The Office of
Defense Services

Remembering Chief Public Defender Larry Sullivan

Larry Sullivan’s passing marks a sad day in Delaware. Larry was a giant in the world of indigent defense, both here in Delaware and nationally. He was a fierce advocate for poor people accused of crimes.

Over his long tenure as Delaware’s Public Defender, Larry doggedly fought to ensure that every accused person got a fair shake from the criminal justice system.  Larry ran the Public Defender’s Office for 39 years and made it the best criminal defense law firm in the state.  He was an innovator who pioneered the use of technology to manage ever increasing caseloads.  He secured public funding for support staff, including investigators, social workers and forensics experts to enable his attorneys to provide their clients with the best representation possible.

Larry’s professional legacy is Delaware’s first rate indigent defense system, said Brendan O’Neill, Chief Defender for Delaware’s Office of Defense Services.

Throughout his long and illustrious career, Larry served as a mentor to hundreds of Delaware lawyers.  His high standards and keen sense of social justice set the bar high for Delaware lawyers.  As a result of Larry’s good work, all of us in Delaware are better off because of Larry Sullivan.

Our thoughts and  prayers are with Kate and the rest of Larry’s family.  They are no doubt grieving the loss of Larry.  They can take solace in knowing that Larry did a lot of good for a lot of people.  We are fortunate to have known him.

A service for Larry will be held on Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m., with a visitation from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. Anthony’s of Padua Church at 901 N. Dupont St. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ministry of Caring at 115 E. 14th St.