Profile

The first woman President of the Harvard Law Review, the first woman to run a national Presidential election campaign and the youngest woman to be tenured at Harvard Law School, Susan Estrich has guided and advised her clients through their worst crises. With 20 years of experience in national politics and 30 years as a television commentator, talk radio host, and syndicated columnist, Susan does soup to nuts when her clients need her. She works with PR firms, outside strategists, and political consultants, and builds teams by example. She investigates rumors before they become fires, has long experience with corporate politics and strategic consulting, works closely with public boards and government regulators, and understands the importance of protecting reputation.

Susan has been involved in many high profile appeals across the country. Her clients over the last 35 years include Michael Milken, Equifax, Marvell Technology, USC, Claus von Bulow, McDonalds, Emad Muntasser and Leona Helmsley, as well as many companies that operate internationally and face issues in the United States.

While she began as an appellate lawyer, Susan relishes the challenge of decisive motions in the trial court, free of the time limits and niceties of appellate practice. She has won critical summary judgments and dispositive SLAAP motions; argued an endless number of jury instructions, along with discovery and evidentiary motions. She has become expert in dealing with orders to show cause. She relishes the relationships she develops with judges. She doesn’t believe every case should go to trial, and has settled a wide range of nine- and 10-figure disputes, as well as smaller suits that bring huge reputational risks.

At her previous firm, she created and co-chaired a Crisis Law Group, and invented a practice group to advise companies on matters of sexual harassment and discrimination so as to fix problems before they explode. She trains C-suite executives on how to avoid risk without avoiding the women who need their professional support.

She is loyal and willing to put herself on the line for her clients and friends, including advising and publicly defending President Bill Clinton through the most difficult days of his term, and Roger Ailes when he faced allegations of sexual harassment.

Experience

  • Represented major public and private institutions addressing concerns relating to diversity harassment internal policies and procedures; internal review coordination with CEO and General Counsel
  • Represented Michael Milken in litigation brought by Ronald Perelman; successfully sought removal, transfer to Delaware, dismissal, and affirmance by the Court of Appeals
  • Negotiated separation and retirement agreements for high profile individuals including Roger Ailes and Judge Alex Kozinski
  • Represented USC in remand and appellate proceedings related to alleged copyright and fiduciary duty claims; secured ruling in the Ninth Circuit that plaintiffs could not rely on copyright law to establish ownership
  • Won Summary Judgment for Mattel to put an end to protracted litigation; supervised all briefing for two trials and one appeal
  • Represented TCW in highly publicized dispute with former Chief Investment Officer; handled all communication with media relating to litigation strategy including serving as sole public spokesperson for TCW; argued key motions; prepared CEO for testimony; helped obtain verdicts of trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty and interference with contract against former officer; settled this case
  • Represented Viceroy Hotels in action relating to development in Dubai. Won dismissal of the case
  • Trial and appellate representation in United States v. Muntasser, a tax case arising out of charitable activities of Muslim charity in the 1990s. Secured dismissal of key count, bail hearings and argument, appellate and post-trial advocacy
  • Representing the Home Depot in a hotly contested lawsuit alleging violations of air quality control laws and regulations for volatile organic compounds. This action was filed by a consortium of California district attorney’s offices, the L.A. City Attorney’s Office, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The case raises important statutory interpretation and other issues under California’s regime for imposing daily penalties for alleged violations of environmental laws. Edited all briefs and submissions and advised on communications strategy
  • Handled communications and appellate briefing for Schwab with respect to actions alleging violations of concentration policy in bond funds
  • White Collar Representation in high profile cases against clients including Leona Helmsley and Claus von Bulow

Publications & Presentations

Real Rape (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1987)

The Case For Hillary Clinton (ReganBooks, 2005)

How To Get Into Law School (Riverhead, 2004)

Sex & Power (Riverhead, 2000)

Getting Away With Murder: How Politics Is Destroying the Criminal Justice System (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, March 1998)

Making The Case For Yourself: A Diet Book For Smart Women (Riverhead, January 1998).

Dangerous Offenders (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1985)(With M. Moore, D. McGillis, and W. Spelman)

Politics and the Limits of Law: A Musing for Dean Sullivan, 90 California Law Review 813 (2002)

Reflection: Bridging the Gender Gap, 3 The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues 153 (Spring 2001)

What Went Wrong (Gender, Race, and the Politics of Supreme Court Appointments: The Impact of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Hearings). 65 Southern California Law Review 1393 (1992)

Palm Beach Stories, 11 Law and Philosophy 5 (1992)

Teaching Rape Law, 102 Yale Law Journal 509 (1992)

Sex at Work, 43 Stanford Law Review 813 (1991)

Women, Politics, and the Nineties: The Abortion Debate, 6 New England Journal of Public Policy (1990)

Abortion Politics: Writing for an Audience of One (with K.M. Sullivan), 138 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 119 (1989)

In Memoriam: Judge J. Skelly Wright (with others), 57 George Washington Law Review 1029 (1989)

Rape., 95 Yale Law Journal 1087 (1986)

Syndicated Columnist, Creations Syndicate (1990 - Present)

Legal and Political Commentator under contract to ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News (1990 - 2017)

Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate (ReganBooks, 2006)

Education

  • Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude; Harvard Law Review: President
  • Wellesley College, B.A., Highest honors; Phi Beta Kappa, Durant Scholar
  • Dartmouth College; Twelve College Exchange (Citations for Academic Excellence in Government and Sociology)

Admissions

Bars

  • District of Columbia
  • California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court: Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court: Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court: Southern District of California

Awards and Associations

Named one of the “Most Influential Women Lawyers” by Los Angeles Business Journal, multiple years

Top Woman Lawyer of 2014, Daily Journal

Nelson Rockefeller Fellow, Dartmouth College, April 1999 ("The Sorry State of American Politics")

Inaugural Lectures, Wellesley College/Oxford Press Series, April 8-10, 1996 ("Feminism for Girls and Boys")

Commencement Speaker, Marlborough School, 1995

Commencement Speaker, Wellesley College, 1989

Distinguished Alumni Award, Radcliffe Graduate Alumni Association, 1989

Number 57, Judge Richard Posner's 100 Public Intellectuals of All Time

First Recipient, Susan Estrich Courage Award, Victims Rights Law Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Clerkships

  • Justice John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Hon. J. Skelly Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals: D.C. Circuit