Lawrence A. Sullivan, 84; law school professor and antitrust authority

Times Staff Writer

Lawrence A. Sullivan, a leading authority on antitrust law and an emeritus professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, died Oct. 7 of cancer at his home in Sherman Oaks, according to family members. He was 84.

Sullivan, who was also the first Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, was the author of several books and articles on antitrust law. Along with Southwestern colleague Warren Grimes, he recently published a revised edition of “The Law of Antitrust: An Integrated Handbook,” a one-volume work that has become a standard reference for students, judges and attorneys.

“As a scholar, Larry was careful, scrupulously fair but never hesitant to advocate for results he believed in,” Grimes said in a statement released by Southwestern. “He taught many a younger colleague how to blend and balance a thorough and careful analysis with articulate and persuasively stated conclusions.”


In a statement released by UC Berkeley, Jesse Choper, a Boalt professor and a former dean of the school, said “The Law of Antitrust” really “put Larry on the map” and was “particularly helpful to practitioners on the plaintiff side.”

Collaborating with Eleanor Fox, the Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation at New York University School of Law, Sullivan produced “Cases and Materials on Antitrust,” a casebook also used in antitrust courses nationally.

Fox said Sullivan “thought about the law’s impact on people and worried about misuses of power and wealth. Even as antitrust law became so technical and lost sight of its origins, he never did.”

Sullivan grew up in New York City, where his father, Charles P. Sullivan, was the district attorney for Queens County from 1935 to 1951. Lawrence Sullivan served in the Army Air Forces during World War II, running a control tower in India. After the war, he earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, graduating magna cum laude, and his law degree from Harvard.

After clerking for Chief Judge Calvert Magruder of the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, Sullivan taught at Boalt Hall for two years before joining the Boston law firm of Foley, Hoag and Eliot. He became a partner and practiced law there for 15 years.

Sullivan returned to the Boalt faculty in 1967, serving for a time as acting dean and director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Legal Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity. He took emeritus status in 1991 and joined the faculty at Southwestern, where he taught antitrust law, intellectual property and regulation and deregulation in the telecommunications industry.


He was appointed by President Carter to the National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures. He also served as a consultant on antitrust issues to the Department of Justice, the Department of Energy, the Federal Trade Commission, the Senate and House subcommittees on antitrust, and the California attorney general’s office.

In 1992, he was named Antitrust Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section.

Choper remembered Sullivan as “street-smart and savvy [but] with a gentle manner about him, low-key and soft-spoken.

” He conveyed this notion of wisdom and truly was one of a handful of leading people in antitrust law.”

He is survived by his wife, Joan; three sons from his first marriage that ended in divorce, Larry B., Mark and Neil; stepsons Eric, Douglas and Jonathan; stepdaughter Emily Sears Vaughn; 10 grandchildren; and one-great grandson.

Funeral services are private.

Instead of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Professor Lawrence A. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund at Southwestern Law School.