Susan Wise

Susan E. Anderson Wise, an attorney and Long Beach resident since 1974, was elected to a one-year term as President of the Board of Harbor Commissioners on June 27, 2011, by her colleagues on the five-member governing board for the Port of Long Beach, California. She was appointed to a six-year term on the Commission in December 2008 by Mayor Bob Foster and confirmed unanimously by the Long Beach City Council.

The Commission President serves as chair of the Commission, running Board meetings and often representing the Port to the public and the shipping industry.

Ms. Wise has experience in both commercial and civil litigation and as a Superior Court mediator. The Susan E. Wise Law Offices are headquartered in Long Beach. Her 35 years of experience include insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, wrongful termination and sexual harassment claims, business litigation, corporate governance, probate litigation, personal injury trials, defense of federal perjury charge, prosecution of shareholder’s derivative action, nuisance litigation between neighbors, and innumerable insurance coverage disputes involving personal injury, wrongful termination, ADA claims, patent infringement, workers’ compensation, and construction defects. She has also served as a Mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court since 2004 and a Hearing Officer for the Long Beach Civil Service Commission since 2006. She is on the Editorial Board for California Litigation, the official publication of the State Bar Litigation section, and was a Member of the Ethics Review Task Force for the City of Long Beach 2002-2003. She is a past President of the Long Beach Bar Association (1994), and the Women Lawyers of Long Beach (1988). She is a current Board Member of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, past Board President of the Long Beach Legal Aid Foundation (19883-86), and a current Board Member and past President (1995-1997) of the Long Beach Bar Foundation focusing on the organization’s “Shortstop” juvenile diversion program. Since 1992, she has been affiliated with Joseph Ball/Clarence Hunt American Inns of Court.

In the community, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Children’s Clinic since 1996 and Board President 2002-2004, an Officer and Board Member for YMCA of Greater Long Beach since 1986, and she also serves with the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership.

Susan Wise is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Dr. Katherine E. White Humanitarian Award (2005), the 27th State Senate District Outstanding Woman Award (2004), the Lawyer of the Year Award (1998) from the Long Beach Bar Association, the Lawyer of the Year Award (1993-1994) from the Women Lawyers of Long Beach, and the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach Sommelier d’Esprit Award (1996).

Before becoming a lawyer, she held a variety of summer jobs during college and law school and worked for one year in VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), a domestic version of the Peace Corps, assigned to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.

Ms. Wise was born in Chicago and grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a suburb 23 miles west of the Chicago “Loop,” where she attended Glenbard West High School. She graduated cum laude from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1970 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1974. She added advanced Mediation Training in 2003 and 2006 at Pepperdine University.

She met and married Erich P. Wise, also an attorney now working with a different southern California firm, when they were law students in Chicago. He was raised in Long Beach and San Pedro, and the couple decided to come to Long Beach to begin their careers in 1974. Residents of the 3rd District, they have two grown daughters. Both attended Long Beach public schools, and are now married and have launched careers of their own. Caitlin is a physician in a nephrology fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, and Johanna is a second year associated in a Boston law firm.