- Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2005) Graduated first in class
- Harvard University (A.B. in History and Literature, 1999)
Stephen Shackelford rejoined the Susman Godfrey partnership in 2015 after spending three years in-house at the General Electric Company, home of one of the world’s top corporate legal departments. Mr. Shackelford was first elected to the Susman Godfrey partnership in 2010. He left in early 2012 to take a job as Special Counsel to GE’s General Counsel, Brackett Denniston. Mr. Shackelford spent roughly half his time working for Mr. Denniston on litigation work, contributing to the defense of GE in some of GE’s most significant cases. In early 2014, with his stint as Mr. Denniston’s Special Counsel nearing its end, Mr. Shackelford transitioned to a pure litigation role at GE’s largest subsidiary, GE Capital, where he was responsible for managing GE Capital’s defense in some of GE’s biggest litigation exposures.
Mr. Shackelford’s time at GE gave him a deep understanding of the unique challenges of litigating big, complicated cases for a large corporate client. That pairs well with his experiences facing off against large corporations during his earlier time at Susman Godfrey. For instance, Mr. Shackelford won a $178 million jury verdict with firm founder Steve Susman and co-counsel from Fish & Richardson on behalf of three individual plaintiffs against a major Dallas-based corporation, with the case later ending in a confidential settlement while on appeal. He also played a key role in defeating complicated state RICO and other claims related to short-selling brought by a major Canadian corporation against a prominent hedge fund.
As a former high-level corporate in-house lawyer and former entrepreneur, Mr. Shackelford brings the same creativity, clear strategic thinking and intense focus to representations on both the plaintiff and defense sides. He has tried multiple cases with Steve Susman, and has also briefed and argued numerous motions and several appeals, including before the Fifth Circuit, Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court.
Before first joining Susman Godfrey back in 2007, Mr. Shackelford graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School and clerked for then-Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.