Chicago Council

Changes in the Cook County Domestic Relations Courts

The Cook County court recently took bold steps to modernize the Domestic Relations Division and improve the system for all families moving through the divorce, paternity and child support process. Consolidation of the divorce court and parentage court went into effect on February 6, 2017 and is the culmination of many years work by a task force convened by Presiding… Read more →

Cook County State’s Attorney Announces New Policy for Bond Recommendations

The Chicago Council of Lawyers (CCL) commends Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx for taking a progressive step towards reducing Cook County’s money-based system of pretrial justice through the recently-announced expanded I-Bond policy. Working with Chicago Appleseed as part of the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, CCL members and others are actively working toward safe and cost-effective alternatives to incarceration… Read more →

Illinois Takes Small First Step Toward Bail Reform

On June 9, 2017, Governor Rauner signed SB 2034 into law. SB 2034 covers two distinct areas of criminal law: the state RICO law and bail. First, effective immediately, it extends state RICO Act (“Illinois Street Gang And Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations Law”) for an additional 5 years.[1] Secondly and most importantly, it implements several changes to Illinois bail… Read more →

New NJDC Report Documents States’ Failure to Protect Children’s Right to Counsel

The National Juvenile Defender Center (“NJDC”) has issued new report that examines a serious failure in our justice system: the systematic denial of children’s constitutional right to a public defense. As NJDC’s troubling new report, Access Denied, documents, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled fifty years ago in In re Gault that children have a right to “the guiding hand of… Read more →

Immigration Court Access

On April 5, 2017, Steven Schulman, Pro Bono Partner at Akin Gump and principal author of the Appleseed Immigration Court Practice Guide, led a training for attorneys on overcoming obstacles in immigration court. The event was hosted by Latham & Watkins, sponsored by Chicago Appleseed, and co-sponsored by the Chicago Council of Lawyers. Video of the event is now available at YouTube. We’re… Read more →

Chicago Council of Lawyers Releases Judicial Evaluations

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its judicial evaluations for the November 2016 election.  The Council provides a written report providing short biographies and the reasons for its findings, both for judges seeking retention and for candidates who won their March 2016 primary and are seeking to fill a judicial vacancy in the November 2016 election.  The Committee to Elect Qualified Judges also provides… Read more →

Chicago Council Responds to Mayor’s Proposed Police Accountability Ordinance

On August 30, Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement on police accountability and a draft ordinance to replace the Independent Police Review Authority with a new agency. The Chicago Council of Lawyers offers its thoughts below. Chicago Council of Lawyers Communication about Mayor’s Proposed Police Accountability Ordinance. In the first week of October, Mayor Emanuel is scheduled to propose to the… Read more →

Statement on PATF Report

In April 2016, the Police Accountability Task Force issued their 190-page report: Recommendations for Reform: Restoring Trust between the Chicago Police and the Communities They Serve. The Report addresses many subjects, ranging from how to improve police-community relations to how to respond to persons with mental health problems. We have released our review of the report, focusing on the need for legal… Read more →

Report on the Impact of Court Fines, Fees and Costs

The Collaboration for Justice—the joint social justice effort of Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers—has released a report on the impact and legality of court fines, fees and costs. The report details how the recent trend of shifting court costs to low-income and indigent defendants is creating a cycle of fines, fees and increased jail… Read more →