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J.D., with honors, The University of Texas School of Law, 2005

B.A., Psychology, Minor in Communications, Southwestern University, 2002



United States District Court Southern District of Texas

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit


Susan Cates is a partner in the litigation practice group of Porter Hedges. Her practice focuses on employment litigation and consulting, business litigation, and construction litigation. Susan has litigated cases in federal and state courts.

Susan has represented clients in cases involving noncompete agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, FLSA allegations, discrimination and harassment, breach of contract claims, and numerous other employment-related disputes. She has obtained temporary restraining orders and temporary injunctions for clients and has also defended clients against such injunctive relief. Susan has represented employers before several administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, and the Texas Workforce Commission. She has counseled companies and individuals on a variety of employment-related issues.

Susan has represented contractors and subcontractors in construction defect cases. She has also handled lien foreclosure cases and indemnity issues. Susan has represented clients in post-judgment collection proceedings, including garnishment actions. She has also defended manufacturers in products liability cases (including pharmaceuticals). Susan has a wide variety of experience with different types of business litigation.

Susan was selected for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars for Employment & Labor from  2015-2018. She is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and is active in the Women’s Initiative program.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained judgment as a matter of law in favor of defendant in FLSA case after plaintiff presented her case to the jury.
  • Represented international government contractor at trial in a sexual assault and fraudulent inducement case.
  • Represented defendant in FLSA collective action litigation.
  • Represented company at trial in a breach of contract case filed by a former employee.
  • Defended company and several sales representatives in a lawsuit involving allegations of breach of noncompete agreements.
  • Represented waterproofing subcontractor in a construction defect case.
  • Obtained temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against client’s former employees who started a competing business.
  • Representation of general contractor in lawsuit to foreclose on liens.
  • Defended company in a malicious prosecution and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by several former employees.

Professional / Civic Affiliations

  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • American Bar Association, Litigation and Labor and Employment Sections, Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Houston Bar Association, Member