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Sutherland Adds Prominent Judge to Litigation Practice in Texas

December 1, 2010

HOUSTON (December 1, 2010) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that Judge Kent C. Sullivan has joined the firm as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in Texas. Prior to joining the firm, Judge Sullivan served as a justice for the Texas Court of Appeals in Houston, First Assistant Attorney General and a District Judge. Judge Sullivan will work in the firm’s Houston and Austin offices.

“Kent has held positions of significance in almost every area of the legal profession, including 21 years as a lawyer in private practice, government service as the Texas First Assistant Attorney General, and as a judge on both the trial and appellate benches," said Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “He brings to Sutherland a strong judicial and civil litigation background and a second-to-none understanding of the Texas legal landscape that will be invaluable to our clients."

From 2008 to 2010, Judge Sullivan served as a justice for the Texas Court of Appeals in Houston, where he participated in the disposition of hundreds of appeals and personally authored more than 75 opinions. From 2003 to 2006, he served as a District Judge where he presided over multiparty cases to verdict involving such diverse subject matter as intellectual property rights and casino management fees.

In 2006, Judge Sullivan was appointed by the Texas Attorney General to serve as First Assistant Attorney General. In that role, he oversaw both the legal and administrative functions of the 800-attorney agency.  Judge Sullivan supervised the representation of the state in its broad range of legal disputes and provided legal advice to many of the state’s officeholders and agencies. He was also actively involved in the coordination of multi-state legal disputes, often working with other state attorneys general and the National Association of Attorneys General.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Sullivan was a trial lawyer in private practice for more than 20 years.  He also served as the managing partner for a 45-lawyer litigation law firm primarily focused on civil trial defense and for a 15-lawyer plaintiffs firm in Houston. Judge Sullivan’s complex civil litigation experience includes commercial, environmental, toxic tort and products liability matters.
“We are thrilled to welcome Judge Sullivan to our litigation team," said Rachel Clingman, a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. “Judge Sullivan brings extraordinary litigation and management experience and continues the strong growth of our litigation practice in Texas."

“I really look forward to returning to advocacy, and I’m excited to be joining Sutherland’s team," said Judge Sullivan.  “The camaraderie and culture of the firm coupled with the firm’s tremendous trial experience and understanding of the Texas legal system will make the transition a seamless one."

Judge Sullivan has served multiple terms on the Supreme Court Advisory Committee (“SCAC"). The SCAC is appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to provide advice and research on proposed changes to the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Texas Rules of Evidence. He has also served multiple terms on the Texas Pattern Jury Charge (“PJC") Committee, including several years as Vice-Chair of the PJC Oversight Committee. The PJC Committee is responsible for the formulation of standardized jury instructions and questions for use in trials throughout the state.

He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association, and is a fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. He has also served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas, and he is the recipient of two Presidential Citations from the State Bar of Texas for service to the bar.

Judge Sullivan graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He earned his law degree in 1982 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Sutherland's Houston office has expanded significantly in recent years and has more than 30 attorneys providing Corporate, Energy and Environmental, and Litigation services to clients in the banking, financial services, insurance, and energy industries.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.

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