Policy Statements

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 →

Regulating Stingray Technology

The Civil Liberties Committee of the Chicago Council of Lawyers has called on the state of Illinois to regulate the government’s use of Stingray technology. On January 20, 2016, Representative Ann Williams of Chicago introduced Illinois House Bill 4470 to regulate the use by government bodies of cell site simulator devices. A similar measure is being introduced in the Illinois Senate… Read more →

Ensuring the Public Defense of Indigent Criminal Defendants in Cook County (August 2015)

The Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC) is a joint group composed of members of the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers. The CJAC has been engaged in a two-year project to ensure that indigent criminal defendants in Chicago’s felony preliminary hearing courtrooms receive the public defense required by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution… Read more →

Follow Up to Police Accountability Forum

The Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs Does Not Report Data That Would Allow The Public To Evaluate Whether It Is Processing Complaints of Police Misconduct Fairly. –Gordon Waldron Processing of complaints against police in Chicago is a Tale of Two Cities. The two cities are the Chicago Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and the Bureau of Internal Affairs… Read more →