Relentless: Michelle Suskauer relies on persistence—and niceness—to bring people around
“HI, DETECTIVE, I thought this case was going away.”
Michelle Suskauer conducts much of her criminal defense practice while navigating South Florida traffic jams in her lowslung BMW 840i coupe. She’s often on one phone call after another with cops, prosecutors, defense co-counsel, clients current and potential, and staff assistants. Sometimes her two daughters interrupt this succession of calls to discuss their adventures as actress-singers in New York.
“It’s like being the BMW lawyer, not the Lincoln lawyer,” jokes Suskauer, a partner at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein’s West Palm Beach office.
On this sunny, warm afternoon in mid-January, as she is driving to the WPTV studios to tape one of her regular TV news interviews analyzing criminal cases, her assistant, Kelly, patches her through to a police detective to discuss a case. A client has been charged with grand theft for allegedly stealing supplies from a doctor’s office. The detective says he just received video footage of her client taking the supplies, putting them in garbage bags, and exiting through the back door. That’s why the case isn’t going away yet. But Suskauer gets him to agree that the doctor’s practice closed under suspicious circumstances, and that her client could simply have been trying to procure the supplies for patients who had already paid.
“I’m going to call you Monday, then we’ll come to a landing, OK?” she says, as if to an old friend. “Cool beans. You’re a good guy, I really appreciate it. Enjoy your week off.”
To her assistant, she says, “The detective was a doll.”
Article by Harris Meyer
Photo by Craig Ambrosio