Attorneys

Susan B. Harwood

Of Counsel

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Susan has over 30 years of experience in insurance coverage (first and third party), bad faith/extra-contractual (first and third party) and general liability defense litigation. Throughout her career, she has also been active in a number of professional organizations that offer education, training and perspectives to the insurance industry. Through these same organizations, she has developed and maintained lifelong friends and had the benefit of their respective legal backgrounds and experiences.

Susan believes in community service. She currently serves a volunteer at the Hope CommUnity Center in Apopka, Florida where she assists immigrants prepare for their U.S. citizen interviews, and in the early years of her career, she served as a GAL or guardian ad litem for abused, neglected and abandoned children under the auspices of the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association.

EDUCATION

  • Wake Forest University, 1979

    Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, with Honors
    Phi Beta Kappa
    Guy T. Carswell Scholar
    Dean’s List, all eight (8) semesters

  • Universite de Grenoble, France, 1979-1980

    Rotary International Fellowship

  • Wake Forest University School of Law, 1983

ADMISSIONS

  • Florida, 1983
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • United States of District Court for the Southern District of Florida

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC) (2013 to present)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)  (2001 to present) – Director (2010-2013); Litigation Management College – Dean of Graduate Program (2011-2013); Associate Dean of Graduate Program (2009-2011); Property Insurance Section (Chair, 2007-2009); Admissions Committee (2006-2014); Amicus Committee (2009-2013); Defense of the Judiciary Committee (2007-2011); Diversity Initiative Committee (2008-2011); Leadership Institute, Faculty (2011); Projects & Objective Committee (2009-2010); and Exhibitors Committee (Chair, 2005-2007); FDCC/IADC Joint Law Firm Management Conference, Vice-chair and presenter (2013)
  • Loss Executives Association (LEA)
  • The Florida Bar
  • Windstorm Insurance Network, Inc. (WIND) President (2017-2018)
    Board of Directors (2008-present)

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Martindale Hubbell “AV Preeminent” Rating
  • Certified Circuit Court and Appellate Mediator
  • Windstorm Insurance Network Fellow, 2014

LEGAL/AUTHORSHIPS/ PRESENTATIONS

  • “Independent Counsel and the Tripartite Relationship,” American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC), American University College of Law (October 26, 2018), panelist
  • Moderator for “Chances Are…A Fortuity Case Study,” American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC), 2017 ACCEC Annual Meeting (May 12, 2017)
  • Property Loss Resource Bureau (PLRB), co-presenter, “When Worlds Collide:  Recent Battles Over Appraisal,” PLRB 2017 Large Loss Conference (November 15-17, 2017)
  • Property Loss Resource Bureau (PLRB), co-presenter, “Litigation Management College” (2007-2013)
  • “Deposition Rules of the Road,” RJMW 2001 Conference, co-presenter
  • FDCC Annual Meeting 2011 – Ethics presentation: “The Lost Colony of  Professionalism,” co-presenter
  • Defense Research Institute DRI/ICPS Steering Committee member, November 2010 Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium
  • FDCC Annual Meeting 2010 – Ethics presentation, “The Lawyer Game – Responding to Unethical Litigation Conduct,” organizer and presenter
  • FDCCWinter Meeting 2010– “Diversity at the Next Level:  Associate Paths to Success” – panelist/speaker
  • Keynote speaker, Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA), Melbourne, Australia, “Recent U.S. Disasters” (October 2009)
  • “Food for Thought…Where Lies the Pendulum between the Insurer and the Policyholder On the Scale of Duties of Good Faith,”The FDCC Quarterly (Winter 2003 ed.)(co-author)
  • “The Seven Lessons of Extra Expense,” presented at ABA/TIPS Property Insurance Law Committee’s 2002 Program Business Interruption and Related Claims in the Wake of 9/11, NYC, New York
  • “Recent Developments in Property Insurance Law,” 34 Tort & Insurance Law Journal 2 (Winter 1999) (contributing author)
  • “Collapse: How Do You Define It?” ABA/TIPS Property Insurance Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 1998/Winter 1999
  • “Ensuing Water Loss:  An Overview,” presented at the Property Insurance Law Committee’s August 1, 1998 ABA Annual Meeting Program, Chicago, Illinois
  • “The Lost, Missing or Destroyed Policy: Proof Problems and Other Evidentiary Issues,” presented at the ABA/TIPS Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s 1995 Mid-Winter Annual Meeting, Monterey, CA

LEGAL TEACHING POSITIONS

  • Lecturer, “The Attorney as Guardian ad litem Volunteer,” Orange County Bar Association
  • Adjunct Instructor, University of Central Florida Legal Studies Program, August 1993 to May 1994

COMMUNITY/ACTIVITIES

  • HOPE CommUnity Center (late 2016 to present)
  • Guardian ad litem, Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association (1983-2012)
  • Award of Excellence, Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc. (2006)
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