Robert Lee Sullivan, Class of 1977, dead at 59

Sep 19, 2011

Robert Lee “Bob” Sullivan, Class of 1977, died September 15 at home after a courageous 14-month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Obituary in the Tennessean

Sullivan was a partner in Loeb & Loeb in Nashville, where his practice focused on entertainment transactions primarily in the music field as well as litigation and mediation in the areas of entertainment and intellectual property. He represented major recording artists, songwriters, publishing companies and record companies, including Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, the Carter Family, B.B. King, Thompson Square, The Fray, Sean Penn, Peter Frampton, Lynyrd Skynnard, EMI Publishing, John Prine, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. In addition to being an acclaimed entertainment lawyer, he taught Intellectual Property and Copyright Law at both the Nashville School of Law and at Belmont University.

He earned his B.A. at Vanderbilt University in 1974 magna cum laude before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt Law School in 1977. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1977 and admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.

Sullivan’s first love was playing music, and he played in many bands over the years as a lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

Visitation with the family will be at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville on Saturday, September 24, at 10 a.m., followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. Additional visitation with the family will follow the service from noon to 1 p.m.

Sullivan is survived by his wife of 19 years, Catherine Cate Sullivan; his mother, Wilma Jean Rion Sullivan, and brother, James Terry Sullivan, both of Makenda, Illinois; and a large extended family, including his father-in-law, George Harrison Cate Jr., Class of 1951.


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