Locke E. Bowman joined Loevy & Loevy in 2022. Bowman has been a civil rights attorney for three decades and has won over $100 million in settlements and verdicts for victims of police misconduct and wrongful conviction. Prior to joining the firm, Bowman frequently co-counseled with Loevy & Loevy in obtaining justice for our clients, including multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in cases seeking justice against Reynaldo Guevara, the City of Chicago and other Chicago Police officers.
Throughout his career, Bowman has been honored for his dedication to justice, including the American Constitution Society’s Chicago Legal Legend Award; the First Defender Award and the Rev. Willie Baker Award for his work in bringing Jon Burge and his men to justice; the Clarence Darrow Award for his advocacy in support of Illinois’ death penalty moratorium; and the IVI/IPO Legal Eagle Award, for helping to expose Chicago Police corruption. Bowman was voted an Illinois “Super Lawyer” in multiple years.
Prior to joining Loevy & Loevy, Bowman was the Executive Director of the MacArthur Justice Center for 29 years, overseeing the Center’s operations at Northwestern law and in four other locations. Bowman has taught at The University of Chicago Law School and Northwestern University School of Law where he is Clinical Professor of Law Emeritus. Earlier in his career, Bowman was a criminal defense lawyer at Silets & Martin, an assistant corporation counsel in the City of Chicago Law Department, an associate at Mayer, Brown & Platt, and a law clerk to Judge Hubert L. Will of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
• Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
• Federal Defender Panel
• United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
• United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
• United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
• United States Supreme Court
The University of Chicago Law School
• J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif—1982
• A.B., magna cum laude—1978
• Clinical Emeritus Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
• American Constitution Society, Legal Legend Award, July 2015
• Named an Illinois SuperLawyer in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
• St. Joseph the Worker Award, Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest, November 2010
• First Defense Legal Aid, First Defender Award, May 2008
• Citizens Alert Rev. Willie Baker Award, for Contributions toward Community Justice, April 2005
• Clarence Darrow Award, Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee, For Leadership Efforts to Reform the Death Penalty System, March 2003
• Illinois Public Defender Association Award for Excellence and Meritorious Service, November 1994
• Law Clerk to the Hon. Hubert L. Will, United States District Judge, Northern District of Illinois, 1982-1984
• Executive Director of the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, 1992-2022
• Clinical Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, 2006-2022
• Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School, 1993-2006
Mays v. Dart, (N.D. Ill.) Trial counsel in preliminary injunction hearing on behalf of Cook County Jail detainees who claimed that they were subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement because of the Jail’s inadequate response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Preliminary injunction awarded mandating social distancing, subject to exceptions, throughout the Jail, among other things.
White v. Sheriff of St. Clair County, (S.D. Ill.) Trial counsel in jury trial of civil rights suit against Sheriff and St. Clair County Jail guards who ignored a prisoner’s outcry that he was suicidal and allowed the prisoner to hang himself in his cell. $300,000 jury verdict for the plaintiff.
Rivera v. Guevara, et al., (N.D. Ill.) Co-trial counsel on behalf of a wrongfully convicted man who spent nearly two decades in prison after being framed by a corrupt Chicago Police officer for a crime he did not commit. $17 million jury verdict for the plaintiff. Settled on appeal for $18.75 million.
Fontano v. Godinez, (C.D. Ill) Trial counsel in jury trial of civil rights suit against prison officials who retaliated against a prisoner who exercised his First Amendment rights by reporting that he had been raped by his cellmate. Settled on the final day of trial for $450,000.
Jimenez v. City of Chicago, (N.D. Ill.) Co-trial counsel in jury trial of civil rights suit against Chicago police officers on behalf of man wrongfully charged with murder after police manipulated witness testimony, filed false reports and concealed evidence. Jury verdict of $25 million for the plaintiff. (Affirmed on appeal, Jimenez v. City of Chicago, 732 F.3d 710 (7th Cir. 2013)).
People v. Cortez Brown, (Cook County Circuit Court) Trial counsel in post-conviction hearing for convicted murder defendant who alleged his confession had been coerced by detectives under the command of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. New trial awarded based on finding that the confession was involuntary.
Evans v. City of Chicago, et al., (N.D. Ill.) Second chair trial counsel in jury trial of civil rights suit against Chicago police officers on behalf of man wrongfully charged with murder after police manipulated witness testimony and filed false reports. Plaintiff served 27 years in prison for a crime of which he was innocent.
Ayala, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al., (N.D. Ill.) Trial counsel in preliminary injunction hearing for a class of persons who claimed they were detained as “witnesses” in Chicago police stations. The case was settled with an award of attorneys’ fees and the Chicago Police Department’s agreement to an order permanently ending the practice of holding witnesses behind locked doors without first advising them of their freedom to leave.
People v. Olajide Banks, (Cook County Circuit Court) Second chair trial counsel for indigent defendant accused of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
First Defense Legal Aid, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al., (N.D. Ill.) Trial counsel for temporary restraining order and injunction hearing for legal defender organization being denied access to clients in police custody. Findings of fact, conclusions of law and injunction in favor of the defender organization are reported at 225 F. Supp. 2d 870 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 9, 2002), rev’d, 319 F.3d 967.
