Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Southwestern Mourns the Loss of Beloved Professor Emeritus Lawrence Sullivan October 10, 2007
Southwestern Mourns the Loss of Beloved Professor Emeritus Lawrence Sullivan

Professor Lawrence A. Sullivan, a member of the full-time faculty at Southwestern since 1991 and an internationally recognized authority on antitrust law whose Handbook of the Law of Antitrust has been cited in hundreds of U.S. Supreme Court and other federal court opinions, passed away on October 7. He was 84.

Beloved by his family as a warm and giving man, valued by students for his gentle but passionate and precise teaching, and esteemed by faculty as a generous and nurturing colleague, Professor Sullivan's contribution to legal education and the profession were celebrated at the "Antitrust and Intellectual Property in Global Context - A Symposium in Celebration of the Work of Lawrence A. Sullivan" presented by the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas in February (2007). Members of the bench, attorneys, Southwestern colleagues and professors from esteemed law schools nationwide gathered to speak about the reach and impact of his work on antitrust law.

"Larry Sullivan embodied all the values that law schools seek in a professor. Southwestern is a far better place today because of his legacy," said Dean Bryant Garth.

Professor Sullivan first began teaching law as a visiting associate professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, upon completion of a judicial clerkship with Chief Judge Calvert Magruder of the U.S. Court of Appeals. He spent the following decade and a half in private practice with the Boston firm of Foley, Hoag & Eliot where he became a partner. Returning to Berkeley in 1967, Professor Sullivan went on to serve as Acting Dean of the law school, Director of the Earl Warren Legal Institute, and in 1979 was named as the first Earl Warren Professor of Public Law.

After becoming professor emeritus at Berkeley in 1991, he joined the Southwestern faculty where he was honored as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law in 1997 and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2002. He taught antitrust, intellectual property, regulation and deregulation in the telecommunications industries, European Union, and software and internet law, among other courses, and played a key role in the development of Southwestern's Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute. He took emeritus status in 2005.

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where he received his B.A. in Economics in 1948, Professor Sullivan earned his J.D. in 1951 at Harvard Law School where he served on Law Review. In 1978, he was a Guggenheim Fellow and in 1984, he was a Fellow of the Max Planck Institut fur Auslandisches und Rechtsvergleichung in Hamburg, Germany.

Professor Sullivan wrote several books and chapters and dozens of articles on antitrust. Along with his colleague, Southwestern Professor Warren Grimes, he recently published a revised and expanded edition of The Law Of Antitrust: An Integrated Handbook, considered a standard reference for students, practitioners and the judiciary. In May 2007, both professors were named winners of the Fifth Annual Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award for the second edition (2006) of their treatise. Professor Sullivan's casebook, with E. Fox, Cases and Materials on Antitrust, is also used in law school antitrust courses around the country.

Professor Grimes noted, "As a scholar, Larry was careful, scrupulously fair, but never hesitant to advocate for results he believed in. He taught many a younger colleague how to blend and balance a thorough and careful analysis with articulate and persuasively stated conclusions."

Another of his collaborators, Professor Eleanor Fox, the Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation at New York University Law School, said, "Larry Sullivan was a humanist, a historian, and a person who valued people. He thought about the law's impact on people and worried about misuses of power and wealth. Even as antitrust law became so technical and lost sight of its origins, he never did. It was a rare privilege to collaborate with Larry on our casebook, and even more, to be his friend."

Renowned antitrust litigator Maxwell Blecher described Professor Sullivan as "a towering figure in the world of antitrust law who made monumental contributions to its development and understanding. He was also a warm and caring human being. His passing is devastating and he will be missed enormously by all of those who treasured his keen intelligence, wisdom and friendship."

Appointed by former President Carter to the National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures, Professor Sullivan also served as a consultant on antitrust issues to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Energy; the Senate and House subcommittees on antitrust; the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); the California Attorney General's Office; and the governments of Australia and Brazil. He lectured on antitrust and European Union issues before a myriad of national and international forums. In 1991, Professor Sullivan was awarded the Berkeley Citation by the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1992, the California State Bar Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section named him "Antitrust Lawyer of the Year."

According to Professor Robert Pitofsky, former Chairman of the FTC, and Dean Emeritus and Sheehy Professor in Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law at Georgetown University Law Center, "Larry often stood alone in the face of some very arrogant and unwise thinking and will be much missed."

Professor Herbert Hovenkamp, Ben and Dorothy Willie Chair at the University of Iowa College of Law, concurred, "Larry Sullivan was a truly brave and gifted academic who was always ready to defend his ideas - even when he represented a small, embattled minority."

Echoing a sentiment shared by all his colleagues on the Southwestern faculty, Professor Catherine Carpenter commented, "Larry was the most special of people: as kind as he was brilliant. And by his contributions to Southwestern, he elevated all of us. I know that we are all thrilled to have had the pleasure of his company for so long."

Professor Robert Lind added, "When Larry first told me about his illness he said: 'Well, I've had a good run.' He did indeed: teacher, scholar, musician, raconteur, world traveler, mentor, policy wonk and doting grandfather. Larry brought all of these skills and interests with him to Southwestern. We benefited from them as individuals and as an institution. His smile, laugh and the twinkle in his eyes will remain in our hearts and his great intellect will remain on our bookshelves."

Valiantly battling cancer with signature humor and grace, Professor Sullivan died at home surrounded by his loving family. He leaves his beloved wife Joan; three sons by his first wife - Larry B., Mark (Barbara), and Neil (Megen); three stepsons - Eric (Liane), Douglas (Kimberly) and Jonathan (Jennifer) Sears; a stepdaughter, Emily Sears Vaughn; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Funeral services for Professor Sullivan will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Professor Lawrence A. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund at Southwestern Law School.