Ms. Susan M. Freeman
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
201 E. Washington Street, Suite 1200
Suite 1200
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4429

Phone    (602) 262-5756
Fax         (602) 734-3824

Type of Case: Civil
Admitted to practice:
Supreme Court
2nd Circuit, 5th Circuit, 9th Circuit, 10th Circuit

Appellate Experience Ms. Freeman has practiced appellate law for more than 40 years. She has briefed over 300 appeals and argued over 100 of them, primarily in Arizona appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, but also in other jurisdictions across the country. She has briefed and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, as counsel for parties and as counsel for amici curiae. She has been counsel of record in over 150 reported appellate decisions on legal topics ranging from commercial and tort law to ERISA, employment, tax and bankruptcy. She has served as a judge pro tem at the Arizona Court of Appeals, taught Appellate Advocacy as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University School of Law, and served as a faculty member at Appellate Practice Institutes in Arizona and nationally.

Areas of Substantive Expertise and Consultation. Ms. Freeman regularly assists trial counsel with appellate procedural issues, and consults with them on presenting and preserving arguments for appeal. She analyzes trial records and advises clients and trial lawyers on the viability of prospective appeals. Ms. Freeman works with trial counsel to prepare and edit briefs, appellate motions, and to present oral arguments – either by assisting trial counsel with moot courts and practice pointers, or by arguing herself with their preparation assistance.

In addition to her membership (and leadership) in AAAL, Ms. Freeman is a fellow, former director and current officer of the American College of Bankruptcy, and is the only member of both organizations. Ms. Freeman’s unusual combination of appellate and bankruptcy expertise has led her to represent parties in numerous appeals on bankruptcy issues. Her bankruptcy practice focuses on representing all parties in interest in business bankruptcy cases, including debtors-in-possession, secured and unsecured creditors, trustees and committees. She has a sub-specialty in bankruptcy ethics, frequently publishing, speaking, consulting with lawyers and serving as an expert witness on bankruptcy ethics issues.


  • B.A., Mount Holyoke College, 1972 (with distinction)
  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1975 (Root-Tilden Scholar).

Practice Focus:

  • State and federal appeals
  • involvement in over 300 appeals
  • also business bankruptcy practice


  • Co-author of the Civil Appeals chapter of the Arizona Appellate Handbook since its inception in 1976, with bi-annual supplements (the principal appellate resource in Arizona)
  • Multiple seminars for bankruptcy lawyers about bankruptcy appeals, including at the 2013 American Bankruptcy Institute’s Annual Spring Meeting and the 2012 National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
  • Author, "Supreme Court's Hall v. United States Ruling Has Significant Impact," Bloomberg BNA, June 2012
  • Author, "Current Developments in Federal Appellate Practice," The Federal Lawyer, October 2002

Representative Cases:

  • Metzler v. BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 235 Ariz. 141, 329 P.3d 1043 (2014) (pre-judgment interest)
  • Hall v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 1882 (2012) (bankruptcy and tax)
  • Estate of Garner v. Schindler, 215 Ariz. 247, 159 P.3d 557 (App. 2007) (probate)
  • Central Virginia Community College v. Katz, 126 S. Ct. 990 (2006) (amici professors group, sovereign immunity in bankruptcy cases)
  • Hood v. Tennessee Student Assistance Corp., 541 U.S. 440 (2004) (amici professors group, sovereign immunity in bankruptcy cases)
  • Gunnell v. Arizona Public Service Co., 202 Ariz. 388, 46 P.3d 399 (2002) (comparative negligence)
  • Jinro America Inc. v. Secure Invs., 266 F.3d 993 (9th Cir. 2001) (biased expert testimony)
  • Cunningham v. Goettl Air Conditioning, Inc., 194 Ariz. 236, 980 P.2d 489 (1999) (indemnity)
  • Cronin v. Sheldon, 195 Ariz. 531, 991 P.2d 231 (1999) (wrongful termination)
  • United Blood Services v. Quintana, 827 P.2d 509 (Colo. 1992) (blood bank standard of care)
  • Kaiser Steel Corp. v. Pearl Brewing Co., 952 F.2d 1230 (10th Cir. 1991) cert. denied 112 S. Ct. 3015 (1992) (bankruptcy)
  • Oaks of Woodlake III v. Hall, Bayoutree Assoc. 939 F.2d 802 (9th Cir. 1991) (bankruptcy)
  • City of Prescott v. Town of Chino Valley, 166 Ariz. 480, 803 P.2d 891 (1990) (open meeting)
  • Morgan v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 884 F.2d 1211 (9th Cir. 1989) (employment)
  • Gosnell Dev. Corp. v. Arizona Dept of Revenue, 154 Ariz. 539, 744 P.2d 451 (App. 1987) (tax)
  • Lasma Corp. v.Monarch Ins. Co., 159 Ariz. 59, 764 P.2d 1118 (1988) (insurance)
  • Volz v. Coleman Co., 155 Ariz. 567, 748 P.2d 1191 (1987) (punitive damages).

Honors and Awards:

  • Ms. Freeman has an "AV/Preeminent Attorney" rating with Martindale Hubbell. She has been listed since 1989 in Best Lawyers in America in the appellate and bankruptcy categories. Arizona Business Magazine named her one of the Top 100 Attorneys, 2017. She has been named a "Local Litigation Star" in Arizona in the 2014 edition of Benchmark Litigation. In their 2012 inaugural edition and in subsequent editions, Ms. Freeman has been listed as a Top 250 Women in Litigation, one of three women in Arizona to be named. She has received the Mount Holyoke College Achievement Award, and been inducted into the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame. She has been a certified specialist in bankruptcy law by the State Bar of Arizona since 1985. The Arizona State Bar does not certify appellate specialists. Ms. Freeman has been recognized with the John P. Frank Advocate for Justice award for her commitment to pro bono service.

Nature of Firm's Practice:

  • Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP is a full-service regional law firm, with over 250 attorneys practicing in six states in the Western United States. Throughout its history, it’s lawyers have had a reputation for appellate work of the highest caliber. The firm has been counsel of record in 10 United States Supreme Court decisions on the merits – including the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). For more information, visit:

Other Information:

  • Ms. Freeman has actively participated in numerous professional organizations, serving in leadership positions that include: President, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Incoming Chair of American Bar Association Business Bankruptcy Committee, and former chair or co-chair of multiple subcommittees
  • American College of Bankruptcy, Secretary, and former Director and Vice-President
  • National Bankruptcy Conference, member
  • The American Law Institute, member since 1993, Adviser, Restatement of the Law (Third) Restitution and Unjust Enrichment 1997-2010
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures 1998-2001
  • Arizona Supreme Court Judicial Performance Review Conference Team member since 1994
  • Subcommittee Chair, Arizona Judicial Committee Appellate Case Processing Study Committee in 1994-95, and Implementation Committee 1996-98
  • Arizona Appellate Handbook Committee since its inception in 1976
  • Steering committee member and faculty member for the 2000 National Appellate Practice Institute, and faculty member at multiple Arizona Appellate Practice Institutes