Susan M. Swick

Ryan Rapp & Underwood Law Firm, Phoenix, Az.Practice Areas

Case Highlights and Depth of Experience

When Susan was a young lawyer she had the experience of co-authoring an Amicus Brief to the Arizona Supreme Court on behalf of Arizona Association of Women Lawyers in Malone v. Sullivan, working on the litigation when ASU and UofA left the Western Athletic Conference and moved to the Pacific Athletic Conference and working on litigation to preserve a pay increase applicable to the retirement pay for a retiring Superior Court Judge.

While she cannot discuss her family law cases for privacy reasons, she has represented people from various walks of life, from young to octogenarians, people with interesting businesses and professions (some needing to be valued), people with fascinating and unique issues and facts and people who were relieved or sad about the end of a relationship. She was successful in proving that a couple had been married, when one spouse claimed they had never been married, and they had no marriage license because of the destruction of their documents during a war and, in a reversal of her normal function, she was successful in setting aside a decree of dissolution entered before her involvement, claiming certain orders in the decree were “unconscionable” and should not have been entered by the court.

Susan was born and raised in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. She moved to Arizona in 1972 and initially lived at Luke AFB while attending law school at Arizona State University. She has been practicing law in Arizona for over 35 years, focusing her practice in all areas of family law, including complex financial and business valuation issues and appellate matters, after her first ten years representing clients in the areas of commercial transactional and commercial and employment law litigation.

Susan has been committed to community and familial involvement during her professional life, including currently sitting on Phoenix Police Department Disciplinary and Use of Force Boards as a civilian member, and in the past coaching Central High School Mock Trial for four years, being on the Donation Center Advisory Board of Directors of Valley Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Marketing Committee of the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Theatre Company Phoenix Board and being a homeroom mother at Simis Elementary School many years ago.

Get To Know Susan in Her Own Words

“People dealing with family law matters are experiencing more than average stress. The lawyers should try to resolve the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible from the outset, rather than bring additional stress to the situation. When the other party is unwilling to resolve the matter in that fashion, I have the experience and resources to resolve the matter through depositions, experts, mediation or trial, as necessary. I love being in a firm that provides me with partners who have expertise in tax, business matters, real estate and other disciplines that arise in complex cases.”

Professional Experience/Affiliations

  • Certified Specialist, Family Law, Arizona Board of Legal Specialization
  • Included in the Best Lawyers in America, Family Law
  • Included in Super Lawyers of the Southwest
  • State Bar of Arizona Family Law Practice and Procedure Standing Committee, appointed as its first Chair and then a Member for several years
  • Executive council of Arizona Bar Association Family Law Section, past Council Member
  • Maricopa County Bar Association: Family Law Section
  • Commissioner, Disciplinary Commission of the Arizona Supreme Court, past Chair (previously Member of Disciplinary Hearing Committee 6H)
  • Judge Pro Tem, Family Law and Civil, Maricopa County Superior Court
  • Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Arizona, past Member
  • Arizona Women Lawyers Association (past President and Member)
  • AZ Association of Defense Counsel, providing counsel to lawyers in the disciplinary system
  • Sandra Day O’Connor Inn of court, past Member
  • Spousal Maintenance Guidelines Committee, past Member
  • Peer Review Committee, past Member
  • People-to-People Delegation to People’s Republic of China and Soviet Union
  • Minorities-in-Law Committee, past Member
  • Judicial Evaluation Committee, past Member
  • Corporate Counsel Section, past Member
  • Judge Pro Tempore for Arizona Court of Appeals


  • J.D., Arizona State University, 1976
  • B.A. and M.A., Psychology, Southern Methodist University 1968 and 1969

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona, 1976
  • Texas, 1977
  • Federal District Court, 1976


  • Seminar: Ethics Seminar at Arizona Bar Convention
  • Seminar: Arizona Bar Ethics Seminar
  • Seminar: Mastering Negotiating Techniques, Arizona Bar
  • Seminar: State Bar Bridging the Gap, Tucson, “Domestic Relations”
  • Seminar: State Bar Convention, Speaker, Domestic Relations
  • Seminar: Co-chair, Maricopa County Bar, Domestic Relations “Ethics and Malpractice”
  • Seminar: Chair, Arizona Bar: “Handling a Basic Dissolution,” Phoenix and Tucson
  • Seminar: Maricopa County Bar, “Legal Ethics for Corporate Counsel”
  • Seminar: Maricopa County Bar, “Preserving Corporate Confidences”


Susan M. Swick vCard


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