Justice Sullivan brings an incredibly broad range of experience to the appellate bench. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and his law degree from the University of Virginia. From 1982 to 2002, he maintained a very successful civil trial practice in Houston. During his time in private practice, Justice Sullivan had extensive experience on both sides of the docket, in commercial litigation as well as personal injury litigation. Justice Sullivan was a name partner in a highly-respected defense firm and an equally-esteemed plaintiffs’ firm.
While in private practice, Justice Sullivan served on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee, the Pattern Jury Charge Committee, and the Referral Fee Task Force. When he was on the Pattern Jury Charge Committee, he served as Vice-Chair of the PJC Oversight Committee and emphasized the need for plain language in jury submissions. He received Presidential Citations from two Texas Bar presidents for his service on these committees.
For the last six years, Justice Sullivan has served the people of the State of Texas. In 2002, he was appointed, and later reelected, to the bench of the 80th District Court in Harris County. Even with twenty years of trial practice behind him, he received “lots of education” in the time he spent as a trial judge.
In June of 2006, Justice Sullivan was asked by Attorney General Greg Abbott to serve as the First Assistant Attorney General of Texas, a position he held for two and a half years. During this time, Justice Sullivan was in a unique position to become familiar with the courts and citizens across the State of Texas and to realize how diverse the legal needs of the people throughout Texas really are.
Justice Sullivan has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas. In addition, he is a member of the Houston Bar Association and a fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation and Texas Bar Foundation. He is also active in his church and has been involved with several non-profit entities.
Justice Sullivan is excited about the opportunity to serve on the appellate bench. Attorneys that appear before him can expect him to be prepared and knowledgeable about the legal issues before the court. With his background, breadth of experience, and commitment to public service, Justice Kent Sullivan is a strong addition to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals.