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Illinois Search & Seizure Defense Attorneys

Entering a person's home to conduct police business is among the most dangerous tasks police officers confront, particularly when executing a search warrant where the entry is against a resident's will. Entries into the home often require aggressive police action to control the premises, and commonly lead to civil rights suits alleging illegal search and seizure. While lay people often do not understand the need for aggressive action upon entering, the litigation lawyers at The Sotos Law Firm have extensive experience in educating juries and courts as to the risks faced by police officers in these dangerous encounters and the need for assertive police action, and in securing favorable litigation and trial outcomes in such cases.

For example, our firm successfully defended a drug task force officer against a homeowner's claim that a search of his home pursuant to a search warrant for drugs was a ruse to punish him for having brought a different civil rights claim against other members of the same department. The case was complicated because the search of the home did not turn up any drugs. Nonetheless, our defense successfully focused on the proper procedures taken by the officer in utilizing a confidential informant in order to procure the warrant, and the judge who issued the warrant testified to the procedures he follows before granting such warrants. Our attorneys routinely conduct legal seminars to various police departments and law enforcement organizations, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, analyzing the most recent opinions covering search and seizure cases from both federal and state courts. In this fashion, the Sotos Law Firm remains on the cutting edge of the legal trends involving the law on search and seizure with regard to vehicle searches, exigent circumstances to enter a residence without a warrant and Terry stops.

Office Location

The Sotos Law Firm, P.C.
Phone: 630-735-3300
Fax: 630-773-0980

Itasca Office:
550 E. Devon Avenue
Suite 150
Itasca, IL 60143
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Chicago Office: (by appt only)
20 N. Clark Street
#800
Chicago, IL 60602
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What does it mean to have The Sotos Law Firm represent your case? View our past case results page to learn more.

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.