WHO I AM
I offer the experience of over forty years in practice at every level of the criminal system.
Since receiving my license in 1974 I have handled serious criminal cases, including death penalty cases, at every level from pre-arrest consultation through motions, bench and jury trials, appeal, post-conviction and federal habeas corpus review, all the way to executive clemency. I have tried capital murder cases to acquittal and have tried long and complicated federal conspiracy jury trials, including the "El Rukn Generals" trial. Springfield attorney Michael Costello and I together tried a highly publicized quadruple murder case to acquittal before a jury in McLean County, Illinois.
I have appeared at the appeal level before every reviewing court in Illinois and before the federal courts of appeals for the seventh and ninth circuits and have been successful in criminal representation before the United States Supreme Court. I have also twice represented the Illinois State Bar Association before the United States Supreme Court as amicus curiae in criminal cases. Among the hundreds of cases I have handled on appeal is the notorious I-57 double murder. My work in post-conviction proceedings in a Kankakee County kidnapping and murder case was featured in a Chicago Tribune series.
I am the author of the 2015 Criminal Law volume of the Elements of Illinois Law series published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and also of the article on federal habeas corpus for the Institute publication Defending Illinois Criminal Cases (2010 edition), as well as other published articles on criminal law and practice. I have spoken on criminal practice at professional training seminars and conferences for attorneys.
I have also handled a wide range of non-criminal matters, particularly at the appeal level. I have served as a hearing officer for the Illinois Pollution Control Board and an arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County.
I am licensed to practice in every Illinois state court, including the Illinois Supreme Court, all five districts of the Appellate Court, and in the circuit court of every Illinois county; in the United States District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits; and in the Supreme Court of the United States.
"The law is open to everyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel."
- Judge Sturgess