The American Bar Association State and Local Government Section has honored Edward J. Sullivan with the Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ed Sullivan’s distinguished legal career spans 45 years and has had significant impact on Land Use law in Oregon. Throughout his career, he has championed sound land use planning, the provision of affordable housing opportunities, and the protection and preservation of resource lands throughout Oregon and beyond.
Carrie Richter, co-chair of the Garvey Schubert Barer Land Use Group with Ed Sullivan, and his colleague for the past 10 years, said, “Ed's accomplishments speak for themselves. He has shaped the Oregon land use system, starting with his influence on the seminal Senate Bill 100 drafting and adoption, taken land use battles to the United States Supreme Court, and proposed innovative approaches to ensure that sufficient urban land is available for affordable housing development.”
Ed Sullivan’s accomplishments have included work with major landmark cases in the history of Oregon State Land Use Law. The most notable cases that Ed has been involved in are Fasano v. Washington County Board of County Commissioners, and Baker v. City of Milwaukie. Both are Oregon Supreme Court cases that uphold the necessity to guarantee fair, reviewable and predictable decision-making in Oregon land use.
Before entering private practice, Ed worked for the then governor of the State of Oregon, Robert W. Straub.
According to Dwight H. Merriam, FAICP, attorney with the Hartford, Connecticut-based law firm, Robinson & Cole, “Ed has represented developers, property owners, governments, individuals, and many advocacy groups. His writings, teaching and lecturing reflect his synoptic and inclusive view of what land-use law and the Rule of Law mean for all stakeholders, and importantly, for those who are disenfranchised in the decision-making process, and for generations not yet born.”
Within the land use law community, education regarding comprehensive and coordinated land use planning is of the utmost importance. Over the past 25 years, Ed has taught land use planning law to planners and law students at Lewis and Clark Law School, Willamette University College of Law, and Portland State University. He speaks on a variety of land use planning topics all over the world. His most recent presentations include a discussion of urban grown boundaries at the Planning Law and Property Rights conference in Israel, as well as speaking engagements in Athens, Greece and Sydney, Australia.
Ben Griffith, Attorney with the Cleveland, Mississippi-based law firm, Griffith & Griffith, noted that “Ed has generously given his time, expertise and desire to advance and improve this vital component of the rule of law, through participation in scores of international conferences and symposia from the Pacific Rim, The Peoples Republic of China, and Australia to Eurasia, Eastern and Central Europe, the nations comprising the European Union and beyond. A born educator, advocate and counselor, Ed has inspired a younger generation of land use specialists to take on the mantle of public advocacy and public sector leadership, while maintaining a balanced perspective that is evidenced in his law firm, countless community contributions and personal friendships that span the globe.”
Ed Sullivan has published hundreds of articles and commentaries in everything from academic journals and legal industry trade publications, such as the Urban Lawyer, to many newspapers and community newsletters. His publications include a series of articles tracking the history of land use values in Oregon, which are encyclopedic in depth and cover experiential-based explanations of efforts to preserve farmlands, forest lands, and to still provide public infrastructure. He also tracks, and annually publishes an article exploring the role that the comprehensive plan plays in governing local government decisions for the American Bar Association. Due to the combination of his law practice, his teaching and many publications, Ed Sullivan is widely held to be an expert in his field, and is often the first person lawyers and planners rely on for counsel.
For over four decades, Ed Sullivan has dedicated himself to the Oregon State Bar and has served as the editor of the Oregon State Bar Land Use publication. He has also served as an associate editor of the Real Estate and Land Use Digest, the bi-monthly summary of land use cases and other real estate and land use developments for the Oregon State Bar. His many accomplish-ments include advocating for affordable and disabled housing; he founded, and is the past chair of, the Housing Land Advocates, dedicated to ensuring that land is available for the construction of affordable housing
Long known to be a mentor to law students, an educator to the legal community and to the public, he has been an advocate to many and has dedicated his career to serving the community with the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and commitment.
Patricia E. Salkin, Dean of Touro College’s Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, said, “On a more personal level, throughout his career Ed has been a gracious mentor. As a long-time leader within the ABA State and Local Government Law Section, Ed has encouraged and supported my active involvement. He has brought other young lawyers - men and women - into the State and Local Section, and as a result, he is responsible in part for a healthy, sustainable future of the State and Local Government Law Section. Ed is a busy family man, a focused and successful lawyer, and an inquisitive person who has done much to advance the field of state and local government law. I can think of no one more deserving of the Jefferson Fordham Lifetime Achievement Award than Edward J. Sullivan.”
Jennifer Bragar, Ed's colleague at Garvey Schubert Barer, said, “Ed Sullivan’s professional life has so overlapped with his personal commitment to excellence and public service that even this award fails to capture the magical quality and love of the law he bestows on those he works with, collaborates with and teaches.”
Ed Sullivan has touched the lives of so many and yet he attributes much of the support he gets from his family, his wife Patte, his four children and seven grandchildren.
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