Suesan D. Gerard has a decade of experience as a criminal defense attorney handling many serious felony cases including; murder, attempted murder, sexual assault, aggravated mayhem, domestic violence and driving under the influence resulting in a person’s death.
Sue’s passion for criminal defense began in her undergraduate education at the University of California, Irvine, where she majored in Criminology, Law and Society. This background provides Sue with a unique perspective on her cases, exploring the psychology and social ecology surrounding a case.
Her pursuit for justice continued at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. While attending law school, Sue was a certified law student. This allowed her to actually begin practicing law as a student, under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Sue represented youth in Juvenile Justice Court. She interned in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s office. She also interned with the Federal Public Defender’s office in the Capital Habeas Unit where she represented clients who were on Death Row.
Additionally, while studying at Loyola, Sue started the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent. Sue was the first law student to win the California State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for her work in creating the Project for the Innocent. Sue’s client, who had been convicted of murder, was exonerated.
After graduating from law school in the top 10 percent of her class (Cum Laude) Sue practiced in the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office where she handled juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony cases in each courthouse in San Diego County. Most notable in her career, Sue went to trial on a Watson murder case, twice. She was successful in eventually having both the Murder and the Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated charges dismissed for her client.
Sue is also uniquely qualified in San Diego County to handle juvenile justice cases. Sue has over six years of experience specifically with juvenile justice, and has attended numerous juvenile justice trainings. She understands juvenile law is a different world from criminal court. Not only does she know the legal nuances, Sue has the demeanor and personality to comfort children who find themselves facing charges. Sue has successfully kept youth facing adult charges from being transferred to adult court.
While Sue’s education and level of experience provides her the capability to handle any case, it’s her kindness and empathy that set her apart. Loyola Law School Professor Laurie L. Levenson described Sue as “the most selfless student I have met in 25 years of teaching.” Sue’s peers recognize that Sue sees things in a case that others do not. She leaves no stone unturned. She listens to what is important to her client, and pursues her clients’ goals wholeheartedly.
Having grown up in a dance studio, Sue enjoys attending musicals and the ballet. She also enjoys wine tasting with friends and cherishes spending time at home with her husband and two children.