Susan S. Soussan
Full time Attorney-Mediator/Arbitrator since 1995. State Civil District Judge, Harris County, Houston, Texas -1994. Partner, Greenberg Peden Siegmyer Oshman & Soussan, 1977-94; Commercial litigator for 17 years, primarily working with contracts, real estate, banking, partnership disputes, and general business.Dispute Resolution Experience And Training Mediation
6500+ pre and post litigation matters involving all facets of civil, state, federal, domestic and international, litigation since 1990, specializing in complex, high-profile cases (e.g. Exxon Valdez v. Lloyds of London, et al.; Hayes v. Robert Courtney, Eli Lilly and Co. & Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.).
More specifically, mass torts and class action disputes (3,000+ class members) involving millions of dollars in controversy and in final settlement cases, including medical devices, pharmaceutical, toxic tort exposure, oil & gas refinery plant explosions, automobile roll-overs, tire failures, asbestos & silicosis).
Labor and Employment Law: 1000+ cases involving FLSA - individual and 216(b) Collective Action and wage and hour class action claims, Title VII, 1983, ADA, FLSA, non-compete, age, ERISA, TCHRA - settlements in the 5, 6, 7 figure dollar range.
IP: 300+ cases involving patent infringement, trade secret, copyright involving multi-million and multi-billion dollar demands and settlements particularly in fields of technology (hardware & software disputes among all major computer related companies) and energy (tools, pipelines).
Energy/Power Plants: 750+ cases multi-billion and million dollar disputes involving all facets of upstream, midstream & downstream issues, interpretation of Joint Operating Agreements with Areas of Mutual Interest, exploration, gathering, production and marketing of LNG agreements among all world-wide oil and gas/energy companies
Insurance law: 300+ cases involving contract interpretation & bad faith claims; partnership disputes, business separation, real estate, probate, medical & legal malpractice, securities, tax fraud, construction, breach of contract, defamation and personal injury (personal injury matters - 1000+ as a result of mass tort litigation). All demands & settlements in these cases have been in the 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 figure dollar range.Arbitration
Arbitrator (sole, panel member or Chair) in 200+ cases. Representative sample:
- Multi-million dollar claims made by major domestic energy companies who own pipeline systems and entered into a Joint Tariff Agreement. Three Person Panel.
- Contract interpretation re: Shareholder buy-out provision and restrictive covenants. Included breach of contract claims for money owed. Sole Arbitrator. Award Issued.
- FLSA - Off-the-clock issues, misclassification claim. Sole Arbitrator.
- FLSA - State wage claims. Three person panel.
- FLSA - Clause Construction 216(b) Collective Action and/or class action (several arbitrations either sole, member of Panel or Chair of Panel.)
- FLSA - Misclassification claim. Sole Arbitrator.
- Non-compete dispute involving special application in beverage industry. Sole Arbitrator.
- Misclassification claim and overtime. Sole Arbitrator.
- Interpretation of indemnity provisions in a Stock Purchase Agreement between two major Oil and Gas companies. Three person panel.
- Interpretation of Force Majeure clause in a Power Purchase Agreement between the majority owner of an electrical power facility and a minority owner who was to make reservation payments for electrical capacity on a monthly basis in exchange for the availability of a specific amount of electricity. Chair of three person panel.
- Contract dispute between a Health Care Plan Provider and a Pharmacy Benefit Manager involving formularies and rebates. Three person panel.
- Partnership Dissolution including restatement of Capital account. Chair of three person panel.
- Employee of company who signed an Arbitration Agreement which was silent on ability to bring claims as a Class Action. Sole Arbitrator
- Breach of Stock Purchase Agreement between U.S. company and a foreign company. Multi-million dollar claim for lost earn-out opportunities. Three person panel. Award issued.
- Title VII Discrimination Claim. Sole Arbitrator. Award issued.
- Interpretation of contract terms between two major energy companies. Chair of three person panel. Award issued.
- Class Action (3,400 members) brought by former clients of law firm asserting breach of contingent fee agreement and breach of fiduciary duty. Three-member panel. Award issued.
- Multi-billion dollar contract interpretation including intellectual property issues -medical device. Fortune 500 Companies. Three-member panel. Award issued after two week hearing.
