built it reputation with the success of the senior members, I would gladly let any of the firms associates represent my needs. They are superbly qualified.
I would gladly serve as a reference to any potential client that would like to speak with me.
1507 Rockmoor Ave.
May 29, 2001
To Whom It May Concern:
Hughes retained Steve Susman last year to defend the Company in a hotly contested, multi-billion dollar fraud arbitration before a panel of three arbitrators — a former United States Attorney General and two retired Federal Circuit Judges. The arbitration concluded last week. While we have no decision yet, this should not detract from my assessment of his and his associates’ performance. They were magnificent.
Steve Susman combines an intensity of focus and purpose, great courtroom presence and the very best skills of an accomplished trial lawyer. He is up to date in his use of technology, which he also uses to keep the client informed at every stage of the proceedings.
Lawyering with Susman Godfrey is a most gratifying experience.
John J. Higgins
Acting General Counsel
DIRECTV Latin America
Hughes Network Systems
P.O. Box 956,
2000 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
March 1, 2001
Dear Trial Team:
Thanks to all of you for a job obviously well done.
Harry & Steve: I thought the mediation went very well. You both did a great job. While I am gushing, I want to let you and all the trial team know that Harry did an exceptional job handling a tough project. After having worked this case since August 1996, I know just how tough our opposition can be. Steve, you have brought Harry along very well and your fatherly pride in his accomplishments as an attorney are well justified. Harry, I am amazed at the amount and quality of the work you produced during this case. Simply a great job!
Elizabeth & Frank: I also want particularly to thank Elizabeth, who has been our savior in getting the MSJ overturned at the 5th Circuit, and has provided key support since the remand. Finally, I want to thank my friend Frank Piez for his diligent work on the details of case management. Frank probably knows this case better than any of the rest of us. We three worked many long days and nights on this case. Thank you.
Clyde R. “Skip” McCormick
Law Office of Clyde R. McCormick
P. O. Box 790091
San Antonio, TX
Telephone: (210) 340-5630
Facsimile: (210) 340-5876
March 1, 2001
I second everything Skip said — what a great effort. I am still shocked that they folded at mediation and I commend Brad and everyone for hanging in there for five years!
Soules & Wallace
Frost Bank Tower,
100 West Houston Street
San Antonio TX
Telephone: (210) 299-5484
Telefax: (210) 224-7073
December 15, 1999
Dear Steve, Neal, Trey, Erica, Harry, David, Mike, and Billy,
How do I begin? First, I must write to each of you. You are each one of you an independent, intelligent person and yet you all work together like some marvelous, high-powered machine. You had to be high-powered, very smart and have remarkable stamina to do what you did in four months when we had been in our case for almost seven years.
Steve, you said to me early on, “What you and your sister need is a gladiator to go to court and wage your war for you.” And that is exactly what you did. When Judge Nichols, before the trail began, indeed at a time when we thought we might never get to trial, allowed three of the opposing attorneys and only you, Steve, into his conference room, I became upset. I said, “Here we go again; they are going to bully us again.” Immediately, Trey said to me, “Don’t worry, Florence, having Steve in there is live having four guys representing you.”
Trey, you must be some kind of financial genius. Not only because of how you prepared David Gaston for his several days on the stand — direct examination by you and crossed by Matty’s attorneys — but you discovered many of Matty’s convoluted financial schemes by which he was draining Centra and its related companies.
Your cross-examination of their “expert” witness was certainly a watershed toward the end of the trial.
Harry, you were brilliant from the beginning. There wasn’t a fact or law or rebuttal to be found that you didn’t find. Your heart and soul were in the case. When the other side would be trying to pass one of their many lies to the judge and jury, you would be up on the feet waiving a document for a law book or arguing the point yourself. You were there as I left the stand to correct, to counsel and to encourage.
You were so amazing, Mike. You knew the case so well. You knew which documents Steve, Neal, Trey or Harry needed before they asked. Several times you shocked the other side with documents — of their own — that they either didn’t know existed or had forgotten about and hoped that everyone else had also. At every meal we shared, you and Billy participated in the battle discussions and the strategy that was planned.
