Jacques Rivera spent more than 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s out, but his…
Tara Thompson graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 2003. She served as the Senior Comment Editor for the University of Chicago Legal Forum. She also participated in the law school’s Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, working for several years in the Police Accountability Project under the direction of Craig Futterman. She was a member of the clinic student board and received the Edwin F. Mandel award, given yearly to those law school graduates who most demonstrate commitment to and effective advocacy for clients.
Following law school Tara worked as an associate in Mayer Brown’s Chicago office, where she represented clients in a variety of litigation matters, including a significant commitment to pro bono representation. She left Mayer Brown in 2006 to clerk for Judge Elaine Bucklo of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After completing her clerkship, she joined Loevy & Loevy in 2007. She has been admitted to practice by the Illinois Supreme Court, the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois, the Northern District of Ohio, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition to her work with the firm, Tara is also a Clinical Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where she spends a significant amount of her practice co-teaching the Exoneration Project, a clinic on wrongful convictions in the Arthur Kane Center for Legal Education, as well as other trial litigation courses. Through the Exoneration Project Tara has represented several clients who have been exonerated and freed from prison for crimes they did not commit.
When not teaching and practicing law, Tara can be found playing hockey and cheering for the Utah Jazz. Tara was also featured in the Chicago Tribune’s “Remarkable Woman” column in 2012 talking about the rewards of working as a civil rights and wrongful conviction attorney.
• U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2003
• U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2004
• U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 2009
• U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 2012
• Harden v. Kachiroubas, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Trial co-counsel for James Harden, a member of the “Dixmoor Five,” in a civil rights lawsuit alleging that police misconduct caused Mr. Harden’s wrongful conviction and incarceration for 19 years for a crime he did not commit . Case pending.
• Gillard v. City of Chicago, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Trial co-counsel for Larry Gillard in a civil rights lawsuit alleging that police misconduct and misconduct by employees of the Chicago Police Department Crime Laboratory caused Mr. Gillard’s wrongful conviction and incarceration for 12 years for a crime he did not commit. Case settled for $6.375 million.
• Currie v. Chabbra, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois/Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals) Trial and appellate co-counsel for Jaclyn Currie, as administrator of the estate of her brother Phillip Okoro, in a civil rights lawsuit alleging that constitutional violations by Williamson County and by Healthcare Professionals, Ltd. and its employees caused her brother’s death from diabetic ketoacidosis while he was detained in the Williamson County Jail. Partial settlement with Williamson County for $250,000; case pending as to other Defendants.
• Logan v. Burge, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Trial co-counsel for Alton Logan in a civil rights lawsuit alleging that police misconduct caused Mr. Logan’s wrongful conviction and incarceration for 26 years for a crime he did not commit. Case resulted in a settlement for Mr. Logan.
• Warfield, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Trial co-counsel for Carrie Warfield and other Plaintiffs alleging that Chicago Police Department officers violated Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights in unlawfully arresting, searching and detaining them for hours at a police station after Plaintiffs witnessed a crime. At trial, jury verdict awarded Plaintiffs combined damages in excess of $100,000 in compensatory damages and $130,000 in punitive damages against individual Chicago Police officer defendants.
University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois
• J.D. – 2003
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
• B.A. – 2000
Clerkships & Past Employment
• PILI Fellow, Civil Rights & Police Accountability Project, Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, University of Chicago Law School
• Associate, Mayer Brown LLP, Chicago, Illinois
• Law Clerk, Hon. Elaine E. Bucklo, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois