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

On Monday, June 12th, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced that her office has instituted a new policy instructing her prosecutors to recommend I-Bonds in many kinds of cases. In Illinois, I-Bonds are the form of pretrial release that does not require payment of money before release. I-Bonds are also called “personal recognizance bonds” because the person is released… 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 →