Billy, I don’t know when you slept. When Dick and I were turning out our light in the room at the Residence Inn, you and Mike were still working in the documents room across the hall. When we opened our door at 6!5 a.m., you and Mike were already there, packing up all those boxes and exhibits and loading them up for the trip to the courthouse. The Oakland County Courthouse powers-that-be should have given you both some kind of award for moving the whole case and setting up in so many different courtrooms. You gave us a lot of support, Billy, through the whole case, but especially during my time on the stand. It was great to have you smiling and handing me documents and cups of water while I was being questioned.
David, you are Steve’s secret weapon. You are an organizational genius. Your overseeing of the Susman Godfrey “Road Show” — all the computers, electronic equipment, boxes of supplies, audio-visual machines, food, rooms, travel and all the other areas for which you were responsible — was done so well, and so cheerfully and thoughtfully.
We wish you could have stayed with us, Erica, through the whole trial. I was impressed by all your fine work leading up to and in the early part of the trial. We missed your insight, your thoroughness and that instinctive empathy that you had for my sister and me. You could understand the frustration and degradation that Victoria and I felt at the treatment we had received for so long.
Neal, you said we would work hard and we did. You said I would be ready for what I had to do and I was. You said you would do every thing to help me and you did. You said we would have fun and we did. You are an amazing attorney — but most of all — you are a wonder husband, devoted father (I remember watching you as you listened so attentively to the speaker at the lecture about societal pressures on teenage girls) and a valued friend.
Steve and Neal, when we first met that Sunday this past May, I would not have believed that you could have accomplished what you did. From the day my father died in 1992, we had been in a legal battle that was eating up our lives and our resources. You believed in us and our cause. You moved to Pontiac, Michigan to help us in our fight for fairness and justice. You gave us our lives back. Thank you. May God bless you all and those whom you love.
66 Colonial Road
Grosse Pointe Shores,
26 June 1995
This letter is written as a recommendation to anyone desirous of the best legal representation money can buy! As I’ve said to countless audiences worldwide in my Quantum Leap talks ‘Litigation As a Business Tool’, “any fee is too great for a loss and almost none is too great for a victory”. You and your firm personify this axiom. You are an extremely bright and gifted lawyer. Your preparation was flawless! Your execution superb!
It’s been twenty months since we pummeled the Philistines back into humiliation in Judge Ray’s Court in Houston, Texas. I have had plenty of time to reflect on the merits of the case, lawyers moralities and principles involved. I write this letter being a battle tested litigant on both sides of the Atlantic who is used to winning at any cost. A CEO and individual that has sued or been sued over 200 times. A man that has been represented by purportedly the finest lawyers anywhere. This letter would be too long to mention more than a few law firms that have represented me over the last twenty years, i.e. Williams & Connolly, O’Melveny & Myers, Baker Botts and Richards Butler in the U.K.
Knowing you and your lovely wife Karen socially didn’t affect our professional relationship one iota. You were crass when you had to be and almost delicate when you thought it absolutely necessary. You conducted yourself as a consummate professional at all times during the long and sometimes extremely difficult seven week trial. As you knew I was fighting not for merely the millions the jury verdict awarded me, but my financial net worth (if the nine figures that they sued for was awarded) and more importantly my financial reputation and integrity, which had no price.
As you may or may not know, I asked Cyrus Marter, your noble associate, on many occasions, are you sure Steve can get up to speed on such short notice? Your caseload was astronomical. I was amazed, even stunned at times, to see that you assimilated and thoroughly digested down to the most minuscule of detail everything of any importance. For this attention to detail I will always be in your debt. Of course, I paid you handsomely so I feel no guilt and certainly no obligation to write this letter. Again I paid for what I received — Unqualified victory!
The purpose of this letter is to unabashedly recommend you and your colleagues, Neal Manne and Cyrus Marter IV (also known as Skip).
