Close-up photo looking up at Chicago skyscrapers


photo of Chicago defense attorney, Terry Sullivan, speaking on WGN-TV with anchorsTerry Sullivan, President


A former prosecutor, Terry focuses his practice on criminal defense, representing clients accused of felonies, misdemeanors, DUI/DWI, and traffic violations. Highly respected in the legal community for his aggressive courtroom style and negotiating skill, his fellow attorneys also cite his fairness and legal expertise.

As legal analyst for WGN-TV (Channel 9) for the past twenty years, Terry has discussed evolving legal issues on breaking local, national and international matters. He has covered topics such as the nomination of Supreme Court Judges, Proposition 8 and gay adoption. He has also discussed and analyzed many high-profile cases including the trials of O.J. Simpson, Conrad Black, Saddam Hussein, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Jason Van Dyke.

Cases of Note

John Wayne Gacy

Terry earned public recognition while serving as a prosecutor under three State’s Attorneys. His most notable prosecution was of the infamous John Wayne Gacy, the most prolific serial killer convicted in the history of the United States.

Terry’s book, Killer Clown, placed him on the Chicago Tribune’s best seller list.

Cover of the book Killer Clown written by Attorney Terry Sullivan with Peter T. Maiken.

Courtroom drawing of the John Wayne Gacy trial. Prosecuting Attorney Terry Sullivan is reading from a document.

Patricia Columbo

Terry and his partners prosecuted Patricia Columbo and her lover, Frank DeLuca, for the brutal and mysterious suburban slaying of her father, mother and young brother, who was stabbed 97 times. Both were convicted and remain in Illinois State Prisons.

United States Senate Select Committee

Terry testified in Washington D.C. before Senator Arlen Spector’s Committee on Juvenile Justice.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1968
  • New York, 1984
  • U.S. District Court
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit


  • St. Joseph’s College, B.S., Accountancy, with honors, 1965
  • Loyola University, J.D., 1968

Professional Associations (past & present)

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Old Town Triangle Association
  • Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce

Honors & Awards

Terry Sullivan has been honored with the following awards:

  • Top Ten Criminal Defense Lawyers in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • The American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA)
  • Top Attorneys in Illinois (Chicago Magazine)


Published Works

  • Terry Sullivan with Peter T. Maiken.  Killer Clown: The John Wayne Gacy Murders. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1983.
  • Writer, Daily Herald Newspaper

Video Links


Monsters in my Family

In 2016, Terry was interviewed on The Lifetime Movie Network.

Terry recorded a documentary for CNN that aired in the Spring of 2019.

Terry is also featured in numerous documentaries:

A six-part docu-series called John Wayne Gacy: Devil In Disguise, streaming on Peacock.

A documentary called The Clown and The Candyman now streaming on Discovery ID.

Terry most recently participated in a documentary about John Wayne Gacy that will be featured on Netflix, coming soon!


Articles and Videos:

Community Involvement

Terry has served on the board of directors for the Northwest Suburban Association of Commerce and Industry. He is also a member of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago. A lover of baseball, Terry is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.

Baseball: "It's all about the kids!"

Our guy Terry Sullivan explains what he said to the little girl after giving her a foul ball at the Cubs game Sunday. After all, it's all about the kids!

Posted by WGN Morning News on Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Attorney Nancy J. Nicol Nancy J. Nicol, Associate (Retired)


Nancy’s practice is focused on appellate, real estate, and civil litigation. She was a member of the Editorial Board of DePaul Law Review and served as a Law Clerk for the Hon. Helen McGillicuddy, Illinois Appellate Court, Chicago.

Nancy was an instructor, teaching Legal Research and Writing at Loyola University School of Law.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1978
  • U.S. District Court
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit


  • University of Dayton, B.S., 1971
  • DePaul University, J.D., 1978

Professional Associations (past & present)

  • Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (past president)
  • National Association of Woman Lawyers (former vice-president)


Attorney Judy ChessickJudy Chessick, Associate


Judy focuses her practice on family law, divorce, and real estate. She has served as an arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program and guest speaker at various Chicago area schools to help familiarize students with the law. She has also co-authored an article in the Sherman Hospital Clinical Bulletin, “A Lawyer to Watch Your Lawyer.”

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1983


  • University of Illinois, B.A., Teaching of History, with honors, 1969
  • Northeastern University, M.Ed., Counseling/Guidance, 1973
  • DePaul University, J.D., 1978

Professional Associations

  • Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Association


“Judy ensured that I was fully informed of every aspect of the sale/closing requirements so that the entire process went smoothly.”

Real Estate Seller, Elk Grove Village

See what clients have to say about working with Judy.


Sullivan Firm paralegals Amanda Hagestedt & Jessica Gonzalez

Amanda Hagestedt
Jessica Gonzalez