Gavel Consulting Group
Group of former Federal judges  providing strategic advice


Eugene R. Sullivan


Eugene R. Sullivan is a retired Federal Judge in Washington D.C. Nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate, Judge Sullivan was installed as a Federal Judge in 1986.  In 1990, President Bush named him the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (Armed Forces), a position he held for five years.


   Born in St Louis, Missouri, Judge Sullivan graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, where he was a member of the Cadet Honor Committee and the varsity lacrosse team.  Following graduation, he served in the Army for five years and qualified as a tanker, an Airborne Ranger, a Ranger Instructor and a Jumpmaster.  He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and other decorations in Vietnam. In 2006, Judge Sullivan was installed as a Distinguished Member of the US Army Ranger Training Brigade.


   After the Army, Judge Sullivan attended and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, serving as an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal in his senior year.  Following graduation from law school, Judge Sullivan clerked for Chief Judge M.C. Matthes of the United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit) and was in private law practice with the Patton Boggs law firm in Washington, DC.


   Judge Sullivan served in the White House on the legal defense team of President Nixon during the Watergate investigation in 1974.  From 1974 to 1982, he was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. From 1982 until he became a Federal Judge in 1986, Judge Sullivan served in the Pentagon as the General Counsel of the U.S. Air Force after serving initially as the Deputy General Counsel.  He was awarded the Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal for his achievements.


   From 1982 until 1986, concurrent with his Air Force duties, Judge Sullivan functioned as the General Counsel of the National Reconnaissance Office (“NRO”-a then super-secret U.S. intelligence organization).  In addition, in 1984-1986, he served as the Governor of Wake Island, an U.S. possession in the Pacific.  In 1988 and 1989, Judge Sullivan served on the Federal Commission to review the West Point Honor Code.  He was the founding Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Board of Trustees (Association of Graduates) of West Point and serves on the Executive Board of the Duke Law School Center for Law, Ethics and National Security.


   Judge Sullivan has given many lectures on American law to visiting international judges and lawyers. For many years, he was the chair of three annual conferences: the International Judicial Conference (Criminal Law), the Great Debate (a debate on judicial reform) between the USA and England, and the International Diplomatic Conference (an educational program for ambassadors).  For his career in promoting the rule of law, Judge Sullivan has been awarded the Medal of Justice from Romania, the First Class Medal of Defense from Hungary, the Defense Minister’s Citation of Merit from the Republic of China, an honorary Doctor of Law degree from New England School of Law, the Medal for Distinguished Public Service from the U.S. Department of Defense, and the 2001 Castle Award from the West Point Society (DC). The Castle Award is given to one West Point graduate each year – a past recipient was Brent Scowcroft.


  Judge Sullivan’s first novel, The Majority Rules, was published in 2005. He has written a second legal thriller, soon to be published. Judge Sullivan is married to Lis Sullivan from Denmark who is an artist and a collector of Chinese art. Their Daughter, Kim, is a graduate of Columbia University, attended graduate school at Columbia University, and works as a senior photo editor in New York City; Eugene II, their son, works as an IP litigator in Washington DC and is a graduate of Duke University, The London School of Economics, and Columbia Law.


     Contact through: or (202) 390-5959


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Contact Judge Eugene Sullivan (ret) at
or (202) 390-5959