Although much junior, let me address my admiration for Skip first and leave Neal Manne for last. After all Neal did close our case to the jury in a manner not unlike a Spencer Tracy Academy Award performance.
As you know for months I set up camp in your Houston office. Without Skip’s attention to detail and your office staff, I can’t imagine what agony I would have gone through during our 18-month ordeal. Although I’ve called Skip the Columbo of Susman Godfrey, as you know I can’t recommend Skip for early partnership status strongly enough. He is as fine a Senior Associate as I’ve ever encountered. He puts most partners at large law firms to shame. Skip represents the soul of your successful firm and without soul, your firm would have nothing! It is this soul that has brought me back again to thwart the jackals of Bank One. I look forward to crossing swords with the swine that assisted Great Western Resources, the company I founded, in ousting me as Chairman.
This letter could not be complete without Neal Manne, the self anointed Renaissance Man of Susman Godfrey. Though lacking in any humanitarian qualities, he possesses a gift that few lawyers really have. He is able to transcend his personal feelings, or lack there of, for his client. He is able to perform in spite of what he thinks. And perhaps his greatest attribute is his ability to think on his feet and deliver with poignancy and overwhelming power the belief in the “rights of man” to a jury. Though Neal’s personal manifestations suggest a different code, he overcame this to deliver a closing argument akin to Lord Lawrence Olivier in Hamlet. There was hardly a dry eye in the Courtroom. I’m sure my upcoming trilogy will quote Neal profusely.
Notwithstanding the flattery above, you as a team thought I had no chance to prevail. On Many occasions you all voiced this notion, as preposterous as I knew it was! And on a couple of occasions you wrote to make sure I knew I was paying and fighting probably for naught. And it is for this very reason that I decided to write this letter of the highest recommendation. You see, Steve, I will be fifty in a few weeks and after 20 months it has become clearer to me that when a set of lawyers fight their hearts out on a case that they believe has little or no chance this is the real measure of representation. At no time did you ever give up. When I told you I didn’t care what you thought about my chances and we would fight to the death no matter what the cost to me, you merely dug down deep and persevered. It’s only now I understand that you had reason for concern that you wouldn’t get paid when the Court effectively tied up my assets in a constructive trust. Of course, as usual I was undaunted by the lack of money to pay you or anyone else and just went to the whip. During all this you, Neal and Skip fought on like crusaders being promised additional lands back home, but never being sure King Richard the Lionheart would survive to bequeath them to you or if there was any land to bequeath.
It is for these later reasons I write with the greatest conviction that anyone that wants the very best chance of winning in a courtroom shoot-out must hire Steve (Wyatt Earp) Susman, Neal (Doc Holiday) Manne and Skip (Virgil Earp) Marter as their advocates. Retaining any less is tantamount to a death wish! God’s speed and I look forward to seeing you in Court!
To Your Quantum Leap.
Daniel S. Pena, Sr.
Telephone: Friockheim 0241 828691
P.S. I will miss your uncouth remarks at my 50th Birthday roasting in August.
June 30, 1995
How do I begin to write a letter of recommendation? It is presumptuous of anyone as unfamiliar with the courtroom craft as I to address the matter with a mantle of authority.
I am, however, well acquainted with certain attributes, which it pleases me to address:
Integrity — Steve Susman makes his promises, convictions, doubts and opinions very clear, unencumbered with legalese or the all too familiar cant of those seeking to avoid responsibility. He never fails to do what he says he will. And he does it on time.
Intellect — Steve Susman is possessed of an extraordinary legal mind, the strategic vision of a field marshall, and the instincts of a street fighter.
Passion — Steve Susman bristles with passion, and is able to articulate it with an admixture of rage and reason, compassion and cogency that makes me believe he must be related to Demosthenes.
Compatibility, Congeniality and Commitment — The Susman Family and the Benevento Family fought a war together back to back. During the final battle, we were entrapped in the bowels of lower Manhattan for nearly three weeks, taking on an enemy with unlimited resources. Karen was consistently at my side, with suggestions and encouragement. Our evenings always were together, often with Steve’s daughter Stacy, his son Harry, and my son Frank. How proud we both were to see Harry and Frank sitting together in the courtroom, through good days and bad. Regardless of the outcome, we knew we had won what really counted.
