Susan Dillon Ayers
Sue Ayers is a native of Michigan who taught high school English for nine years. Sue attended the University of Houston Law Center and began a second career as an attorney in Austin in 2000. Sue was briefing attorney to Justice Mack Kidd of the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas in Austin in the 2000-2001 term.
Sue worked for a large international law firm for 10 years, appearing in state and federal, trial and appellate courts, in cases ranging from breach of contract to wrongful death, representing municipalities, chemical manufacturers, railroads, telecommunications companies, casinos, and accounting firms. Sue joined Jackson Walker in 2010 and added eminent domain to her varied practice. Sue represents condemnors in all aspects of land acquisition, including negotiation of easements and crossing agreements, the purchase of real property in fee simple, condemnation, and appeal.
B.A., with honors, Michigan State University
J.D., magna cum laude, University of Houston Law Center
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western District of Texas
- Represented Class I railroad in appeal of multi-million dollar judgment in wrongful death case.
- Represented Big Four accounting firm in breach of fiduciary duty / malpractice case in which non-profit sought hundreds of millions in damages.
- Represented equitable Receiver appointed by federal district court to take over all assets of 165 entities on 4 continents to unwind multi-million dollar, decades’-long Ponzi scheme.
- Condemnation counsel for longest single-certificated electric transmission line in Texas, crossing 671 parcels in 11 counties; project completed under budget and ahead of schedule.
- Lead condemnation counsel for Union Pacific Railroad’s largest capital improvement project in the company’s 150-year history.
- Represented engineering company in defense of civil rights claims (42 U.S.C. 1983).
- Currently representing Protestant at State Office of Administrative Hearings in waste water permitting case involving over 20 experts in hydrodynamic modeling, ecotoxicology, and marine ecology/biology.
- Currently representing Texas Central Railroad and Infrastructure, Inc. in its efforts to develop a first-of-its-kind high-speed railway between Dallas and Houston.
- Texas Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2021-2022
- Texas Rising Star, Super Lawyers – Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters, 2007
- “Making and Responding to Objections at SOAH,” Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar (September 2022)
- “Effective Cross-Examination at SOAH: I Fought the Law…And the Law Won,” Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar (September 2021)
- “Eminent Domain,” TexasBarCLE 38th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course (September 2020)
- Author, “An Eminent Domain Primer,” Austin Lawyer: Official Publication of the Austin Bar Association, Vol. 28, Number 6, July 2019
- “The Brazos Yard (UPRR): A Case Study in Condemnation Under Rule 71.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” 2019 IRWA Transportation Symposium, IRWA Ch. 74 From Survey to Construction – How Fast Can You Go?, 2019
- “Ethical Considerations in Safeguarding Client Data Using Common Sense Security,” 18th Annual CLE International Eminent Domain SuperConference, 2019
- “Conflicts of Interest & Other Important Considerations for Your Practice,” CLE International Eminent Domain SuperConference, City of Austin Law Department, Austin, 2017
- “Challenges in Valuation of Utility Easements,” CLE International Eminent Domain Conference, Houston, 2015
- “Unique Challenges Facing Condemnor’s Counsel Today: Tall Tales From An Easement Out West,” BlueBonnet Chapter IRWA, Austin, 2013
- “Texas Courts of Appeals Update – Procedural,” Appellate Advocate, Winter 2008
- “Texas Courts of Appeals Update – Procedural,” Appellate Advocate, Winter 2007 (Scott Powers, co-author)
- “Texas Courts of Appeals Update – Procedural,” Appellate Advocate, Spring 2007 (Mark Emery and Joe Price, co-authors)
- Co-author, “Damages in Business Cases” presentation, Texas College for Judicial Studies, April 29, 2004
- Panelist, “Mold, Insurance and Tort Reform Update,” Texas Bar CLE, March 2004
- “Healing the Sacred Yoni in the Land of Isis: Female Genital Mutilation Is Banned (Again) in Egypt,” Houston Journal of International Law, Winter 2000
- Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation, Fellow, Board Member, Secretary, President-Elect, 2013-2019
- Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Austin Bar Association
- Development Council of Literacy First, 2006-2011
- General Counsel Forum, Board Member, 2013-2016
- Literacy Champions Tutor, 2006-2007
- Secretary on the Walnut Creek Elementary School’s Campus Advisory Council, 2003-2005
- State Bar of Texas
- Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, Life Member
- Mentor, UT Law School Women’s Law Caucus, 2011 – Present
November 17, 2022Newsletters
View Jackson Walker’s November 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter, Perspectives.
September 21, 2022Attorney News
Each year, less than 5% of attorneys in Texas are named to the list. Selection is based off of peer nominations that are then reviewed by a research team. Each nominee is evaluated on his or her professional accomplishments, peer recognition, and community involvement.
October 5, 2021Newsletters
View Jackson Walker’s October 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter, Perspectives.
September 22, 2021Attorney News
September 10, 2021Speaking Engagements
Sue Ayers to Share Tips for Cross-Examination at SOAH During Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar
During the 16th Annual Advanced Texas Administrative Law Seminar, Sue Ayers will share how teaching English in alternative high schools prepared her for a career as a trial attorney, and will provide attendees with 10 tips for “winning” at cross-examination.
December 2, 2019Spotlight
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our friend and retired partner Carla J. Cox on November 29, 2019. Carla was a trusted and fearless lawyer on behalf of her clients, a leader at Jackson Walker, and a trailblazer for women in the legal profession.
August 1, 2019Insights
As eminent domain reporting increases following the recent Texas legislative session, Susan Dillon Ayers authored an article in Austin Lawyer summarizing some of the fundamental steps involved in a condemnation case.
June 19, 2019Speaking Engagements
Sue Ayers Presents Case Study in Condemnation Related to Brazos Yard at IRWA Transportation Symposium
As the lead condemnation counsel for Union Pacific’s Brazos Yard, Susan Dillon Ayers shared a case study related to the Brazos Yard during the 2019 IRWA Transportation Symposium.
September 12, 2018Insights
Sue Ayers and Noah Galton were recently published by Austin Lawyer in an article setting forth five helpful reminders to protect both attorneys and clients against issues involving fee disputes.
February 2, 2018Client Results
Years of planning and negotiating are finally paying off as Union Pacific begins construction on a $550 million, 1875-acre rail yard in Robertson County, Texas. Brazos Yard, named for the valley where it is located, will showcase best practices in operating efficiency, technology, and innovation.