Ind. SC justice stepping down to take law school job

Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 4, 2012, 6:55am


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. announced Monday he will be leaving his seat on the state's high court to become a faculty member at Indiana University's law school.

Dean Gary R. Roberts said Sullivan's appointment takes effect at the start of the fall semester.

"Having Frank Sullivan join our faculty is an exciting and extraordinary opportunity to bring in someone with a great mind and academic temperament to teach our students both theory and practice and to add to our scholarly culture," Roberts said in a statement.

"At the same time, Justice (soon to be Professor) Sullivan can connect the school more firmly with the practicing bar and bench through his extraordinary reputation and his extensive experience as a practicing lawyer, state budget director and Supreme Court justice. This is truly a unique and special hire for the IU McKinney School of Law."

Sullivan said he is honored to join the law school's faculty.

"I have long admired the faculty of the law school and its commitment to the school's students and to community service. I very much hope I can make my own contributions in those regards," he said in a statement.

Sullivan previously served as an adjunct professor at the school from 2007 to 2009, teaching a class in public finance law. Roberts said he expects Sullivan to teach classes in business law and corporate finance.

Sullivan, who will continue to serve as a member of the Court until the fall semester begins or shortly before, said he plans to notify the Clerk of the Court and the Judicial Nominating Commission as soon as a definite date for his departure is determined.

Appointed by former Gov. Evan Bayh, Sullivan has been a member of the Court since 1993.

Prior to his appointment to the Court, Sullivan served as state budget director and executive assistant for fiscal policy to Bayh.

Before that, he practiced corporate finance and securities law in the Indianapolis office of Barnes and Thornburg, Indiana's largest law firm. He also served on the staff of former U.S. Rep. John Brademas from 1974 to 1979, ultimately assuming the position of staff director.

Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson, in a statement Monday, said the remaining justices will miss Sullivan's "keen intellect, thoughtful wisdom, enormous energy and great passion."

"With contagious enthusiasm and meticulous leadership, he has been the driving force behind the creation and operation of the Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee and the Odyssey case management system that is bringing new effectiveness and efficiencies to a significant and growing number of Indiana courts," Dickson said. "He has also made a profound impact with his service to the American Bar Association and its Appellate Judges' Education Institute.

"Justice Sullivan's many accomplishments as a jurist and a judicial leader will long be remembered with gratitude."

With Sullivan's departure, Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels will be forced to appoint another justice to the Court -- that would make three since being elected in 2004.

In 2010, Daniels chose Steven David to replace Justice Theodore Boehm.

In March, Daniels appointed Mark Massa to replace former Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, who announced his retirement in December. Massa was sworn in Monday.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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