A Firm You Can Rely On In Complex Cases

Mark F. Smolens

  • Of Counsel


Before joining the Sotos Law Firm, after graduating from the John Marshal Law School in June 1985 (his undergraduate degree, a BA in Political Science, was received from Northwestern University in 1979), Mark began his legal career as an Assistant Cook County State's Attorney, with an initial stint in the Appeals Division, followed by a year handling misdemeanor prosecutions in the branch courts of the First Municipal District (throughout the City of Chicago). Thereafter, Mark moved on to private practice, with the firm which ultimately became known as Ryan, Smolens & Jones, a three-man municipal defense practice handling cases for multiple Chicago-area suburban communities. His specialty in the firm was the defense of police misconduct claims, largely practicing in the Northern District of Illinois - between 1988 and 2010 Mark was intimately involved in the defense of hundreds of Section 1983 police misconduct cases, nearly fifty of which were tried to verdict in the Northern District. Upon the retirement of the firm's leader, Richard T. Ryan, Mark spent the next several years in a solo practice prosecuting and defending Section 1983 claims.


  • The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
  • Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • Political Science - 1979

Bar Admission

  • Illinois, 1985

Published Works

  • Municipal Liability Under Section 1983, Time for a New Look – Chicago Bar Record, 1990