Associate, Litigator

Z. Kent Sullivan LinkedIn

Biography

Kent Sullivan is a Senior Litigation Associate with the firm and has been practicing law since 1996. He possesses a broad legal background and experience having represented individuals, businesses, and large institutional clients in private and public settings both in Canada and the United States. He excels at creatively analyzing and meeting client needs, including through litigation, when necessary.

Kent is particularly adept at prosecuting, defending and managing large, complex litigation matters to resolve client issues and meet client goals. Kent does this in a wide variety of contexts, including land and resource development, business disputes, access issues, failed property and business transactions, collections, foreclosure, professional negligence, administrative matters, negotiation, settlement, appellate advocacy and many other types of matters.

In his litigation practice, Kent has excelled at the innovative use of technology to successfully resolve legal disputes.  He has become an expert on using geographic information systems (“GIS”) in legal applications, including in the courtroom. While GIS technology is widely used in public and private contexts outside the law, it has been largely overlooked and underutilized by the legal profession. During his last trial, Kent used GIS in the courtroom every day and with each witness during a six-week long trial. The client prevailed in the case largely because of the use of GIS.  GIS can also be applied in a variety of contexts besides property, development, and resource matters. Kent serves as a speaker and consultant with using GIS in legal applications.

Kent was in private practice for his first 16 years as a lawyer, serving as a partner at separate firms in Montana and Alaska.  He was most recently an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alaska, representing the State in a variety of high-profile disputes and litigation involving access and resource issues as well as State versus federal government conflicts.  Kent has recently represented a variety of clients in B.C., including in the Vancouver, New Westminster, and Chilliwack court systems and administrative tribunals.

Work Highlights

  • Represented one of the largest collection agencies in the State of Montana in performing creditor collections and defending against Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims.
  • Represented consumers in a nationwide class action against one of the largest secondary lenders in the U.S.
  • Represented Montana State and local Realtor®
  • Served as lead-counsel in successfully representing the State of Alaska in a six-week long trial.
  • Developed an expertise in using GIS in a wide variety of legal applications, including the courtroom.
  • Served as lead appellate counsel in the following cases:
    • Fadness v. Wimmer, 951 P.2d 89 (Mont. 1997)(collateral estoppel & real estate licensee negligence)
    • Brumit v. Lewis, 61 P.3d 138 (Mont. 2002)(private prescriptive easement)
    • Dawson v. Temanson, 107 P.3d 892 (Alaska 2005)(landlord/tenant and attorney’s fees)
    • MacDonald v. Riggs, 166 P.3d 12 (Alaska 2007)(personal injury)
    • Wilson v. MacDonald, 168 P.3d 887 (Alaska 2007)(personal injury)
    • Shaffer v. Bellows, 260 P.3d 1064 (Alaska 2011)(fraudulent conveyance and option agreement)
    • Dickson v. Alaska, 433 P.3d 1075 (Alaska 2018)(R.S. 2477 rights-of-way & public prescription)

Associations

  • Executive Committee Member, Aboriginal Law Section, Canadian Bar Association for British Columbia
  • American Bar Association;
  • Canadian Bar Association;
  • Former member:
    • Alaska Real Estate Commission;
    • Juneau Bar Association (Treasurer 2002, President 2003);
    • Alaska Bar Association Funding and Services Committee;
    • Alaska Bar Association Funding and Services Committee; and
    • Legal Secretarial Advisory Committee for the University of Montana College of Technology.

Speaking

  • Using GIS in legal applications, including the courtroom
  • State’s Rights and access issues
  • Legal issues regarding fish and wildlife management in the State of Alaska
  • Alaska Real Estate issues
  • Montana Landlord & Tenant law

Community

  • Missoula Kiwanis Club (former member)
  • Juneau Gastineau Rotary Club (former member)