Recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in family law, Sullivan has focused his career on the needs of military families, serving as an educator, an advocate and a resource for practical assistance. He worked with the ABA to prevent the enactment of legislation that would harm military families by allowing federal courts to exercise jurisdiction in child custody cases that involve military parents.
“I’m deeply honored that my work on military custody legislation has led to the Grassroots Advocacy Award from the ABA,” Sullivan said. “These efforts were truly a labor of love, and I hope that the results in state legislatures will provide additional and much-needed protection for military families. Those who are in our armed forces deserve a fair shake in family court. Hopefully my work has helped to give that to them.”
Sullivan has limited his trial practice to family law since 1981 and has been certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a family law specialist since 1989. He is a frequent speaker at military and family law programs and is an annual lecturer on family law at the Army JAG School and the Naval Justice School. A member of the Judge Advocates Association and the Reserve Officers Association, Sullivan is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. His writings include “The Military Divorce Handbook,” second edition, published in 2011 by the ABA. Sullivan is past chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel and the ABA Family Law Section’s Military Law Committee. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Distinguished Service Award from the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel and the Army’s Legion of Merit as the service’s “foremost expert in family law.”
“Mark Sullivan is a dedicated advocate for service members and their families,” ABA President James R. Silkenat said. “We are proud to honor him with the ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award.”
Sullivan will receive the award as part of the association’s annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2014 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to D.C. to discuss issues such as funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
The other recipients of the 2014 ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award are South Dakota Chief Justice David E. Gilbertson and George Washington University law professor Stephen A. Saltzburg.
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