- Securities Fraud, Louisiana Blue Sky Violation, Breach of Merger Agreement. Three member panel. Award issued after one week hearing.
- Employment Contract Interpretation. Former owner and president of new company terminated for cause four months into a three year employment contract. Sole Arbitrator. Award Issued.
- Breach of Buy/Sell Agreement involving purchase of trust company by bank/Counterclaim by Seller. Three member panel. Two week hearing. Award issued.
- Theft of trade secrets and breach of contract involving computer software and hardware of car dealer management system; millions of dollars at issue. Three member panel. Award issued after three week hearing.
- Theft of trade secrets/ patent infringement involving products used to measure sulphur content in petroleum based gases. Multi-million dollar claimed value. Three member panel. Award issued.
- Intentional infliction of emotional harm alleged by employee. Sole arbitrator. Award issued.
- Fraud in the Sale of Real Estate: Multi-million dollar claim for failure to disclose existence of potential toxic waste brought by homeowners against major home builder. EPA issues. Sole arbitrator. Award issued.
- Breach of Employment Contract by former employee of major accounting firm. Three member panel. Award issued.
- Breach of various computer hardware and software dealer management agreements/counterclaim DTPA. Three member panels. Awards issued.
- Labor and Employment cases (Title VII). Three and one person panels. Awards issued.
- Product liability involving particular part used in truck. Chair of three member panel. Claim amount in excess of $100 million. Award issued after one week hearing.
- Insurance Coverage. Sole arbitrator. Parties: major oil company and major insurance company. Award Issued. Eight figure demand.
- Construction defect. Sole Arbitrator. Award issued.
Currently serves on the following panels:AAA Commercial Panel
AAA Large Complex Commercial Panel
AAA Labor and Employment Panel
AAA Real Estate Panel
AAA Mediation Panel
International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Panel of Neutrals
CPR Employment Panel (Southwest Region)
CPR Energy Oil & Gas Panel (Southwest Region)
CPR Environmental Panel
CPR Judicial Panel
Umpire in Ike Hurricane appraisal disputes involving commercial and residential properties.Alternative Dispute Resolution Training Speaker: "Arbitration of Personal Injury Cases", Houston Trial Lawyers Association, May 28, 2015
Speaker: "Hearing and Managing the Evidence," American Arbitration Association, June, 2014
Speaker: "Managing A Successful Arbitration", College of Commercial Arbitrators and AAA, November, 2013
Speaker: "Managing Your First Arbitration", College of Commercial Arbitrators and AAA, 2010
AAA University- Chairing An Arbitration Panel: Managing Procedures, 2010
AAA, Efficient ADR-Saving the Client's Money Through Technology and Common Sense, 2010
AAA, ADR Strategies That Save Time and Money, 2010
AAA Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New Arbitrators, 2009
College of Commercial Arbitrators Annual Meeting, 2006-2013
International Academy of Mediators Fall Meeting, 2006-2012
International Academy of Mediators Spring Conference, 2006, 2003
Institute for Transnational Arbitration of the Center for American and International Law Annual Workshop, Arbitral Advocacy, 2004
Association of Attorney-Mediators, Inc., Mediation Training, multiple years.
Professional Associations And Honors One of Houston's 50 Most Influential Women of 2016 by Houston Woman Magazine
2014 Woman on the Move sponsored by Texas Executive Women
State Bar of Texas-Council Member: Alternative Dispute Resolution Section 2011-2014
Texas Mediator Credentialing Association- Credentialed Distinguished
The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (link)
American Arbitration Association
College of Commercial Arbitrators
Institute for Energy Law of The Center for American and International Law
CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution
CPR Employment Panel-Southwest Region
CPR Energy Oil & Gas Panel-Southwest Region
CPR Environmental Panel
CPR US-China Business Mediation Panel
Association of Attorney Mediators, Inc.
