Thomas E. Johnson Resume

Employment History:

February 1984 to the present:

PRIVATE PRACTICE.  In 1984, I founded the Johnson, Jones, Snelling, Gilbert & Davis litigation firm.  The firm has handled substantial trial and appellate litigation both in the federal and state courts.  We are very experienced in labor work (both on behalf of employees and employers); disability and injury cases; commercial litigation; housing development issues; health care litigation; civil rights work (particularly in the areas of public benefits, employment, police misconduct, election, and voting rights issues); as well as real estate and land use matters. 

While much of the firm's work is done on behalf of individuals, and particularly those of modest means, the firm has provided services and handled litigation, on a regular basis, for a sizeable number of companies and government agencies in Chicago.  These include, but are not limited to:  Rush University Medical Center; East Lake Management & Development; Holsten Development and Management Corps.; Leona’s Restaurants; Arrow Messenger Service, Inc.; Art Smith Enterprises; the Chicago Community Development Corporation; the United Methodist Church; the City of Chicago; the Chicago Housing Authority; the Housing Authority of Cook County; the Oak Park Housing Authority; the City of Aurora; the Chicago Police Board; the Illinois State Police Merit Board; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; the United Mine Workers; the Service Employees International Union; various real estate development firms and Chicago law firms.

September 1977 to February 1984:


Originally served in the Uptown neighborhood office, but promoted to a specialist position in public benefits litigation and served as Director of Social Welfare Litigation for two years.

September 1975 to September 1977:

LAW CLERK to the Honorable Thomas R. McMillen, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Educational Background:

The Harvard Law School (J.D., 1975, cum laude)
The American University (B.A., 1972, summa cum laude)

Professional Accomplishments:

I have practiced law continuously for more than forty-four years.  During the course of my career, I have handled a very large number of cases for many different types of clients --- everything from large corporations to impoverished individuals.  I have litigated cases at every level of the federal court system, including the United States Supreme Court.  I am admitted not only in our own Seventh Circuit, but also in the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, and have handled cases in each one.  I have also litigated cases at every level of the Illinois state court system, including the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court, every division and branch of the Circuit Court of Cook County, courts in other counties, as well as before countless administrative tribunals.  I have argued scores of cases on appeal, tried many cases to verdict, and both presided over and personally handled a large number of administrative hearings.   

Apart from litigation, I have developed a significant real estate practice over the last twenty years. I also have substantial experience in providing counsel to both large, mid-size and small corporations, as well as government agencies, on litigation, real estate and corporate matters.  For many years, I have served essentially as general counsel to a number of small and mid-size companies, and have assisted these firms in growing and avoiding liability. 

Areas of Interest and Experience:

A. Employment Issues 

I have represented individual workers, unions and employers on Title VII, National Labor Relations Act, LMRDA, ADA, ERISA, duty of fair representation, disability and termination issues.  Important projects have included: 

         1.     Representing the International Brotherhood of Teamsters during the administration of Ron Carey (the first popularly elected leader of the IBT), in trusteeing various corrupt Chicago locals, imposing discipline on union leaders, seeking to recover misspent funds, and bringing true rank and file democracy to these locals, see, e g., International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Local 705, 827 F. Supp. 513 (N.D. Ill. 1993); International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. Local 743, 94 C 5128 (N.D. Ill.); and Walston v. IBT, 96 C 276 (N.D. Ill.); as well as in more routine matters, e.g., McKelvin v. E.J. Brach, 124 F.3d 864 (7th Cir. 1997); Bryant v Yellow Freight Systems, 989 F.Supp. 966 (N.D.Ill. 1997); and Brach Van Houten Holding, Inc. v Save Brach's Coalition for Chicago, 856 F.Supp. 472 (N.D.Ill. 1994). 
         2. Handling large class actions under ERISA and RICO in successful efforts to recover pension benefits for workers.  See, e.g., Lumpkin v. Envirodyne Industries, 922 F.2d 449 (7th Cir. 1991) (recovering millions of dollars from parent corporation whose subsidiary purchased steel mill, laid off workers and sought to bankrupt out of pension liability); Local 705 v. Ligurotis, 95 C 828 (N.D. Ill.) (ERISA and RICO class case recovering $14 million in pension and health and welfare benefits squandered by corrupt trustees of Teamster fund); and Von Moore v. Simpson, 96 C 2971 (N.D. Ill.) (consent decree recovering funds from insurer for maladministration of Teamster health fund); 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13791 (N.D.Ill. 1997) (class certification). 

         3. Johnson v. Kmart Corporation, 311 Ill. App. 3d 573, 723 N.E.2d 1192 (1st Dist. 2000)  -- an action obtaining declaratory, injunctive, and damage relief on behalf of warehouse workers who were victims of unlawful surveillance by undercover detectives hired by employer and posing as employees. 

         4.    Designing and defending an early retirement program for the faculty of the Chicago City College system against a test case with national significance brought by the EEOC.  EEOC v. City Colleges of Chicago, 740 F. Supp. 508 (N.D. Ill. 1990), aff'd, 944 F.2d 339 (7th Cir. 1991). 

