Judge Eugene Sullivan visits Duke Law for a discussion and book signing

September 11, 2008Duke Law News

Sept. 10, 2008 — Judge Eugene Sullivan visited Duke Law School on Tuesday, Sept. 9, for a lunchtime discussion and book signing of his new novel “The Report to the Judiciary.”

The novel tells the story of a judge who is tasked by the Senate Judiciary Committee with investigating and advising the would-be first black chief justice of the United States in the face of scandal prior to his confirmation hearing. The story is designed as a modern take on Shakespeare’s “Othello.”

New York Times best-selling author David Baldacci has described “The Report to the Judiciary” as a “page-turner with a true insider’s knowledge.” Sullivan is one of only four authors whom Baldacci has endorsed during his 15-year writing career.

Sullivan includes multiple references to Duke University in his novel, a nod to the fact that his son is an alumnus of the university and to his friendship with Law School Professor Robinson Everett.

Two Supreme Court justices in the novel visit Duke Law School to attend a special conference sponsored by the Center for Law, Ethics and National Security (LENS). Everett, who appears by name as a character in “The Report to the Judiciary,” founded the Center at Duke Law School in 1993. He originally planned to focus on law and national security alone until Sullivan recommended that he incorporate ethics as part of the center’s mission.

“I was talking in terms of law and national security, and he said ethics should be a part of the title and part of the mission,” says Everett. “He played a role in the naming of the center and has been active in it ever since.”

Sullivan, who previously authored “The Majority Rules,” draws on a wealth of legal and military experience to inform his writing. He is a graduate of West Point and a Vietnam veteran who served as an Army Ranger instructor. He was also a White House lawyer for President Nixon and general counsel of the U.S. Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office. He currently has senior status with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and heads a judicial consulting firm that includes three former heads of the FBI.

“It’s a real-life story,” Sullivan says about the book. “Everything in here is [happening] or will happen, or can happen. “It is a little frightening, but it is real.”

Copies of “The Report to the Judiciary” are available at The Gothic Bookshop. At the request of Judge Sullivan, customers will have the opportunity to buy a discounted second copy of the novel that will then be donated to a prison library.