Susan practices in the areas of water rights law, environmental law, and administrative law. She assists clients in developing and securing water supplies and water rights. She also represents clients before the State Office of Administrative Hearings and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in contested case hearings concerning water rights and in judicial appeals of those administrative decisions.

Prior to joining Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta in 2001, Susan was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Barefoot Sanders, United States District Court, Northern District of Texas. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Susan graduated from Marquette University before moving to Texas to serve in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She worked for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston where she headed the agency’s immigration legal assistance program.

Representative Experience

Susan has assisted various city clients, water districts, and river authority clients in matters relating to water management and strategic planning, and the acquisition and amendment of groundwater and surface water rights. Her experience includes representing clients on these and related matters before the TCEQ, groundwater conservation districts, and in all levels of state and federal court.

Susan has counseled clients on matters relating to water rights adjudication, analysis of agency and water district rules, drafting of water-related legislation, and litigation regarding water districts’ powers and governance. She also has participated in amicus briefing on water-related and Endangered Species Act issues in the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Groundwater Transactions (ch.14), and Surface Water Rights Permitting (ch.5), Texas Law of Water Resources, State Bar of Texas (2008), Co-Author.

Surface Water Rights and Water Development, Texas Practice Series, Environmental Law, 45, Ch. 14 (2004 ed.) (with Doug Caroom).

Buying and Leasing Groundwater Rights, Austin Bar Association, Environmental, Natural Resources, and Water Law Section, October 2007.

The Rule of Capture – “If It Ain’t Broke . . . .” Texas Water Development Board, One Hundred Years of East: The Past, Present and Future of the Rule of Capture, June 15, 2004 (with Doug Caroom).

Survey of Texas Water Rights Transactions 2001-2005, Texas Water Law Institute, September 30, 2005 (with Doug Caroom).

The Intersection of Water Rights, Water Quality Regulation, and Runoff Controls, Texas Environmental Superconference, August 4, 2005 (with Doug Caroom).

Creation of Water Districts – Implications for Counties and Cities, Author, 16th Annual Local Government Seminar: Water and Wastewater Regulatory Compliance, July 25, 2003 (with Doug Caroom).

The New Mexico / Texas Allocation Dispute: City of El Paso Perspective, Law of the Rio Grande Conference, January 2003 (with Doug Caroom).

Reimbursement Under the Federal Disaster Relief Act: Will FEMA Pay the Bills? 17th Annual Local Government Seminar, June 1, 2006 (with Charles R. Kimbrough).