         5.     Successfully defending the discharge of high-profile public figures where the issues surrounding their discharge raised serious public policy questions.  See, e.g., Borrell v. CHA and City of Chicago, 87 C. 1045 (N.D. Ill.) (discharge of CHA's Director of Special Housing Programs); Janowicz v. CHA, 90 C 114 (N.D. Ill.) (discharge of CHA's internal auditor); Gorman v. Robinson, 997 F.2d 350 (7th Cir. 1992) (discharge of CHA's purchasing director). 

         6.      Representing unionized employees in connection with several large national bankruptcies in an effort to secure their rightful wage/priority claims.  These include the Midway and Santa Fe Transport bankruptcies. 

         7.       Representing class counsel in two large, national class actions alleging sex discrimination and harassment in the securities industry.  We have defended counsel’s administration of the settlement in complex litigation in New York, Chicago and elsewhere. See, e.g., Martens v. Smith Barney,92 Fed. Empl. Practices Cases 837 (S.D.N.Y 2003), aff’d. 114 Fed. App. 13 (2nd Cir. 2004); and Ingram v. Merrill Lynch,371 F.3d 950 (7th Cir. 2004).

         8.       Helping postal workers secure the right to examine their personnel records. Baker v Runyon, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6107 (N.D.Ill. 1997)(class certification).

         9.       Resolving many different corporate employment disputes, e.g., Marshall v. Arrow Messenger, 04 L 8879, (Cir. Ct. of Cook County) (lawsuit by general manager of firm); and Willenson v. Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 06 CH 15976 (May 12, 2009), aff'd 407 Ill.App.3d 1190 (1st Dist. 2011) (dispute between law firm and former partner under shareholders’ agreement). 

         10.       Designing employment handbooks to govern employee relations for a number of companies, and advising the companies on a myriad of employee claims and benefits issues. 
        11.       Serving as hearing officer appointed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity beginning in 2010, to resolve disputes over the expenditure of workforce dollars.

B. Housing and Real Estate Issues

I have handled everything from large-scale redevelopment projects to individual eviction and foreclosure defenses.  I have litigated all manner of land use, zoning and condemnation issues, and have handled more than four hundred real estate closings --- from single-family homes to apartment buildings to large publicly-financed projects.  Highlights include: 

         1.    Representing the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), over a twenty-four year period, in connection with its effort to transform its largest family public housing projects from dilapidated, gang-controlled high-rises into new mixed-income communities, integrated both racially and economically into the surrounding neighborhoods.  I have been lead counsel in those federal cases involving redevelopment of the Henry Horner and Cabrini-Green developments.  I also serve as lead Gautreaux counsel in federal court for the CHA, where I have been CHA’s attorney in connection with the redevelopment of its other projects, including ABLA, Stateway Gardens, the Taylor Homes, Madden-Wells, the Lakefront development, various supportive housing developments and others.  This has involved a tremendous amount of ongoing and complex litigation with the residents, the City of Chicago, the CHA’s Receiver, HUD, contractors, developers and neighborhood groups, with well over one hundred substantive orders from the Gautreaux court alone, as well as the resolution of numerous problems involving development, construction, labor issues, security, relocation issues, programmatic policies and regulatory questions with the federal and local governments, and elected officials. See, the many and varied decisions in Henry Horner Mothers Guild v. CHA, 91 C 3316 (including the Nov. 13, 2013 order amending the decree to re-fashion the superblock portion of the development, and the March 2, 2015 decision denying the plaintiffs fees); Cabrini-Green LAC v. CHA I, 96 C 6949; Cabrini-Green LAC v. CHA II, 04 C 3792; Cabrini-Green LAC v CHA III, 13 C 3642 (dismissed Nov. 4, 2014) and Gautreaux v. CHA, 66 C 1459 and 1460 (e.g. 491 F3d 649 (7th Cir. 2007); 475 F.3d 845 (7th Cir. 2007), 4 F.Supp.2d 757 (N.D.Ill. 1998) and Gautreaux v CHA (N.D. Ill., May, 2010) (vacating receivership); (N.D.Ill., Sept. 16, 2015) (establishing balance of redevelopment plan for Cabrini development); (N.D.Ill., Feb. 1, 2018) (revamping the entire waiting list and lease up/transfer policy in favor of a site-based, online, tenant-driven scheme) and (N.D. Ill. Jan. 23, 2019) (vacating the original 1969 judgment order and dismissing the case, subject to CHA's compliance with settlement agreement terms).  In addition to this work, I have defended CHA in federal and state litigation challenging its waiting list policies, the discharge of high-ranking staff, the actions of its police and security staff, and on numerous claims by contractors.
          2.     Representing the Housing Authority of Cook County (which administers public housing in suburban Cook County) on litigation, e.g. Jenkins v HUD and HACC, 11 C 1714 (challenging demolition of Ford Heights project and sufficiency of HACC mobility counseling); and A&D Property Services v HACC, 2018 L 576 (2018) (contract dispute), as well as on other matters related to HACC's administration of public housing, including changes in procurement and leasing policies in 2013.

           3.     Representing Holsten Development Corp. and Holsten Management Corp. on a host of matters, as the firm grew from a small group rehabilitating low- income housing to one of Chicago’s premier affordable housing developers.  This has included defending injury litigation (e.g. Paulson v Holsten Development (Cir. Ct. of Cook County, 1997)(summary judgment in favor of Holsten on claim of third party assault on tenant causing brain damage where insurer had gone bankrupt), handling commercial receiverships (e.g. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v Carney, 1993 WL 18986 (N.D.Ill. 1993)), building court, bankruptcy and other cases, closing substantial real estate deals, developing employment policies, defending various employment claims, resolving insurance disputes and designing (as well as defending) leases and management policies (including Chicago's first leases demanding the drug testing of tenants, sustained by the federal court in Peery v Chicago Housing Authority and Holsten Management Corporation, 13 C 5819 (September 30, 2014), aff'd 791 F.3d 788 (7th Cir. 2015)).

            4.    Representing the City of Chicago against a massive False Claims Act case, alleging the City had spent its federal housing dollars in a discriminatory fashion. U.S. ex rel. Hanna v City of Chicago, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123935 (N.D.Ill. 2015) (dismissing the case with prejudice), which was affirmed on appeal, and in connection with affordable housing issues.

             5.    Successfully defending Fix Wilson Yard, Inc. v. City of Chicago and Wilson Yard Development I, 08 CH 45023 (Cir. Ct. of Cook County, May 11, 2009), a well publicized attack on the city’s Tax Increment Financing program under which it provides leveraging subsidies for the redevelopment of blighted areas.  We represented the developer of a $150 million mixed-use project that includes significant retail together with the development of senior and low-income housing. 

             6.    Representing tenants and low-income developers against HUD in successful efforts to acquire troubled HUD multi-family projects, rehabilitate them and preserve them as affordable housing.  An example is Germano-Millgate Tenants Assn. v. HUD, 93 C 319, where we represented 900 tenants in an action to restore § 8 subsidies to a large housing complex and declare unlawful various restrictions HUD had placed on financing the project, permitting a joint tenant-developer redevelopment plan to go forward. 

             7.    Serving as counsel to Tobacco Road, Inc., a not-for-profit, whose purpose is to build and operate the Harold Washington Theater and Cultural Center at 47th and King Drive in Chicago --- the heart of Chicago's historic blues district.  The not-for-profit is a unique partnership between neighborhood leaders, musicians, and the City of Chicago.  The $11.5 million project is now complete and opened in 2004, as a theater, performance hall, music school, recording facility, museum, production studio and media center.  I handled everything, including § 501(c)(3) certification, site acquisition, tax issues, zoning, construction financing, management of construction, grant management, leases, security and licensing until 2009.

             8.    Representing East Lake Development, a prominent minority developer, in acquiring land and constructing commercial properties like a Women, Infant and Children’s (“WIC”) center, a Social Security building, the African Bazaar, in constructing houses under the New Homes for Chicago program, benefitting the working poor, as well as in a host of other more routine cases pertaining to construction, management, injury and other issues.

             9.    Representing Leona’s Restaurants in acquiring and building restaurants, as well as selling restaurants,  throughout the Chicago area, including as part of city redevelopment efforts.  This involved the purchase and sale of businesses, complicated real estate closings, and financing issues for the business as a whole.  I have also handled the purchase, sale and construction of numerous other Leona’s properties (e.g., a bathhouse, OTB sports bar, apartment buildings, etc.) and served as their ongoing counsel for many corporate matters, as well as litigation counsel on numerous lawsuits.
             10.    For the last thirty-plus years, representing numerous small businessmen in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, a Mexican-American area, on zoning, licensing, real estate and related issues.  These have included grocery stores, bakeries, automotive shops, roofing companies, printers, construction contractors, small factories, clothing stores, etc.  In doing so, I have watched these immigrant businesses thrive and the families succeed.  I am particularly proud of the economical work we have done for them.  We have represented many similar small businesses in other neighborhoods as well. Under the short-lived 1986 amnesty program introduced by President Reagan, we represented many individuals in these neighborhoods, as they secured their right to work and ultimately their citizenship.

             11.    Representing businesses and homeowners faced with condemnation.  I started when the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority built the new White Sox Park.  I represented numerous homeowners displaced by the project.  I saved an entire block of businesses from extinction as part of the City's redevelopment of the Chicago and Milwaukee Avenue area.  In addition, beginning in 1999, we successfully defended against the Chicago School Board’s effort to take the Pacific Garden Mission, the oldest and largest homeless shelter in the nation, resulting in a $13 million settlement in 2005, and a new city-assisted location. 

             12.    Defending foreclosures, including for example, the successful defense in Pontillo v. First Midwest, 00 CH 9455 (Cir. Ct. of Cook County), where we prevented foreclosure of a factory making ornamental iron products in Summit, IL; Illinois Land Development LLC v. Clay, 06 CH 19141 (Cir. Ct. of Cook County), where we prevented the wrongful foreclosure of the recording studio and businesses owned by gospel/blues legend Otis Clay, as well as home foreclosures; and Federal National Mortgage Assn. v. Southside Preservation Portfolio, LLC, 09 C 5594 (N.D. Ill. 2009), where we defended the not-for-profit developers of twenty-four low income buildings on the south side, in an effort to restructure debt obligations and preserve the housing, 
            13.     Successfully defending Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation in A.N.T. v City of Chicago and Bickerdike, 10 CH 51819 (April 28, 2011, Cir. Ct. of Cook County) against a constitutional challenge to zoning changes required for a significant affordable housing development in the Logan Square and Humboldt Park neighborhoods of Chicago called the Zapata Apartments.
            14.     During 2011-14, representing the City of Aurora (Illinois' second largest city) in connection with its plan to develop effective, affordable housing.
            15.    From 1984 through 1992, and beginning again in 1996 to 1999, serving as Special Commissioner for most of the judges on the U.S. District Court in Chicago, presiding over the sale and disposition of property at foreclosure.  I donated all of my fees for this work to a not-for-profit legal services corporation on whose board I served. 
            16.    Representing a cooperative (the Park Shore in Hyde Park), and working with condominium owners and cooperative shareholders on the unique problems of this kind of real estate. 

C. First Amendment and Election Issues

I have long been active on constitutional and other issues involving the election process and issues of speech.  I have represented many persons who have sought office and litigated a host of issues aimed at opening up Chicago's electoral system.  For example, I: 

            1.     Served as principal counsel for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington on his campaigns, all voter registration and election issues, as well as on many other neighborhood issues.  I also served as counsel to Timothy  Evans' mayoral campaign, as well as Jesus Garcia's 2014-15 mayoral campaign (and subsequent 2018 Congressional campaign), and have handled well over 100 election board cases for various federal, state and local candidates.  See, e.g., Evans v. Preckwinkle, 259 Ill. App. 3d 187, 636 N.E.2d 730 (1st Dist. 1994); O'Neal v. Shaw, 248 Ill. App. 3d 632 (1st Dist. 1993); Marszalek v. Kelenson, 212 Ill. App. 3d 836, 571 N.E.2d 877 (1st Dist. 1991); Evans v. Kusper, 194 Ill.App.3d 1108 (1st Dist. 1990); McGuire v. Nogaj, 146 Ill. App. 3d 280, 496 N.E.2d 1037 (1st Dist. 1986); Fortas v. Dixon, 122 Ill. App. 3d 697 (1st Dist. 1984); Watkins v. Burke, 122 Ill. App. 3d 499 (1st Dist. 1984);  Johnson v. Cook County Officers Electoral Board, 680 F. Supp. 1229 (N.D. Ill. 1988); and Canter v. Cook County Officers Electoral Board, 170 Ill. App. 3d 364, 523 N.E.2d 1299 (1st Dist. 1988).  As part of this work, I represented President Barack Obama in his original candidacy for the Illinois State Senate, where we prevailed in litigation against a host of competing candidates, and represented him in subsequent elections as well.
            2.    Designed and successfully litigated a strategy to permit registration of voters in public places, as opposed to the previous scheme where registration in Chicago took place one day before each election or at City Hall.  People Organized for Welfare and Employment Rights v. Thompson I, 82 C 5024, consent decree (August 19, 1982); and People Organized for Welfare and Employment Rights v. Thompson II, 83 C 7144, preliminary injunction (December 30, 1982), rev'd in part, 727 F.2d 167 (7th Cir. 1984) (Public Aid  and unemployment compensation recipients afforded right to register voters in the waiting rooms of public aid and unemployment offices).  Following these court victories, which led directly to Mayor Washington's election, I helped draft and enact Illinois' volunteer deputy voter registration law (Public Act 83-193), as well as the State Board of Elections' implementing regulations.  Later, I brought the first case in Illinois granting the homeless the right to register. 

