Howard E. Susman
San Diego, CA
(858) 794-4111 Direct
(858) 794-4101 Fax

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Howard E. Susman


Howard E. Susman is a partner in the firm's Renewable Energy practice group and Chair of its Solar Initiative. Now serving developers and operators of wind and solar projects, Howard has represented wind clients in every phase of project development, operation, and transfer since the industry's inception in the early 1980s. With a national reputation as one of the leading lawyers involved in that industry, Howard has represented clients in both transactional and litigation matters. His experience extends to all elements of renewable energy project development and operations, including real estate and environmental matters, equipment procurement and performance, construction, insurance coverage, and dispute resolution.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Howard was a partner at Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne (2001-2005). Previously, he was with Hillyer & Irwin (1982-2000) and served as its managing partner (1996-1999). He also was an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation (1979-1981).

Representative Transactions

  • Joint venture agreements for development of 45MW and 60MW California wind energy projects and leases for project sites
  • Agreements for construction, financing, sale, and operation of 136MW and 262MW Washington wind energy projects and associated transmission and interconnection facilities
  • Power purchase agreements and site leases for multi-user/multi-tenant distributed generation photovoltaic projects
  • Agreements for design, construction, financing and operations of 10MW, 20MW, 30MW and 250MW utility scale photovoltaic projects in several states

Representative Litigation

  • Defense of wind project developers' permits against challenge on grounds of inadequate analysis of downwind effects in environmental impact reports
  • Defense of actions for infringement of patents for variable speed wind turbine technology in U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. District Court
  • Representation of wind project owners in actions to enforce warranty and property insurance following wind turbine manufacturers' inability to repair multiple and serial defects

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Selected as a "Leader in the Field" by Chambers Global (Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy - USA), 2011
  • Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Nationwide) by Chambers USA (currently: Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy), 2009-2013 
  • Council of Legal Advisors and Guest Lecturer, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara
  • Past President and Director, Association of Business Trial Lawyers of San Diego
  • Member, California and American Wind Energy Associations
  • Member, Women of Wind Energy, San Diego Chapter
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Certified Mediator
  • Member, UCSB Crew Alumni Association

Presentations and Publications

  • Panelist, "Renewable Energy Project Development," State Bar of California 2012 Real Property Section Retreat, Squaw Valley, CA, 2012
  • Panelist, "Assessment of Insurable Project Risks and Operational Considerations for Wind Power Project Development," Wind Power Project Financing and Risk: Risk Management and Deal Structuring for Maximum Return, Chicago, 2011
  • Chair, "Utility Scale Solar Project Development Briefing," Utility Scale Solar Summit 2011, San Diego
  • Moderator, "Developing and Financing Utility Scale Solar Projects," Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit 2011, San Diego
  • Moderator, "Performance Guarantees," 3rd Annual Utility Scale Solar Summit, San Diego, 2010
  • "Renewable Energy Development, Environmental Protection, and the Process Which Is Due," Bren School of Environmental Management Lecture, UC Santa Barbara, 2010
  • "Wind Advisory: Site Control for Wind Projects," Los Angeles Lawyer, Jan. 2008
  • Chair, Solar Project Development Tutorial, San Diego, 2007, 2009
  • "The Role of Key Project Contracts," Renewable Energy Project Finance Seminar, New York, 2007; San Diego, 2006, 2008
  • "Working Effectively and Efficiently with Your Lawyers," Windpower 2005, Denver
  • "Application of the Anti-SLAPP Statute to Malicious Prosecution," ABTL Reports, 2002
  • "Mediating Business Cases," Association of Business Trial Lawyers Annual Seminar, 2000
  • "Litigation Consulting and Expert Testimony," UCSD Extension, 1992; Institute of Management Consultants, 1997
  • "Site Acquisition and Successful Landowner Relationships," Windpower '95, Washington, D.C., 1995


  • University of San Diego, J.D., 1979
  • University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A., Environmental Studies, 1975


  • California
  • U.S. District Courts, California and Colorado
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals, Ninth Circuit and Federal Circuit

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