People v. Faygie Fields, (Alexander County Circuit Court) Trial counsel for indigent defendant accused of aggravated battery to prison guards.
People v. Alcurtis Jackson, (Cook County Circuit Court) Trial counsel for indigent defendant accused of heinous battery.
United States ex rel. Green v. Peters, (N.D. Ill.) Trial counsel for class of criminally convicted appellants whose appeals were being delayed as a result of understaffing of appellate indigent defender organization. Findings of fact and conclusions of law in favor of the class are reported at 917 F. Supp. 1238 (N.D. Ill. 1996).
People v. Chicago Magnet Wire, Inc., (Cook County Circuit Court) Second chair trial counsel for president of corporation accused of aggravated assaults and batteries arising out of the operation of a factory.
Smith v. Jack Nicklaus Development Corp., (Will County Circuit Court) Trial counsel for landowner in trial of land use dispute. Verdict in favor of landowner was upheld on appeal. (Smith v. Jack Nicklaus Development Corp., 225 Ill. App. 3d 384 (2d Dist. 1992))
United States v. United Skates of America, Inc., (N.D. Ill.) Second chair trial counsel for corporation accused of federal RICO offenses in connection with alleged payment of bribes to obtain liquor licenses.
Evans v. City of Chicago (and consolidated cases), (N.D. Ill.) Co-trial counsel for the City of Chicago in damages phase trial of plaintiff class claim that City of Chicago had unconstitutionally delayed the payment of tort judgments. Trial court’s ruling that the City owed damages to the plaintiff class was reversed on appeal. (Evans v. City of Chicago, 873 F.2d 1007 (7th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 495 U.S. 956 (1990)).
Maloney v. Washington, (N.D. Ill.) Second chair trial counsel for defense in trial of reverse discrimination case against Mayor and Superintendent of Police of the City of Chicago.
Other Representative Trial Level Cases:
Jimerson v. Ford, (E.D. Ark.) Civil rights suit on behalf of a Black woman who was convicted and imprisoned for decades as a result of a corrupt investigation of the murder and rape of an elderly white woman.
Swift v. City of Chicago, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Civil rights suit on behalf of a man who, as a teenager confessed to a crime he did not commit and of which he was later exonerated by DNA evidence. Suit named member of the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State’s Attorney as defendants. Settled on the eve of trial for a combined total of $12,375,000.00.
Strong v. Tessmann, (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights case for a man who spent over a decade of wrongful incarceration after being wrongfully convicted following a fraudulent investigation by the Lake County, Illinois Major Crimes Task Force. Case settled for $9,000,000.00.
In re Petition for Appointment of Special Prosecutor, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Petition by elected officials, bar associations, prominent lawyers and community groups seeking a special prosecutor to prosecute officers involved in the homicide of Laquan McDonald and subsequent attempts to cover up the facts.
Robinson v. Martin, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Class action suit challenging as a violation of equal protection and due process the use of money bail as security for criminally charged persons’ release from pre-trial custody.
Yates v. County of St. Clair, (S.D. Ill.) Civil rights case on behalf of intellectually impaired 17-year-old who confessed during a videotaped interrogation to an armed robbery he did not commit. Case was settled for $900,000—the largest civil rights settlement ever paid by St. Clair County.
Taylor v. City of Chicago, (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights case on behalf of innocent man who was convicted of a murder committed at a time when he was in police custody and spent over two decades in prison. Settled for $13 million.
Rivera v. Lake County, (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights case on behalf of innocent man who was psychologically tortured into confessing to a rape-murder. Case was settled for $20 million.
People v. Johnnie Plummer, et al., (Circuit Court of Cook County) Class action petition for all still-incarcerated victims of Jon Burge whose convictions allegedly rest on a confession elicited by torture. The case sought an evidentiary hearing for all class members and new trials where appropriate. The matter was resolved with an order directing the appointment of counsel for all such persons.
In re Petition for Appointment of Special Prosecutor, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Petition by family of David Koschman, who was slain by the nephew of former Chicago Mayor Daley, for appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate the homicide and pursue criminal charges. The appointed special prosecutor secured a conviction of the former Mayor’s nephew.
Kitchen v. Burge, (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights case on behalf of Jon Burge torture victim who was sentenced to Death Row for a crime he did not commit after confessing under torture. Settled for $6.85 million.
Tillman v. Burge, (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights case on behalf of Jon Burge torture victim who spent over two decades in prison after confessing under torture to a crime he did not commit. Settled for $5.375 million
People v. Tillman, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Post-conviction litigation on behalf of a prisoner whose conviction rested principally on a confession elicited during a physically coercive interrogation conducted by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and other detectives.
Livers v. Schenck, et al., (D. Neb.) Civil rights case against Cass County, Nebraska and Nebraska State Patrol investigators on behalf of an innocent man who spent over eight months jailed after a false confession was coerced from him. Settled for $1.65 million.