            3.    Litigated numerous highly visible, city- and state-wide issues of political importance, including:  United Citizens of Chicago and Illinois v. The Coalition to Let The People Decide in 1989, et al., 125 Ill. 2d 332, 531 N.E.2d 802 (1988) (successful litigation establishing duty to hold Chicago's mayoral election in 1989); Gjertsen v. Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago, 791 F.2d 472 (7th Cir. 1986) (voiding statute requiring candidates for Ward Committeeman to obtain nominating petitions with signatures of 10% of Ward's voters and remanding for further damage relief); Lozano v. County Officers Electoral Board for Cook County, No. 84 C 1468, consent decree (N.D. Ill., November 20, 1984) (enjoining county election board from denying candidates the opportunity to present witnesses in support of their nominating petitions, when challenged, and from striking signatures on petitions without a majority vote); Torres v. Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago, 142 Ill. App. 3d 955, 492 N.E.2d 539 (1st Dist. 1986) (successful defense of post-election challenge to decisive Chicago City Council election); and Lipinski v. Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, 114 Ill. 2d 95, 500 N.E.2d 39 (1986) and Hartke v. Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, 651 F. Supp. 86 (N.D. Ill. 1986) (successful defense against proposed referendum changing the rules by which Chicago's mayors would be elected -- represented objectors acting on behalf of Mayor Washington). 
           4.     Represented the proponents (including former Gov. Pat Quinn) of a constitutional initiative that would have placed term limits for state legislators on the ballot.  Despite a 4-3 loss before the Illinois Supreme Court, we succeeded in promoting this idea throughout the state.  Chicago Bar Association v. Board of Elections, 161 Ill. 2d 502 (1994). 
             5.     Served as chairman and as a member of various electoral boards in the Chicago area, either at the behest of Judges Joseph Schneider, and Francis Barth, presiding judges of the County Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, which handles election cases, or because I was hired by a municipality to do so.  In this capacity, I have adjudicated the validity of various candidates' nomination papers and their access to the ballot.
            6.    Represented candidates and elected officials on campaign finance issues, including the creation of election funds, the handling of complaints against such funds, and the administration of campaign funds.

D. Defamation Issues

I have been called upon to defend a number of controversial figures in defamation cases and have successfully defended their statements as true and not defamatory.  These cases include but are not limited to: Stevens v. Tillman, 651 F. Supp. 702 (N.D. Ill. 1986), affirmed, 855 F.2d 394 (7th Cir. 1988) (successful defense at jury trial and on appeal of protesting parents sued on reverse discrimination and defamation theories); Chamberlin v. Brown, (Cir. Ct. of Cook County) (lawyer who identified doctors who hastened death of dying patients acquitted by jury); and Stemberk v El Heraldo, (Circ. Ct. of Cook County) (successful defense of local Hispanic newspaper charged with defaming absentee alderman). 

E. Injury and Disability Issues

For years, we have litigated and tried personal injury cases for plaintiffs and defendants.  These have involved automobile accidents, malpractice claims (against both lawyers and physicians), premises liability issues, dram shop claims, and other tort theories.

In addition to this traditional work, I have been involved in a number of other interesting projects for the disabled, including: 

1. Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 47 U.S.L.W. 4241 (1979) (second chair), where aged, blind and disabled public assistance recipients were held to have a right to notice of administrative remedies within which they could apply for and obtain back benefits wrongfully denied them; back benefits were restored to thousands of recipients.

        2.     Powell v State of Illinois, 18 C 06675 (N.D. Ill.), a federal class action filed in 2018 on behalf of Chicago African-American children traumatized by exposure to gun violence and disabled under the ADA, seeking an accommodation from the State that would require the State Police to provide meaningful regulation of the suburban gun dealers that have supplied 40% of the guns used in Chicago's violence, as well asserting a race discrimination claim on behalf of these children, see order denying motion to dismiss (N.D.Ill., Sept. 30, 2019).

         3. Benson v. Blaser, No. 80 C 2346, consent decree (N.D. Ill., May 21, 1980), contempt order (December 21, 1981), aff'd by unreported order (7th Cir., May 18, 1983), where we enjoined the Illinois Department on Aging from closing down its in-home care program for the elderly disabled due to budgetary shortfalls.

         4. For thirty-seven years, representing the Chicago Area Black Lung Association and prosecuting hundreds of claims on behalf of disabled ex-coal miners before administrative law judges, the Benefits Review Board and numerous federal courts of appeals.  I have handled more than fifty black lung appeals before the various courts of appeals.  See, e.g. Southern Ohio Coal Co. v Director, OWCP [Johnston], No. 18-3367, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3053 (6th Cir. 2009); Conesville Coal Preparation Co. v Porth, No. 18-3103, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26563 (6th Cir., 2018); Gunderson v United States Department of Labor, 601 F3d 1013 (10th Cir. 2010) and Blue Mountain Energy v Director, OWCP [Gunderson], 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19802 (10th Cir. 2015); Simco Peabody Coal Co. v Director, OWCP [Ruby], 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19426 (6th Cir. 2015); RAG American Coal Co. v. Director [Buchanan], 576 F.3d 418 (7th Cir. 2009); Elm Grove Coal v. Director, OWCP [Blake], 480 F.3d 278 (4th Cir. 2007); Stalcup v. Peabody Coal Co., 477 F.3d 482 (7th Cir. 2007); U .S. Steel Mining Co. v. Director, 386 F.3d 977 (11th Cir. 2004); Midland Coal v. Director [Shores], 358 F.3d 486 (7th Cir. 2004); McNally Pittsburgh Mfg. Co. v. Director, 2004 WL 238863 (10th Cir. 2004); Freeman United Coal Co. v.  Summers, 272 F.3d 473 (7th Cir. 2001); Beatty v. Danri Corp., 49 F.3d 993 (3d Cir. 1995); Amax Coal Co. v. Franklin, 957 F.2d 355 (7th Cir. 1992); Eifler v. OWCP and Peabody Coal, 926 F.2d 663 (7th Cir. 1991) and 13 F.3d 236 (7th Cir. 1993); Jordan v. Benefits Review Board, 876 F.2d 1455 (11th Cir. 1989) and Nance v. Director, 861 F.2d 68 (4th Cir. 1988).  I have also lectured throughout the country to ALJs, physicians, union leaders, and others on black lung issues, and trained numerous advocates.  In 2002, I was appointed by HHS to serve as a member of a medico-legal clinical consensus conference, which developed a consensus document on the diagnosis and treatment of coal dust-induced lung disease.  I represented the United Mine Workers of America in connection with the extensive 1997-2000 rulemaking proceedings on the Department of Labor's proposed revisions to the black lung program regulations, and served as the UMWA’s lead counsel in National Mining Assn. v. Chao, 160 F. Supp. 2d 47 (D. D.C. 2001), aff’d in substantial part, 292 F.3d 849 (DC Cir. 2002), the case filed by the coal and insurance industries in the D.C. District Court challenging the new regulations, in which the Court ruled for the UMWA. I also served as counsel for the United Mine Workers of America, the National Coalition of Black Lung and Respiratory Disease Clinics, the National Black Lung Assn., and various miners on an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in State of Florida v Department of Health and Human Services, Nos. 11-393 and 11-400 (the Obama health care litigation), urging severability of the black lung provisions of the Act.

