(1925 - 2012)
Daniel Frederick SULLIVAN - Trial Lawyer
11-14-1925 ~ 7-1-2012
Age 86. Dan Sullivan was a recognized trial and appellate lawyer for 50 years, serving on behalf of all victims of wrongdoing. Dan's appellate work resulted in numerous foundational changes in the common law, including the establishment of corporate liability of hospitals, failure to obtain informed consent, the tort of outrage, and the abolishment of parent-child immunity. He was fond of saying "The law is never settled until it is settled right". When Dan was asked to sign a Hospice form, he said to his nurse "I wrote that." Dan died of lung cancer on July 1, 2012, and he loved the law to the end.
Dan was born in Iowa on November 14, 1925. He told jurors he was "just an Iowa farm boy", and he possessed Midwestern goodness. Dan attended University of Iowa on a football scholarship at age 17. His education was interrupted by military service in1943, when he served with the infantry in Normandy and throughout Europe. After his discharge from active duty, he re-entered college and earned a degree in Labor Economics in 1951, followed by admission to the University of Iowa School of Law. In 1953 he was recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict, serving for two years in France.
His military service completed, Dan and his wife Patricia and their two daughters moved to Seattle, where he continued his education at the University of Washington School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor in 1955. Dan then began his personal injury practice that spanned 50 years, with the majority of those years spent on the 10th floor of the Hoge Building, where he spent many memorable lunches at Dooley's and Bakeman's.
Dan was one of the key leaders in organizing the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (now WSAJ), the WSTLA Eagle Program, and was the founder of the WSTLA Amicus committee for which he served as Chairman for 11 years. He was selected for membership in The Inner Circle of Advocates (limited to Top 100 injury lawyers in the U.S.) and the Damage Attorney's Roundtable (DART), was a founding member and former President of TLPJ (now, Public Justice), served as President of the Western Trial Lawyers Association, was a former AAJ Board member, and a long-time fellow in the Roscoe Pound Foundation. He lectured and published widely on the law of damages, medical negligence and product liability.
Dan toiled to open courtroom doors so that ALL injured people had a voice before our courts, where the everyday person was "equal" to the largest corporation or hospital. He was most proud of his appellate work, and his office supported the WSTLA Amicus Committee for many years.
Dan was a gentleman, an intellectual philosopher, a dedicated father and stepfather, and a grand Grandpa. He was a devoted husband to his wife, Susan, for 32 years. He loved his Irish heritage and his church, and he was a friend of Bill W. for 34 years. He was witty, generous, and commanded the respect of judges and his fellow lawyers. Dan was dearly loved, and his death leaves a hole in the ranks.
Dan is survived by his wife Susan; his children Cathy Sullivan Ulm (Donald), Terry Sullivan Johnson, Frank R. Fulton (Sarah), Bradford J. Fulton (Danielle); and grandchildren Joshua Johnson, Hunter and Lauren Fulton, and Graham and George Fulton. His sons Daniel F. Sullivan and Christopher J. Sullivan preceded him in death.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, July 7, at 10:30 AM at St. James Cathedral, 805 9th Avenue, Seattle. A reception follows at Skyline at First Hill, located across from the Cathedral.