My principal witness was a Wall Street investment banker from a world Steve Susman probably never knew, Old New York. They got along wonderfully. Indeed, my witness believes Steve Susman is the only lawyer to have in litigation period.
Steve’s greatest challenge may have been that he took over my case after the “litigation” department of a major Wall Street firm had managed it for six years. As you might expect, egos were involved. Incredibly, I had learned only after years of seemingly endless and purposeless depositions and paper shuffling that my “litigators” had never been in a jury trial! Notwithstanding that, they relished the idea of getting their feet wet on a high profile case — my case. In retrospect, Susman’s firm could have gotten me to the same place for a quarter the cost, would have chosen a better forum (my “litigators” had selected one that required a unanimous jury; I’m not kidding), and probably could have elicited a settlement years earlier.
Colleagues — Steve Susman was supported by his partner Neal Manne, who, if it is possible, is every bit as formidable as Steve. As did Karen Susman, Neal’s wife Nancy McGregor traveled from Houston to provide support, spark, and occasional condolence. Indeed, if Neal has an equal at cross-examination, no one in the courtroom could recall such a person. Wendy McKnight was a legal assistant who was at all times the calmest and most organized and efficient person in the courtroom. During Steve’s presentations, Wendy and he worked as Astaire and Rogers. Steve’s improvisations were accomplished with seamlessly choreographed exhibits and graphics. I learned that the team of Susman, Manne and McKnight never has lost a case. I am sure that record will stand.
During my experience with Steve, I dubbed him the “Epitomal American”. The foregoing comments hopefully explain why this moniker is so appropriate.
Frank A. Benevento II
Benevento Financial Group Incorporated
100 Worth Avenue
Telephone: (407) 820-8854
Fax: (407) 820-8809
Two Wisconsin Circle,
Telephone: (301) 656-0881
Fax: (301) 986-5672
June 1, 1992
Now that our trial with Whittaker has ended with a settlement offer which is very acceptable, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to you and your associates for a superb effort.
The problems we experienced with the coating material we purchased through the years from the Whittaker Corporation we now know were caused by defective material and the cost to repair the damage to our customers furniture and woodwork and more importantly to our reputation was and is substantial — to the extent that in my judgment it threatened the future existence of our company. We originally engaged another large major law firm to pursue what I had anticipated to be a clear cut case of misrepresentation and violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. After more than a year I was shocked to learn that they did not believe we had even a chance of prevailing in a law suit much less obtaining an adequate settlement. I then contacted you and from the first day we met to discus this case I have never regretted the decision to engage Susman Godfrey to represent us.
Your analyzation of the situation was penetrating and unambiguous, your firm’s handling of the case was aggressive and efficient. The individuals with whom we have worked were among the most intelligent and industrious I have met. Eric Fryar and Ken McNeal were second to none in their meticulous and analyzation and preparation of our case and most important, your performance in the courtroom made the opposing attorneys appear unprepared and inept.
Should we again find ourselves in the circumstances where we will require representation in a lawsuit (hopefully this will not occur) there will be no question regarding whom we will choose to represent us. Many thanks again for helping me through a very difficult situation.
With best regards
Very truly yours,
Raymond D. Brochstein
11530 Main Street
April 3, 1991 (Our 74th Year)
Thank you for the request to share my thoughts on your handling of our suit against Enterprise Laredo Associates and others.
As you will recall, I called on you after the suit was filed. Our local counsel is well qualified, but with such high stakes, it made sense to seek out a firm with broad experience in business litigation. I interviewed you at the suggestion of several business friends in Laredo.
The suit centered around the fact that, for some thirteen years, our landlord had overcharged the common area maintenance charges due under our shopping center lease. It was (and is) important to us, both because substantial money was involved and because of the basic principles at stake. After trial, of course, we received a judgment for treble damages, totaling over $3.3 million.
The case is now on appeal, and we expect to keep winning. In the meantime, I am pleased to state that several facts have made a favorable impression on me:
- You worked well with our local counsel.
- You presented our case in understandable terms.
- You successfully argued what were obviously complex legal principles.
- You were well prepared.
- You won the respect of the court.
- You prevailed at trial.
Your successes in this trial will have immeasurable positive effects on our company for the next twenty years. This letter cannot express our satisfaction with the performance of yourself, your staff, and your office.
At the same time, I came to have a new friend in Houston.
HACHAR INDUSTRIES, INC.
GEORGE L. HACHAR, SR.
P.O. BOX 1579
CONVENT AT FARRAGUT
August 24, 1992
To Whom It May Concern:
Picker hired the Susman Godfrey law firm because of Steve Susman. We were then defendants in a lawsuit for over one year which had escalated to a $1.5 billion antitrust allegation. We were concerned with the progress and proposed tactics of our long-term, outside legal counsel, one of the largest in the U.S. We sought the best antitrust attorneys in the U.S.; Steve was contacted and agreed to help us.
Susman Godfrey entered our case with slightly more than six months to trial date. In a short period of time, Steve and his team were able to assimilate technical and business history spanning ten years.
My first exposure to Steve Susman was in the middle of my sixteen-hour video deposition by the plaintiff’s attorney. Until that time, our depositions had been guarded and tentative. Our original legal counsel had cautioned us and we behaved defensively and appeared unsure of our position. After Steve’s involvement, the tenor of my deposition as well as others’ changed to a much more confident, aggressive stance. Steve’s presence and guidance helped us understand and recognize the firm ground from the quicksand.
Because of personal involvement and business responsibility, I was Picker’s corporate representative in federal court. During the five-week trial and one-week jury deliberation, I had the opportunity to work with Steve and his team in court and during the long evening hours of preparation. I observed first-hand the talent, leadership, organizational skills and unrelenting hard work which characterize this law firm.
The highlights of the trial were many, but three stand out and were, in my opinion, pivotal. The first was Steve’s cross examination of the plaintiff’s antitrust expert. He utterly destroyed the expert’s credibility and testimony. The second element was Steve’s preparation and effective, direct examination of Picker’s expert. The third highlight was Steve’s organization of complex testimony. The jury was able to understand and retain the relevant facts from over one thousand exhibits.
Steve’s closing was very effective and consistent with his style extremely forceful in an understandable and more importantly, believable manner. The jury’s verdict was very favorable for Picker. We were vindicated on all antitrust accounts.
I would not hesitate to use Susman Godfrey again if the need arose, or to recommend it as an outstanding firm.
William J. Webb
Executive Vice President
Picker International, Inc.
595 Miner Road
Telephone: (216) 473-5575
March 21, 1991
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Steve Susman and I first met in Houston, Texas, in December 1988 after my company had been served with a complex lawsuit by one of our ex-distributors claiming breach of contract, along with many other charges of a very serious nature. The amount of damages claimed was not specified, but it was abundantly clear that this was a multimillion dollar action.
At the time of our meeting, I was looking for the toughest, most successful trial lawyer in Texas, and following a few minutes of preliminary dialogue, I knew I had found my man in Steve Susman.
From that point in time, I put myself completely in his hands, because it was clear from the beginning that there could be only one team leader in this situation and that would be Susman. I never, at any time, during the following two years had occasion to regret or even question this decision. Steve took total responsibility and command of the situation and led us through an extremely grueling and tough two-year period involving numerous depositions and production of documents. Throughout this time I got to know Steve quite well, and my admiration for the quality of his work and his tenacity in seeking out the facts and the unadulterated truth just kept increasing.
However, it was during the actual trial that I truly observed the master at work. Steve handled every witness with great skill, extracting from them, sometimes under relentless pressure, good, solid, factual testimony. I saw the jurors follow his every move in that courtroom listening intently to his penetrating examination of the witnesses, both friendly and hostile. His final argument before the jury had them literally sitting on the edge of their seats, and I personally had to restrain myself from standing up to applaud.