         5. Through the years, I have handled or supervised the handling of hundreds of Social Security disability and other disability claims. 

         6. For twenty-five years, I have served as counsel to the Pacific Garden Mission, a large rescue mission in Chicago that provides shelter and a host of services to the homeless, as well as Biblical training and counsel.  I defend the Mission in litigation, assist with closing the acquisition of donated property and counsel its board on a wide variety of legal issues.  I do this on a pro bono basis.  We were successful in PGM v. City of Chicago, 96 C 5426 (N.D. Ill), where we prevented City zoning officials from closing the Mission's group home on an ADA theory. We also successfully represented the Mission in a complicated condemnation matter initiated by the Chicago School Board (winning a $13 million settlement); handled all land acquisition, construction and financing issues in connection with the Mission’s building of its new $24 million home, opened in 2007; and the sale of the Gospel League Home. 

         7    We have also been a cooperating law firm with the Council for Disability Rights, which handles cases on behalf of the disabled.  In 1994, we represented disabled children excluded from suburban park district programs on account of their disabilities and negotiated the elimination of a discriminatory $1,400 per child "administrative fee," using the Americans for Disabilities Act. 

F. Health Law Issues

I have spent a considerable amount of time in recent years on health issues, including:

1. Representing Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, a large medical facility, for more than fourteen years, on medical-ethical issues involving their heart transplant program; other ethical questions; disputes with other institutions and with private practitioner groups; employment issues; disputes between residents and the institution; and in defending malpractice cases.  This work has involved everything from advice and counseling to numerous jury trials. E.g., Botvinick v. Rush University Medical Center, 574 F3d 414 (7th Cir. 2009), a multi-count attack on Rush’s participation in credentialing proceedings of a physician who lost privileges at a hospital, where we won summary judgment in 2008 for the defendants and the decision was affirmed; and Shott v Rush-Presbyterian, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8014 (N.D.Ill. 2000), a defense at jury trial of an ADA and religious discrimination claim.

2. Representing Compass HMO on litigation matters, including Compass HMO v. Chicago Board of Education, 246 Ill. App. 3d 746, 617 N.E.2d 6 (1st Dist. 1992) (requiring school board to competitively bid its multimillion-dollar HMO business). 

3. Representing a number of physicians in disputes with licensing authorities, with managed care institutions and on other issues. 

4. Handling ERISA claims, challenging coverage of various procedures, including allegedly experimental treatments, e.g., on an emergency basis winning an autologous bone marrow transplant for a woman with breast cancer.  See, e.g., Moroney v. Prudential Insurance, 92 C 6795 (N.D. Ill.). 

G. Police, Security and Criminal Defense Work

I have tried and handled many criminal matters from the defense side --- everything from forcible felonies to DUIs, as well as collateral attacks on convictions, e.g. U.S. ex rel. Jackson v Bowen, 2005 WL 1139314 (N.D. Ill., 2005).  I have also litigated against the police in federal court on misconduct issues, handling excessive force and wrongful arrest claims against both Chicago and suburban police officers.  Aside from this I have been:

1. Selected from a large number of applicants to serve as a hearing officer for the Chicago Police Board, where I have presided at more than two-hundred trials seeking the discharge of police officers for excessive force, criminal conduct and other good cause.  I try about two of these cases every month and some are very high profile.  The cases are reviewed through the state court system.  See, e.g., Contreras v McCarthy, 2015 IL App LEXIS 141241-U (1st  Dist. 2015); Prince v McCarthy, 2015 IL App. LEXIS 131514-U (1st Dist. 2015); Valdez v Police Board of the City of Chicago, 2012 Ill.App.Unpub. LEXIS 432 (1st Dist. 2012); Daniels v. Police Board of City of Chicago, 338 Ill. App. 3d 851, 789 N.E.2d 424 (1st Dist. 2003); Krocka v. Police Board of City of Chicago, 327 Ill. App. 3d 36, 762 N.E.2d 577 (1st Dist. 2001); Haynes v. Police Board of City of Chicago, 293 Ill. App. 3d 508, 688 N.E.2d 794 (1st Dist. 1997).  I also review many appeals by officers who have been suspended for up to thirty days. 

