Susan Kennedy Sullivan: Candidate Profile

1st Appellate District (Democrat)

  • Susan Kennedy Sullivan, running for 1st Appellate District

    Susan Kennedy Sullivan, running for 1st Appellate District

Updated 2/14/2014 10:44 PM

Back to 1st Appellate District



Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

Jump to:




City: Chicago


Office sought:

1st Appellate District

Age: 61

Family: I am married to Hon. Daniel J. Sullivan (ret.), who served for many years as a Circuit Court Judge in the Rolling Meadows courthouse, Cook County District 3. My husband is a Republican. We have not been blessed with children, but, between us, we have 36 nieces and nephews

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Occupation: I was elected to the Circuit Court in a county-wide election November 2010, and I have been a sitting Circuit Court Judge since December 2010. I am dually appointed to the Elder Law and Miscellaneous Division and First Municipal Division, Traffic Court. While my practice area was primarily civil, my judicial experience has been largely criminal.

Education: DEPAUL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW, Chicago, Illinois

Juris Doctorate, February, 1994 (Night School)

Certificate of Health Care Law

Articles Editor, Journal of Health & Hospital Law


Masters of Arts:

School of Education, Health, Nursing and Arts, 1979

Sigma Theta Tau, National Honors Society

Recipient: NIH Grant

Recipient: "1979 Outstanding Student Award"


Bachelor of Science, 1974


Major: Nursing

Dean's List 1973, 1974

Varsity Letter for sailing, Athletic Assoc. GU

Civic involvement: As a sitting Judge, my civic involvement has been:

Adjunct Professor, DePaul University, College of Law since 1998

Course: Elder Law

Faculty, Admin. Office of Illinois Courts Judicial Conference 2011

Course: Elder Law

Judicial Panel Member, PUSH Oratorical Contest, 2014

Judge, 6th Gr.Courtroom Project, St. Francis, Lake Geneva, WI

Prior to becoming a Judge, my civic involvement including many lectures, panel participation and presentations usually on the subject of elder law and related matters. I am an active member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois Bar Association, Women's Bar Association and the American Nurses Association. In the past, I have been chairman for the Elder Law as well as the Mental Health Law Committees at the Chicago Bar Association. I have also been the President of the Illinois Chapter of National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (2005-2006) and a founding member of the Task Force on Issue Affecting Women as They Age.

Elected offices held: The only elected office is as a Circuit Court Judge elected 2010.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?

I believe my education, my civil area of practice and now my criminal experience on the bench would enhance the makeup of the Appellate Court.

I have heard jury and bench trials as a judge, and I represented individuals in dozens of trials while in practice. More and more matters on the trial court level concern issues involving litigants or defendants who are elderly and citizens with disabilities and the issues are more and more complex. I predict a greater number of those cases will be appealed; I am uniquely prepared to understand and analyze those matters. I also am prepared for the writing and research required on the Appellate Court in any issue presented on appeal. I have taken a matter from the trial level, through the Appellate Court and onto the Supreme Court. I was an assistant editor to DePaul University's Journal of Health and Hospital Law. During my nursing career, I was an assistant editor and an editor-in-chief for two national nursing journals. I am a good administrator having had my own law firm for 16 years. I am eager to utilize my skills at the Appellate Court, and I would be honored to have the opportunity.

What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?

Although length of time as a judge on the circuit court may not be the longest of my opponents service, I believe my three year on the bench coupled now with my extensive experience in both civil and criminal law place me as the most highly qualified candidate in this race. Unlike the other candidates, I have never been endorsed by the Democratic Party nor have I ever been "appointed" to a judicial position. I have worked hard for everything I have gotten, and I believe that underscores my independence, my work ethic, my qualifications and further assures my neutrality.

Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?

I dislike politics, and I do not relish the process of running for a judicial position. However, without the opportunity to run in a county-wide election, I would not be a judge today. Why? Because I am the somebody nobody sent, and my qualifications speak for themselves.

Although I am a life-long Democrat, I have always voted for the best qualified candidate, which is why my Republican husband and I do not always cancel out each other's vote. But I was soured on politics as a child when my father, now deceased, was very active in the Democratic party but lost in his congressional race against Donald Rumsfeld in 1962. So, proof positive, I will always keep an open mind -- even to the extent that I entered politics again after decades of a sour taste.