Mr. Sullivan is one of the founding partners of LSKS and has represented journalists, newspapers, syndicated columnists, production companies, networks, and news sources in high stakes libel, privacy, entertainment, and copyright cases for over 30 years.
Among other landmark cases, he represented columnist Jack Anderson in the successful defense of a libel suit by the self-described Liberty Lobby. Among his notable media trials, he served as lead trial counsel for a Minneapolis TV station, obtaining a defense verdict after a six-week jury trial in a libel suit filed by a widow who claimed she had been falsely accused of murdering her husband.
Mr. Sullivan has taught media law as an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and at the University of Maryland College of Journalism. Prior to founding LSKS, Mr. Sullivan was a partner at Ross, Dixon & Masback, L.L.P. He began his legal career at White & Case in Washington, DC.
Kendall v. Daily News Publishing Co., 716 F.3d 82 (3d Cir. 2013) — Mr.Sullivan served as lead trial and appellate counsel for the Virgin Islands Daily News in a defamation suit by a local judge. Following a two-week jury trial, the trial court entered judgment in the newspaper’s favor. That decision was affirmed by the Virgin Islands Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which issued a significant ruling detailing the requirements public officials must meet when they claim to be defamed by alleged implications.
OAO Alfa-Bank v. Center for Public Integrity, 387 F. Supp. 2d 20 (D.D.C 2005)
— Mr. Sullivan led a team of LSKS attorneys in successfully defending the Center for Public Integrity in a libel suit brought by prominent Russian “oligarchs” arising from a report linking them to criminal activities during Russia’s turbulent transition to a capitalist economy.
Stepnes v. Ritschel, 663 F.3d 952 (8th Cir. 2011)
— Mr. Sullivan successfully defended a CBS television station in an action alleging defamation and interference with contract claims arising from a news report on a developer’s “home give-away contest,” including his arrest on a charge of unlawful gambling. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the ruling that the plaintiff was a limited purpose public figure because he had voluntarily thrust himself to the forefront of the pre-existing controversy over the legality of the contest. The court further held that the plaintiff could not satisfy his burden to prove actual malice and that some of the challenged statements were substantially true.
Towler v. Sayles, 76 F.3d 579 (4th Cir. 1996)
— Mr. Sullivan served as lead trial counsel for award-winning director John Sayles and Miramax Films in a copyright infringement action arising from the highly acclaimed motion picture “Passion Fish.” After a one-week jury trial, the court entered judgment as a matter of law for the defendants, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed.