Susan Hardie Jacks
Susie Jacks is a trial attorney whose practice focuses on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation, including contingent fee litigation for bankruptcy trustees, companies, and individuals. Susie’s business litigation experience includes civil disputes in a wide range of areas, including real estate and other investment fraud schemes, fiduciary duty litigation, intellectual property, probate, professional malpractice and bankruptcy-based preference and fraudulent conveyance litigation. Susie understands that each dispute is personal and has significant and frequently life-changing consequences.
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.
- Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, A.B. in English, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Susie and her team represented a Liquidating Trustee tasked with pursuing claims arising out of a real estate fraud scheme. The case involved more than 100 institutional lenders and private individuals who loaned or invested $70 million in a Ponzi scheme based on promises of guaranteed returns on private mortgages. The defendants were title companies sued for aiding and abetting the Ponzi perpetrator as well as for fraud and breach of contract in the handling of over 1,200 title transactions. After five years of litigation, two sets of defense counsel, and two appeals, the case settled favorably to the Liquidating Trustee.
In a chapter 11 case filed in Phoenix, Arizona, Susie was lead special counsel to a corporate debtor that manufactured electronic goods. The reorganized debtor pursued claims against a Hong Kong circuit board maker and the debtor’s Alabama-based customer based on allegations of faulty design and manufacture. The case settled favorably for the debtor.
Susie and her colleagues were special counsel to Holcomb Health Care Services, LLC, which filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the Middle District of Tennessee. HHCS had no financial resources to protect valuable intellectual property or to pursue causes of action against former management and other third parties. Susie was part of the trial team that successfully represented the debtor in several lawsuits that went to trial as well as in a contested chapter 11 plan confirmation hearing.
Two of the cases involved a fight over ownership of intellectual property and recovery of fraudulent conveyances of intellectual property made to the company’s former president and his affiliates of the president. Following a week-long trial, the firm obtained a judgment for over $7 million in cash and a declaratory judgment that intellectual property valued at many millions of dollars was property of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate. The court’s opinion is reported at Holcomb Health Care Servs., LLC v. Quart Limited, LLC et al. (In re Holcomb Health Care Servs., LLC), 329 B.R. 622 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 2004). The judgment paved the way for a handsome settlement among the debtor, the defendants, and other parties interested in the development of the intellectual property.
Another related proceeding involved HHCS’s malpractice case against the debtor’s former New York counsel, an international law firm. On the eve of trial, the case settled for a favorable sum to the estate in a confidential settlement
In this corporate chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the chapter 7 trustee engaged Susie to represent him in the prosecution of causes of action against the debtor’s insiders and lenders. This Houston bankruptcy case involved the debtor’s sale and marketing of “predictive dialing” equipment and software sold to dentists and chiropractors with a “money back, guaranteed” promise that the marketing package would increase sales. The trustee sued the lenders who financed the professionals’ purchases of the software and equipment based upon their alleged awareness of the debtor’s scam. Susie and her team secured settlements resulting in cash payments and reduction of claims against the estate totaling more than $2 million.
Susie served as special counsel to the chapter 7 trustees of the bankruptcy estates of a real estate developer and his affiliated companies who perpetrated a Ponzi scheme using straw buyers and promises of “guaranteed returns on investment.” The case involved more than 80 defendants, many of which were early investors in the scheme who received repayment of their capital and handsome returns on investment while other late investors and creditors were unpaid as of the bankruptcy filing date. After years of litigation on procedural issues, the Trustee recovered more than $1 million for the estates. Joseph M. Hill, Trustee of Juliet Homes, LLC et al. v. Alex Oria, et al., Consolidated Adv. No. 09-03429, In the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. See also the decision reported at 2011 WL 6817928 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Dec. 28, 2011).
In her more than 30-year career, Susie has helped her clients resolve disputes in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the nation in a wide array of areas – including real estate and other Ponzi fraud schemes, fiduciary duty litigation, intellectual property, construction, probate, professional malpractice and bankruptcy-based preference and fraudulent conveyance litigation. Whether the client is one person or dozens of individuals, a bankruptcy trustee, a corporation, or trust beneficiaries, Susie brings to each client’s representation a deep understanding of the financial and emotional components of litigation and a commitment to resolving disputes in the most efficient way possible. Susie understands that each dispute is personal and has significant and frequently life-changing consequences.
Susie Jacks grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. As the second of five children, Susie has always “tried harder,” and this ethic has permeated every aspect of Susie’s career and her approach to representing her clients.
At the University of Virginia School of Law, Susie served on the Moot Court Board and was admitted to membership in the Raven Society, an honorary society recognizing contributions to the quality of life at the University of Virginia.
Susie began her legal career with one of the five largest firms in Houston, Texas, where as a member of the firm’s trial section, she represented clients in a wide-range of litigation disputes from probate estate matters to fraud cases to construction litigation. But since the beginning of her career, Susie’s primary focus has been in the area of commercial trial/bankruptcy reorganization and litigation. Susie became certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1994. After eleven years with a big firm, Susie and four of her partners formed their own firm and continued their focus on commercial and bankruptcy litigation.
Susie moved to Denver in 2000 and practiced there until returning to Houston in 2004 to work with a trial firm to focus on complex contingent fee business litigation. During the next 10 years, Susie’s practice focused primarily on the representation of bankruptcy trustees prosecuting claims from ownership of intellectual property to real estate Ponzi schemes.
Susie joined Ogborn Mihm in 2016.
Susie is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Texas, Virginia and Florida. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and various federal courts in Texas and Colorado.
- “What Every Trial Lawyer Should Know About Bankruptcy,” Trial Talk, Vol. 66, Issue 6, Oct/Nov 2017.
- “Stern: Beyond the Esoteric to the Practical,” State Bar of Texas 30th Annual Advanced Business Bankruptcy Course, Houston, Texas (September 2012).
- “Preparing Preference Defenses; Alternative Dispute Resolution,” Association of Insolvency Restructuring Advisors, 30th Annual Bankruptcy & Restructuring Conference, Denver, Colorado (June 2014).
- “How Creative Can You Be in Finding Assets? Thinking Outside the Box,” National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees Annual Convention, Seattle, Washington (September 2006).
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
- Member, American Bankruptcy Institute