Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan
- 2004-06-03 - 2004-08-04 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 12 audiocassettes (8 hr., 35 min., 26 sec.)
Name of creator
Donal Dennis Sullivan was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1931. He attended Loyola University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and DePaul University Law School. He clerked for Judge Hall Lusk in 1959. He became a deputy district attorney of Multnomah County in 1960; was an assistant attorney general from 1960 to 1962; was an assistant U.S. Attorney from 1962 to 1965; was a clerk of U.S. District Court of Oregon from 1965 to 1969; and became an Appointed Referee in Bankruptcy in 1969. He became a judge in 1979 and was appointed to his first 14-year term to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, Oregon, in September 1986. He was recalled in January 1999. He died in 2009.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan was conducted by Adair Law from June 3 to August 4, 2004. In this interview, Sullivan discusses his family background and early life, which was primarily spent in Chicago, Illinois. He then talks about serving in the U.S. Army Reserves and getting called to active duty during the Korean War. He discusses studying electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology and law at DePaul University. He talks about his marriage to Marilyn Johnson and about relocating to Portland, Oregon.
Sullivan discusses working as a law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Hall Lusk. He talks about some of the cases Lusk heard during that time. He then talks about how he came to work as a deputy Multnomah County district attorney under Leo Smith and about briefly moving back to Chicago. He discusses returning to Oregon to work as a deputy U.S. attorney under U.S. Attorney Robert Y. Thornton, and later Sid Lezak. He talks about some of the cases he worked on, particularly fraud cases. He then talks about working as clerk for the U.S. District Court of Oregon, including the judges he worked with, particularly Gus Solomon, and cases he worked on, particularly those relating to draft resisters. He discusses Marilyn Johnson's death in 1983. He then talks about his second marriage to Carol O'Kane, and her subsequent death; his children and step-children, their families, and their careers; and his experience of being quarantined during a Chicago summer due to a polio epidemic. Sullivan then discusses serving as a bankruptcy judge. He talks about his predecessor, Estes Snedecor, some of the cases he heard, and changes in bankruptcy laws. He also talks about his third marriage, to Dede McLoughlin, and about his siblings' families and their careers. He speaks about his view of the role of bankruptcy in a capitalist system and his philosophy of law. He speaks at length about several particular bankruptcy cases he heard. He closes the interview by discussing his retirement activities.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Joint copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/
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Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan, by Michael O'Rourke, SR 11150, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan, by Adair Law, SR 1287, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.
Incomplete transcript (153 pages) is available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.