         2. Named a hearing officer for the Illinois State Police Merit Board, where I presideD over cases seeking the discharge or discipline of Illinois State Troopers, until I resigned in September of 2018.

         3.    Worked with Chief Judge Timothy Evans for the last seven years on developing and instituting reforms in the pre-trial risk assessment program and in the bond court, including drafting the Judge's order prohibiting the use of cash bonds that the defendant cannot afford. These reforms have reduced the Cook County jail population from over 13,000 to 6500.

         4. Retained both by the Chicago Housing Authority and by Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center to defend numerous federal and state lawsuits brought against their police and security officers. See, e.g. Doe v Hudgins, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12217 (N.D.Ill. 1998); and Hughley v Hudgins, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7442 (N.D.Ill. 1997).

         5. For years, we were deeply involved in litigation involving CHA security.  Most notably, we have handled Triad Security, Inc. et al. v. Chicago Housing Authority, et al., 688 F. Supp. 1277 (N.D. Ill. 1988); reversed in part, 892 F.2d 583 (7th Cir. 1989) and 10 F.3d 492 (7th Cir. 1993), a longstanding defense of CHA's decision to award security business to minority firms, that ultimately was settled on favorable terms.  

         6. Represented Art’s Enterprises in state court litigation that allowed this minority electronic finger printing vendor to eliminate the state-enforced monopoly on this business granted to a white contractor. 

H. Public Benefits

For much of my early career, I focused on large class litigation on behalf of the poor, involving their right to public benefits.  I was intimately involved in shaping policy in this area, through the courts and the legislature.  Highlights include: 

1. AFDC Families:

Illinois Welfare Rights Organization v. Miller, No. 73 C 2437, consent decree (September 28, 1991), attorneys' fees, 723 F.2d 564 (7th Cir. 1984) (increasing Illinois' AFDC standard of need, used to determine eligibility and the amount of a family's grant)

Southeast Concerned Welfare Recipient Organization v. Miller, No. 82 C 6454, preliminary injunction order (N.D. Ill., October 30, 1982) (Public Aid Department held to be using constitutionally inadequate notice in terminating families from AFDC for failure to comply with monthly reporting requirements)

Taylor v. Miller, No. 79 C 3767, final consent decree (N.D. Ill., September 20, 1984), and People ex rel. IDPA v. Santos, 100 Ill. App. 3d 237 (1st Dist. 1981), rev'd in part, 92 Ill. 2d 120 (1982) (invalidating Public Aid's method of recovering alleged overpayments of assistance)

Rivera v. Miller, No. 81 C 3187, final injunction order (N.D. Ill., September 27, 1982) (putative paternal relatives held eligible for AFDC benefits)

Davis v. Coler, 601 F. Supp. 444 (N.D. Ill. 1984), consent decree (July 26, 1985), affirmed, 789 F.2d 474 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. petition denied in light of decision in Lukhard v. Reed, 55 U.S.L.W. 4561 (1987) (challenge to Public Aid's and HHS's application of lump-sum disqualification regulations)

2. General Assistance Recipients:

Carey v. Quern, 588 F.2d 230 (7th Cir. 1978) (Public Aid required to provide clothing benefits to General Assistance recipients and back benefits restored to thousands of recipients)

Illinois Welfare Rights Coalition v. Miller, No. 81 C 7118, preliminary injunction order (N.D. Ill., December 28, 1981), second preliminary injunction order (N.D. Ill., January 28, 1982) and Estep v. Illinois Department of Public Aid, 92 Ill. 2d 510 (1982), on remand, 115 Ill. App. 3d 644 (1st Dist. 1983) (enjoining various plans by Public Aid to reduce the General Assistance grant paid in Chicago)

Lake v. Illinois Department of Public Aid, No. 79 CH 3434, consent decree (July 10, 1979) (Public Aid enjoined from denying General Assistance to homeless persons)

McReynolds v. Illinois Department of Public Aid, No. 81 CH 8419, consent decree (April 12, 1982) (Public Aid enjoined from denying General Assistance to seasonally-employed persons)

Kelly v. Illinois Department of Public Aid, No. 83 L 50678, preliminary injunction order (November 15, 1983) (Public Aid enjoined from denying General Assistance to persons who failed to return certain Job Search forms and back benefits restored to hundreds of recipients)

Miller v. Illinois Department of Public Aid, 94 Ill. App. 3d 11 (1st Dist. 1981) (challenge to Public Aid's refusal to pay for medically necessary eye and dental care for GA recipients)

