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Jury Rejects False Arrest and Excessive Claims After Foot Pursuit (February 3, 2011)

A federal jury rejected Willie Livingston's claim that he was falsely arrested after Chicago Police Officers chased him and allegedly threw him into a metal fence. The jury also found the officers not guilty of excessive force in connection with the orbital fracture Mr. Livingston received when he slipped and hit the corner of the fence during the pursuit. The case was presided over by the Honorable Judge Amy St. Eve. Livingston v. McDevitt, No. 09 C 7725, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

The case was tried by Elizabeth Ekl and Christina White.




Firm Wins Malicious Prosecution Case.

"Cops didn't frame former death row inmate, jury says." Daily Herald, 8/20/09


After a two week trial and nearly five hours of deliberation, a jury concluded that McHenry County Undersheriff Gene Lowery and retired Detectives Beverly Hendle and Christopher Pandre were not guilty of maliciously prosecuting Gary Gauger for the 1993 murders of his parents. Gary Gauger had claimed that his confession to those crimes was coerced during an 18 hour interrogation. Gauger v. Hendle, No. 03 LA 292, Circuit Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, McHenry County, Illinois.

This case was tried by Jim Sotos, John Timbo and Jeff Given.

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OUR CASE RESULTS

CHRISTINA S. WHITE (CHRISTINA Gunn)

Christina is a 2004 graduate of Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she attained the distinguished position as Articles Editor for the Journal of American Arbitration. Upon graduation, Christina clerked for the Honorable Marc T. Amy in the Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third Circuit before becoming a staff attorney in the Criminal Division of the Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third Circuit. Christina graduated summa cum laude from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and Spanish.

JAMES SOTOS

The firm is led by James Sotos, who possesses over twenty-five years of experience representing public and private sector clients in federal and state litigation at the trial and appellate levels. During that time, Jim has distinguished himself as one of a handful of attorneys who has argued two cases in the United States Supreme Court, and he has achieved an enviable rate of success in the arena of Illinois governmental litigation. Jim enjoys Lexis-Nexis, Martindale-Hubbell's preeminent AV peer review rating and has been recognized both as an "Illinois Super Lawyer" by "Law and Politics" and the publishers of Chicago Magazine and as an Illinois Leading Lawyer by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Jim also lectures and publishes frequently on government liability and ethics and writes the weekly column "In Federal Courts" for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

ELIZABETH A. EKL

Elizabeth began her career in law enforcement as an assistant state's attorney at the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office. Elizabeth tried approximately a hundred cases to verdict during the seven years she was employed by the state's attorney's office before joining Jim Sotos in his practice in 2003. Elizabeth has been recognized for her trial work by the Association of Governmental Attorneys in Capital Litigation who awarded her the Regional Vice President's Trial Advocacy Award and also by the Addison Merit Review Board who awarded her a Distinguished Team Award. Elizabeth is a 1997 graduate of DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. She also studied in a summer law program through Florida State University at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Elizabeth graduated from Indiana University in 1993 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance.

Jeffrey N. Given

Jeff began his legal career at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago where he engaged in commercial and constitutional litigation. Jeff left Kirkland to establish a successful entrepreneurial business before returning to the practice of law at the City of Chicago Law Department. Jeff served seven of his ten years at the Law Department as the Chief Assistant responsible for managing all aspects of the City's representation in litigation alleging misconduct by the Chicago Police Department. Jeff graduated cum laude from Indiana University Law School in Bloomington, Indiana in 1983. During law school, Jeff was selected for law review and was awarded the ABA Annual Award for best performances in Land Use and Local Government law courses. Jeff graduated cum laude with distinction in major from Carleton College in 1978 where he earned a bachelor's degree in American Studies.

Caroline P. Golden

Before joining The Sotos Law Firm, Carrie was a partner at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg where she worked in the commercial litigation department for seven years. She also brings with her valuable experience from internships at the United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois and for the Honorable Ann C. Williams, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Carrie graduated from DePaul College of Law in Chicago, Illinois in 1992. While in law school, Carrie earned the prestigious position of DePaul Law Review Editor. Carrie's academic excellence in law school earned her membership in the Order of the Coif. She also received American Jurisprudence awards in Procedure and Evidence. Carrie graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in Finance.

JOHN J. TIMBO

John has been representing the interests of law enforcement since 1994, when he started as a law clerk with the Office of the Legal Advisor for the Boston Police Department. John is a 1996 graduate of Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, after having been accepted as a third year visiting student by Chicago-Kent College of Law. After graduation, John worked with Russell Hartigan & Associates in Chicago where he engaged in municipal, civil rights, and insurance defense, having successfully tried several cases to verdict. After working with two other attorneys from Hartigan & Associates for a short time in a start up firm, John joined Jim Sotos in 2000. John has been a regular presenter on liability risk issues for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police since 2009, and recently lectured on the topic of recent trends in qualified immunity at the Illinois Midwest Police and Security Expo held in Peoria, Illinois in August, 2011. John is also a 1993 graduate of DePaul University College of Commerce, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Economics.