Prior BigLaw and In-house Experience
- Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
- Digital Convergence, Inc.
- SoftLayer Technologies, Inc.
- Appspace, Inc.
- NASA (Langley) as an aeronautical engineer
- Angelo State University, B.S. in Physics, magna cum laude
- George Washington University, M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering
- Baylor University School of Law
- Admitted to practice law in Texas and the United States Patent and Trademark Office
- Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern Districts of Texas and the Federal Circuit
As a former General Counsel, Suzy is a jack-of-all trades, but her primary practice areas are technology, cloud computing contracts and issues, and all things intellectual property related (except for patent prosecution). Although she is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, she discovered that patent prosecution had the tendency to make her doze off, so she sticks with trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, licensing, patent protection advice, etc., but leaves the prosecution to others.
Suzy is a native Texan, but as an Air Force brat, she moved around some until her dad, who had traveled the world, decided that of all of the places in the world, San Angelo, Texas was the place to retire. So she was there from 4th grade through undergrad and considers San Angelo to be “where she is from”.
She never meant to be a lawyer and started off with a Physics degree in undergraduate and then got accepted into a master’s degree program that was a joint one between George Washington University and NASA, Langley in Hampton, Virginia. Her master’s thesis involved a supersonic wind tunnel test of a generic missile configuration where the angle-of-attack and sweep of the wings was changed. After completing her degree in aeronautical engineering, she started working at NASA as an aeronautical engineer, where she was surrounded by truly brilliant people – it actually was rocket science! Suzy started on her Ph.D at University of Texas at Austin while still working for NASA, but turned to law after NASA reorganized and her group got their supersonic wind tunnel taken away from them and were moved into a group that had a more theoretical focus.
Suzy came back to Texas and went to law school at Baylor. After graduating, she accepted a position at Gardere & Wynne, where she met her current partner, Lee Grable. Following Gardere, she got a broad range of experience working for a patent boutique, a dot-com startup and a med-mal defense firm.
She recently served as General Counsel at what was at the time the largest private hosting company in the world, SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. In her role as General Counsel, Suzy started the legal department and had global responsibility for the company’s legal needs, ranging from general corporate and business planning to compliance and to protecting intellectual property assets, managing issues related to employee benefits, executive compensation, health and welfare plans, retirement plans, and health law, negotiating real estate leases, and overseeing litigation as it arose. She was responsible for all legal aspects related to the company’s expansion into the international markets of the Netherlands and Singapore, including immigration, corporate structure, real estate, employment issues, intellectual property protection and compliance.
Suzy is half-Japanese (although she still has not figured out which half), and has been involved in various national and local Asian bar associations. She also serves as general counsel and community adviser to the DFW chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (yes, Chinese – she is not Chinese. It’s a long story), a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. Suzy was named one of the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Corporate Counsel in November 2010, and as a finalist for the prestigious Magna Stella Award, which honors outstanding in-house counsel.
She is married to Joe, who was in the same master’s degree program, but they did not get married until 13 years after they met, and according to Suzy didn’t really date in the interim (again, another long story). She has two children, Kyle and Katie, who love polar bears, cheetahs, soccer, baseball/softball, karate, gum, Legos…. and consequently, Suzy loves these things, too – well, not so much the gum, or actually the baseball/softball, which is, truthfully, rather difficult to watch at this stage and seems to drag on forever. (Note to opposing counsel: Her children seem to be the only people on earth who have been able to make her crack and drive her insane, and for the very low price of college tuition, will be happy to share their secrets). The family also includes Sunny, a Vizsla- something mutt, and two cats, Limerick, aka Ricky, and Tipper. Tipper has unfortunately decimated the lizard population in their backyard.
Suzy was asked by Lee and Shauna Martin to join their firm, which focuses on providing top-notch, practical, business oriented legal advice to clients. It was an offer she couldn’t refuse, and she’s having fun building something cool and innovative – Grable Martin Fulton PLLC!