Pendleton v. Fish, et al., (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights case against Chicago Police forensic investigator and police officers on behalf of an innocent man who spent over eight years incarcerated for a sexual assault that he did not commit. Settled for $600,000.
Wilson v. O’Brien, et al., (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights case against Chicago Police officers on behalf of a man who spent over nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Settled for $3.6 million.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. Chicago Police Department, et al., (Circuit Court of Cook County) Freedom of Information Act suit seeking access to data underlying the Illinois eyewitness identification study, which purported to find that traditional methods of conducting lineups and photo arrays are more reliable than the sequential, double-blind method favored by social science research.
Mason v. County of Cook, et al., (N.D. Ill.) Civil rights class action case against Cook County and officials responsible for creating and implementing Central Bond Court, under which bonds are set for arrestees via closed circuit video. Case was dismissed when the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County ordered that all future bond hearings be conducted with bond applicants present before the court.
People v. Darrell Cannon, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Post-conviction proceedings on behalf of police torture victim who pled guilty to armed violence and conspiracy to commit murder as a result of ineffective assistance of counsel. The plea was vacated and the charges dismissed.
Johnson v. City of Chicago, (N.D. Ill.) (Judge Hart) Civil rights case alleging policy claim against the City of Chicago for unlawful detention of witnesses during high profile criminal investigations.
Bell v. Cummings, et al. (Circuit Court of Cook County) Civil rights case for a man wrongfully charged with his mother’s murder after police coerced him into falsely confessing. Settled for $1 million.
In re Petition for Appointment of Special Prosecutor, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Represented petitioners seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by Chicago Police detectives who engaged in torture of suspects at the Area 2 Chicago Police headquarters. Special prosecutor was appointed in April 2002.
Willis v. Fish, et al., (Circuit Court of Cook County) Represented exonerated former prisoner in malicious prosecution action against prosecutor and forensic scientists in the Chicago Police crime lab. Settled for $2.6 million.
Ceriale v. Smith & Wesson; Young v. Bryco Arms; and Smith v. Navegar, Inc. (Circuit Court of Cook County) Represented families of gun violence victims in public nuisance litigation against firearms manufacturers, alleging that manufacturers are responsible for consequences of gun violence considering distribution practices that funnel guns to criminals in the City of Chicago.
Chicago Reader, Inc. v. Sheahan, (N.D. Ill.) Represented journalist in an action seeking to bar Cook County Sheriff from refusing the journalist access to the Cook County Jail in retaliation for unfavorable story about the Sheriff. Trial court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff is reported at 141 F. Supp. 2d 1142 (N.D. Ill. 2001)
Newsome v. James, (N.D. Ill.) Pretrial representation of exonerated former prisoner in civil rights action against police officers for malicious prosecution. Trial court’s decision denying motions to dismiss is reported at 968 F. Supp. 1318 (N.D. Ill. 1997).
Protess v. Howell, (N.D. Ill.) Represented journalist David Protess and students in an action seeking journalistic access to condemned prisoner in the days prior to the prisoner’s scheduled execution. For a description of the case, see Judge Castillo’s opinion transferring venue, reported at 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6102 (N.D. Ill. May 4, 1995).
Jefferson v. Fry, (Circuit Court of Cook County) Represented class of indigent criminal appellants in action challenging the propriety of Cook County Public Defender’s practice of filing motions to withdraw from nearly half of the appellate cases to which the Public Defender is appointed.
Representative Appellate Cases:
Mays v. Dart, 974 F.3d 810 (7th Cir. 2020).
Jimenez v. City of Chicago, 732 F.3d 710 (7th Cir. 2013) (argued).
Livers v. Schenck, 700 F.3d 340 (8th Cir. 2012) (argued).
National Ass’n of Crim Def Lawyers v. Chi Police Dep’t , 924 N.E.2d 564 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2010) (argued).
Evans v. City of Chicago, 513 F.3d 735 (7th Cir. 2007).
First Defense Legal Aid v. City of Chicago, 319 F.3d 967 (7th Cir. 2003) (argued).
Young v. Bryco Arms, 327 Ill. App. 3d 948 (1st Dist. 2001) (argued), rev’d, 213 Ill. 2d 433 (2004) (argued).
People v. Rokita, 316 Ill. App. 3d 292 (5th Dist. 2000) (argued).
Hanrahan v. Williams, 267 Ill. App. 3d 735 (2d Dist. 1994), rev’d, 174 Ill. 2d 268 (1996) (argued), cert. denied, 118 S. Ct. 56 (1997).
People v. Brown, 172 Ill. 2d 1 (1996).
United States v. Eliason, 3 F.3d 1149 (7th Cir. 1993) (argued).
Smith v. Jack Nicklaus Development Corp., 225 Ill. App. 3d 384 (2d Dist. 1992) (argued).
Fenderson v. Athey Products Corp., 220 Ill. App. 3d 832 (1st Dist. 1991) (argued).