The American 

Law Institute 88th Annual Meeting, May 16-18, 

2011. San Francisco

Kathleen M. Sullivan

A native of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, Kathleen M. Sullivan is a partner in the New York office and chair of the national appellate practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the nation’s largest business-litigation firm. When the firm named her to its marquee in 2010, she became the first woman to be a named partner at an AmLaw 100 firm. A professor of law at Harvard Law School before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1993, she is a prominent scholar and teacher of constitutional law, and she currently is Stanford’s Stanley Morrison Professor of Law. Editor of the nation’s leading casebook in its field, Constitutional Law (Foundation Press, 17th ed., 2010), she has published articles on federalism, religion, speech, equality, and constitutional theory. From 1999 to 2004, as Stanford Law School’s 11th dean and the first woman dean of any school at Stanford, she established the clinical faculty, presided over a major renovation, launched numerous academic centers, started the LL.M. program, and raised over $100 million for the school.

Recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent litigators, Professor Sullivan was named by The National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, by The American Lawyer Litigation Daily as Litigator of the Week, and by California Lawyer as Appellate Lawyer of the Year. Since 1982 she has combined the practice of law with her teaching career.

Since joining Quinn Emanuel in 2005, Professor Sullivan has represented a wide range of clients and argued many important cases in state and federal appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. In a recent victory that The New York Times called “stunning,” she persuaded the New York Court of Appeals to uphold Governor David Paterson’s power to appoint Richard Ravitch lieutenant governor. She also obtained a victory for Japanese ocean carrier Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. in the U.S. Supreme Court, which held unanimously that the Carmack Amendment, which governs domestic rail transportation, does not apply to an ocean carrier that makes an overseas shipment under a single through bill of lading where the shipment derails during the inland rail leg. She won another landmark victory in the Supreme Court when it ruled in 2005 that states may not bar wineries from shipping to consumers out of state. In addition to her appeals practice, she plays an active role in the firm’s trial practice and has argued numerous significant motions in state and federal court.

Professor Sullivan received a B.A. from Cornell University, where she was a Telluride Scholar; a B.A. from Oxford University, which she attended as a Marshall Scholar; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she won the Ames Moot Court Competition. After law school, she clerked for Judge James L. Oakes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society. Professor Sullivan’s many honors include awards for excellence in teaching at both Harvard and Stanford. Mentioned as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court after Justice David H. Souter announced his retirement, she has gained a national audience as a frequent guest on television programs. Her mentor, Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, called her “the most extraordinary student I had ever had.”

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