Association of Conflict Resolution
American, Texas and Houston Bar Associations, (ADR and Litigation Sections)
The Center for American and International Law (CAIL)
FELLOW: American Bar Foundation
Texas Bar Foundation
Houston Bar Foundation
International Academy of Mediators (IAM)
College of Commercial Arbitrators
American College of Civil Trial Mediators 1997-2000
Texas Super Lawyer (Mediation and Arbitration) – Multiple Years
Houston’s Top Lawyers – Multiple Years
Texas Top Rated Lawyer - 2016
Houstonia Top Lawyer - 2016
H Texas Magazine Houston's Top Women in Business - 2015
College of the State Bar of Texas, Advisory Board of the Southwestern Legal Foundation Institute for Transnational Arbitration, A.A. White Dispute Resolution Institute; Board of Directors, 1994-95, Center for Legal Responsibility; Faculty Advisor- 1994-95, HBA President's Award for Outstanding Service as Chair of the ADR Committee, Recipient of Leadership Houston's Leadership in Action Award, Youth Division for HBA-ADR's Peer Mediation Pilot Project in HISD.Professional Licenses
Admitted to the Bar, Texas, 1977
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1979
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1980
U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
University of Texas, B.A. with Honors, 1974
University of Houston, J.D. 1977, Order of the Barons
PUBLICATIONS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS – (Partial History)
Speaker, "Arbitration of Personal Injury Cases", Sponsored by the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, May 28, 2015; Speaker: "Hearing and Managing the Evidence," American Arbitration Association, June, 2014, Sponsored by the American Bar Association, Washington, DC, 6/2014; Speaker, “Managing a Successful Arbitration,” Sponsored by College of Commercial Arbitrators and American Arbitration Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, 3/2013; Speaker, "Managing Your First Arbitration," Sponsored by College of Commercial Arbitrators and American Arbitration Association, University of Houston Law Center, 11/11; Speaker,"Managing Your First Arbitration,"2011; Panelist, “Ethical Considerations-ADR,” Houston Bar Association-ADR Section, 2/11; Panelist, “Women: The New Glass Ceiling,” 2/11; Speaker, “2010 Arbitration Update,” Annual Meeting-College of Commercial Arbitrators, 10/10; Panelist, “Judges, Elected or Appointed-Which is Better?” American Inns of Court XV (Garland Walker Inn), 3/09; Panelist, “Mediation: Working it all out,” Texas Lawyer Roundtable Series, 12/08; Panelist, “Arbitration: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know,” Texas Lawyer Roundtable Series, 12/08; Speaker, "Mediation Skills-Secrets and Pitfalls," Speaker Series, ConocoPhillips Legal Department, 2008; Speaker, "Energy and the Environment-Good Border Business, Energy Sector Dispute Resolution," XIV Border Energy Forum, San Diego, CA, 2007; Speaker, "Your Chance To Speak Up-The CPR Roundtable," CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Spring Meeting, New Orleans, 2004; Speaker, Annual Advanced Attorney Mediator Training, St. Louis, Missouri, 2003; Speaker, "Mediation in Civil Matters," Speaker Series ConocoPhillips, Legal Department, 2003; Speaker, American Bar Association, Mediation Advocacy Tort Trial & Insurance Practice, 2003; Faculty, Attorney-Mediators Institute, Speaker, The Mediators and Arbitrators, HBA, 9/01, Speaker, Ethical Considerations of Mediation, HBA CLE Seminar 11/01, Speaker, Mediation of Employment Disputes: Strategy and Preparation Tips -TELC Educational Conference and Spring Meeting, Austin, Texas, 1999; Speaker, ADR-Avoiding and Resolving Pitfalls Particular to IP Cases, Second Annual IP Law Conference for Women Corporate Counsel and IP Managers, 10/98; San Diego, California, Speaker, Try to See It My Way: Mediation of Employment Disputes, Advanced Employment Law Course, State Bar of Texas, 12/99 and 1/98; Speaker, Mediating Insurance Disputes: What Not To Do, Texas Insurance Law Symposium, South Texas College of Law, 9/97; Speaker, Mediating the Complex Case & The Exxon Valdez Mediation, Annual HBA ADR Section Seminar, 4/97; Speaker, Mediation/Settlement Techniques Advanced Medical Malpractice, Pharmaceutical / Medical Device Litigation Course, State Bar of Texas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 3/97; Speaker, ADR-When and How to Effectively Use, Southwestern Bell Communications, Inc. Legal Conference, 2/97; Speaker, ADR Overview: Making Mediation/ Arbitration Work for You, HBA, 4/96; Speaker, Mediation, A View from the Bench, Texas Association of Mediators, 3/96.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE - Spanish