Susan Phillips Read joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP in March 2016 as Of Counsel in the firm’s Global Litigation Practice in the Albany and New York City Offices. Before Joining Greenberg Traurig, she served from January 6, 2003 until August 24, 2015 as an Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York. During her tenure on the Court of Appeals, Judge Read authored an even 200 signed majority opinions addressing important issues of employment and labor law, including at-will employment and telecommuting; insurance law, including coverage of mental disabilities; conversion of a not-for-profit insurer to a for-profit corporation; tax law, including the constitutionality of New York’s “convenience of the employer” test; criminal law; and commercial law. She also authored numerous unsigned majority opinions as well as signed dissents addressing such topics as school funding, consequential damages, and the accrual of the statute of limitations in suits against the State.
Judge Read’s majority opinions addressing issues of New York law important to the commercial bar include JMD Holding Corp. v Congress Fin. Corp. (4 NY3d 373 ), which reaffirmed the enforceability of liquidated damages clauses under New York law so long as the amount stipulated is not readily ascertainable or grossly disproportionate to the probable loss reasonably foreseeable at the time of contract execution; Kirschner v KPMG LLP (15 NY3d 446 ), which, in answer to questions posed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Delaware Supreme Court, clarified the standard under New York law for imputing an agent’s fraudulent conduct to its principal in the context of an in pari delicto defense; and ACE Sec. Corp. v DB Structured Prods., Inc. (25 NY3d 581 ), a case involving residential mortgage-backed securities, which held that New York ‘s six-year statute of limitations for investors’ claims for breach of representations and warranties accrues at the point of contract execution, not when a sponsor refuses to cure or repurchase the underlying mortgages.
Prior to Judge Read’s appointment to the Court of Appeals, she served as a Judge of the New York Court of Claims (1998-2003; Presiding Judge, 1999-2003), assigned to the New York City District. Before her appointment to the bench, she practiced law at the Governor’s Counsel’s Office (1995-1997); Bond, Schoeneck and King (1988-1995); the General Electric Company (1977-1988); the State University of New York (1974-1977); and the former United States Atomic Energy Commission (1972-1973).
At the Court of Claims, Judge Read authored hundreds of signed opinions to resolve contract, eminent domain and personal injury actions brought against the State of New York and State-related entities. As Deputy Counsel to Governor George E. Pataki, she was the day-to-day administrator of the Governor’s Counsel’s Office and in-house counsel for the Division of the Budget, and acted as liaison with the Office of the Attorney General. During her 11 years at GE and seven years in private practice at Bond, Schoeneck and King, Judge Read counseled clients on commercial matters and transactions and antitrust compliance; defended clients in grievance arbitrations and discrimination actions; conducted internal investigations; and, while at GE, served for five years as the Company’s chief environmental counsel nationwide, with responsibility for supervising federal and state environmental litigation and negotiations, coordinating with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), representing the Company in federal rulemaking proceedings and rendering compliance advice.
Professional Licenses and Associations
Admitted to the Bar, New York (1974)
Member, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, Rensselaer County Bar Association
Member, AAA Roster of Neutrals (Commercial Disputes)
Director, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 2008-2016 (Chair, 2012-2016); Trustee of Counsel, 2016-present
Trustee, Historical Society of the New York Courts, 2010-Present
Trustee, Williamstown Theater Festival, 2015-Present
B.A., summa cum laude, Ohio Wesleyan University, 1969 (Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board); Distinguished Achievement Award, 2009
J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1972 (Floyd R. Mechem Prize Scholar)
Other Professional Activities
Author of numerous articles on legal topics in legal and general interest publications; recent publications in legal journals include Statutory Resolution, 12 Green Bag2d 85 (2008); Chief Judge John Loughran, 71 Alb. L. Rev. 1071 (2009); Exemplary Law Books of 2015: Five Recommendations, 2016 Green Bag Alm. 173 (2016); Exemplary Legal Writing 2016: Books, 2017 Green Bag Alm. 380 (2017)
Co-Chair, Chief Judge’s Committee on Evidence, charged with compiling a guide to New York’s common law and statutory rules of evidence
Commercial Arbitration Experience
Since joining GT, Judge Read has served as a consultant and an expert witness on New York commercial law in international arbitrations of commercial disputes involving substantial sums of money ($500M plus), conducted under the auspices of the AAA, ICC and LCIA.