Steve was with me–totally engrossed in this lawsuit from day one–sharing with me those agonizing days, hours and minutes watching anxiously for the jury to return their verdict. Neither of us ever lost faith in our case or each other throughout the entire two-year period, right up to the moment when we hugged each other with joy after the jury delivered an extremely favorable verdict for us, and to crown it all, it came on Saint Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1991.
To sum up, let me say this: If my company is ever again involved in a lawsuit of this significance, no matter where it is in North America, the first person I will call without hesitation is Steve Susman. You see, Steve is my kind of lawyer.
Inter-City Products Corporation
1136 HEIL-QUALKER BOULEVARD
POST OFFICE BOX 3005
November 20, 1992
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Sunrise Systems, Inc. hired the Susman Godfrey law firm because of the outstanding reputation of Steve Susman, his colleagues, and the firm’s support organization. Each element performed up to, or exceeded the very high expectations we hoped for in this case. Although his partners Richard Drubel and Ophelia Camina had been involved in preparing the case for trial, Mr. Susman entered our case slightly more than one week before the trial date. In that short period of time, Steve was able to assimilate technical information involving the laptop computer at issue and business history spanning several years.
I was Sunrise’s corporate representative in the federal court trial. During the three-week trial, I had the opportunity to work with Steve and his team in court and during the long evening hours of preparation. I observed first-hand the talent, leadership, organizational skills and unrelenting hard work which characterize this law firm. Attention to detail is the underlying ingredient that made our position both understood and accepted by the jury.
The highlights of the trial were many, but three stand out and were, in my opinion, pivotal. The first was Steve’s cross-examination of the defendant’s lead witness. He utterly destroyed his credibility and testimony. The second element was Steve’s preparation and effective, direct examination of Sunrise’s lead witness. The third highlight was Steve’s closing argument. The jury was able to understand and retain the relevant facts from Steve’s summation of the three weeks of testimony and over one thousand exhibits. The jury themselves later commented that Steve’s closing had “put it together for them”.
The jury’s verdict was very favorable for Sunrise. The jury found for Sunrise on both the breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and awarded Sunrise the entire amount of damages we requested, over $13 million. We could not have reached his result without Steve Susman and his focused attention to detail, organization and effective presentation.
C. Jackson Pfeffer
THE MANAGEMENT TEAM
12720 HILLCREST ROAD,
TELEPHONE: (214) 404-1586
FACSIMILE: (214) 490-9061
February 19, 1997
Re:Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Texas Instruments
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Not every lawsuit is won. Even those won do not always leave us winners. Be a winner. Hire Steve Susman.
Steve defended Texas Instruments in a lawsuit filed by the electronics giant Samsung in Fort Bend County, Texas. He won the lawsuit and made TI a winner. TI was a winner for two reasons. First, although Samsung sued TI for over $600 million, it ended up losing that claim and agreeing to pay TI over $1 billion. Secondly, the case was filed, litigated and tried before a jury in the space of only seven months.
The latter achievement I consider to be the more significant. The Susman Godfrey firm is a textbook example of efficient litigation. It is efficient because the firm has young aggressive lawyers who have been taught to waste no time on nonessential issues, unnecessary discovery disputes or procedural swamps. Faster is cheaper. While the firm’s billing rates are as high as most other excellent firms, the overall cost was much lower than TI has experienced in other similar lawsuits.
If you have to try a case, why not enjoy the experience? Steve is a veteran trial lawyer whose energy level and enthusiasm for winning will not leave you chewing your nails at night. He is a delight to work with in the heat of battle, and has an awesome courtroom presence.
Very truly yours,
Jay C. Johnson
Vice President Corporate Staff
and General Litigation Counsel
Texas Instruments Incorporated
Post Office Box 655474
Dallas, Texas 75265
13500 North Central Expressway
Dallas, Texas 75243