3. Food Stamps Recipients:

Dietrich v. Miller, No. 77 C 1373, consent decree (N.D. Ill., October 5, 1979), attorneys' fees, 494 F. Supp. 42 (N.D. Ill. 1980), contempt order (October 2, 1980) (delay in decision and implementation of food stamps appeals enjoined, penalty payments ordered)

Illinois Welfare Rights Movement Org. v. Coler, 84 C 10689, consent decree (N.D. Ill, December 22, 1988) (decree restructuring Public Aid's Food Stamp work registration and workfare programs to conform with federal law)

4. Crime Victims Compensation Benefits:

Hernandez v. Fahner, 135 Ill. App. 3d 372, 481 N.E.2d 1004 (1st Dist. 1985) (Attorney General's policy of denying crime victims compensation benefits based on immigration status of victim ruled unlawful under the Act)

5. Collection Practices:

Sherman v. Field Clinic, 74 Ill. App. 3d 21 (1st Dist. 1979) (debtor given private right of action under Illinois law to sue for harassment by bill collector and collector's doctor client)

6. Legislative Initiatives:

In the 1980's, I represented various clients and coalitions of client groups in drafting legislation, securing its enactment by the General Assembly, and negotiating (and/or litigating) issues pertaining to its implementation.  This legislation includes, but is not limited to:  Public Act 83-193 (establishing Illinois' Interim Assistance public assistance program for persons applying for Social Security Disability benefits); Public Act 84-804 (requiring that Public Aid pay attorneys' fees to attorneys who win SSI disability cases); and House Bill 1474 (mandating that Public Aid allow AFDC mothers to complete college, as an alternative to various work programs). 

I. Community Representation

Over the years, I have represented many community organizations, churches, and other groups of citizens engaged in campaigns and projects generally on behalf of the poor.  These have included some of the city’s most prominent organizations like The Woodlawn Organization, The Midwest Community Coalition, The Heart of Uptown Coalition, The Pacific Garden Mission, The Rudy Lozano Justice Center, Centro Sin Fronteras, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and The Chicago Welfare Rights Organization, as well as small groups like Fifth City Seniors, Adalberto United Methodist Church, the Chicago Area Black Lung Assn., and countless others.  I have secured 501(c)(3) certifications for those organizations, resolved tax issues, handled grant administration plus issues with donors, litigated a wide variety of matters and counseled them, in addition to assisting with policy matters. 

Activities and Honors:
 Married for 35 years with three children and one permanent  foster child.

                2019 Mike South Award from the National Black Lung Association, United Mine Workers of America,                      and National Coalition of Black Lung and Respiratory Disease Clinics for work on behalf of coal
                miners around the country.

                Nineteenth Annual Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service, presented by the United
                States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Federal Bar Association (2018)

                 Member, Circle Evangelical Free Church, Oak Park, IL

                 Foster parent licensed by Hephzibah Children's Home

                 Oak Park Youth Baseball, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools, manager and coach
                 for fifteen years in baseball

                 Attorney for Last Frontiers Mission, serving the indigenous Indian population in southern Mexico

                 Attorney for Poor Farm Exhibitions & Press Inc., a not-for-profit devoted to art exhibition and education
                 in rural Wisconsin. 

                 Attorney for Mary Diaz Pancreatic Cancer Fund, a not-for-profit raising funds for cancer research

                 Pacific Garden Mission Beacon of Hope Award

                 President of Oak Park River Forest High School Wrestling Family, 2004 to 2010.

                 Member of the Beat the Streets board (beginning in 2018) (a Chicago inner-city wrestling program)

                 Board member of Judicial Accountability PAC (aimed at electing judges to the Circuit  Court of Cook
                 County bench who are supportive of criminal justice reform)

                 1986-1987 Term -- Appointed Lecturer in Law at Northwestern University Law School, teaching 
                 in the Clinical Trial Advocacy course

                 2000-present -- Engaged in handling cases for Centro Sin Fronteras, and representing the 
                 organization, which assists immigrant families, with legal and other issues on a pro bono basis

                 1984-2001 -- Board Member of Uptown Peoples Law Center, a not-for-profit legal services center, 
                 where I also handled scores of pro bono cases

                 1984-1988 -- Principal Counsel to Rudy Lozano Justice Center in the Mexican Little Village 
                 neighborhood, another not-for-profit legal services center, where I also handled pro bono cases

                 1996-1997 -- Board Member, National Clearinghouse for Legal Services

                 John Powers Crowley Justice Award -- 1989

                 Making Democracy Work Award from Heart of Uptown -- 1987

.                Independent Voters of Illinois -- Independent
                 Precinct Org. 1986 Award for Legal Services
                 to Independent Candidates

                 League of Women Voters State of the City Dinner
                 1984 Civic Contribution Award

                 Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago's 1983
                 Equal Justice Award

                 Graduate, National Institute of Trial Advocacy -- 1979

                 Law Phone Excellence Award -- 1990, 1991 and 1992