Dvorak Law Offices Success Stories
Dvorak Law Offices, LLC has handled thousands of criminal matters, and successfully defended numerous serious and high-profile criminal cases, from misdemeanors all the way up to murders and Supreme Court appeals.
We have also obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts in civil rights and personal injury cases.
Richard Dvorak is an accomplished appellate lawyer, having practiced in the United States Supreme Court, Illinois Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and in the various Illinois appellate courts. He has obtained numerous victories for clients on appeal.
Significant Civil Rights/Personal Injury Victories
The client was falsely prosecuted for murder and attempt murder, and spent 16 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The allegations of misconduct against law enforcement included the withholding of key evidence pointing to another suspect, and the manipulation of identification evidence. The district court initially dismissed the case, but Richard Dvorak successfully overturned the lower court's decision, creating powerful precedence in doing so. The case later settled for $4.75 Million.
Deliberate Indifference/ADA Claim
The client was arrested on a misdemeanor, and booked into the Cook County Jail, unable to make bond. He had a seizure disorder, and requested that he be placed on a lower bunk. The Jail doctor wrote him a "lower bunk order" and put it in the hospital computer system. However, this order was not communicated to the Jail's computer system until two days later. By this time, it was too late, as the client that first night in jail had a seizure, fell out of his top bunk, and suffered permanent brain damages. This case involved six experts, and extensive litigation, but eventually we were able to prove that these systematic delays caused the client's serious injuries, giving the County little choice but to settle the case. The $4.75 million settlement will ensure the client gets the future medical care that he will need, and also provides sufficient funds to compensate him for the pain and suffering he suffered as a result of this tragic incident.
Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA)
A Cook County jury ordered the city of Chicago to pay $3 million to the family of a woman, Vanessa Taylor, who was strangled to death a day after police failed to protect her from her live-in boyfriend.
The evidence at trial showed the police were aware that Ms. Taylor was an abused person under the IDVA, yet failed to exhaust all reasonable means to protect her, including arresting the boyfriend, offering services to obtain an order of protection, or otherwise separating her from the boyfriend.
The award in favor of the client's estate is the highest reported under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
Coerced Confession/Malicious Prosecution
The client falsely confessed to murder, and then spent six years in prison. Years later, he was exonerated by DNA evidence. The State gave the client $120,000 as compensation. Attorney Richard Dvorak obtained an addition $900,000 settlement from the City of Chicago.
Wrongful Death/Deliberate Indifference
The client, an inmate at the Cook County Jail, died as a result of his cell mate beating him to death. There was evidence that the guards’ actions caused significant delay in getting the inmate to the hospital. Mr. Dvorak hired an expert neurologist to give an opinion that the delay in bringing J.L. to the hospital caused or contributed to his death. Shortly after receiving this expert opinion, the Sheriff settled the case for $800,000. This was a significant sum, given the fact that client was not married, did not have any children, he had never been steadily employed, had a drug addiction, and the family had an order of protection out against him at the time of the incident. Because of this, other lawyers had rejected the case, but Mr. Dvorak was not deterred, and ultimately prevailed in getting a significant monetary award for the family.
The Plaintiff, who was partially blind at the time of the incident, was stopped for a curfew violation (despite being 20 years old), but was not able to produce identification. The officers who responded to the scene contend the Plaintiff was resisting arrest and battered the officers, she denied this occurred, and the Plaintiff also alleged she was severely beaten during the incident, causing her to have a detached retina, and a further erosion of her vision. After a six-day jury trial, with expert testimony presented on the Plaintiff's behalf, Attorney Richard Dvorak was able to obtain a $785,000 compensatory verdict on her behalf, along with a $2,250 punitive damages award.
An inmate at the Cook County Jail, who the firm did not represent, severely beat a correctional officer. Twelve Plaintiffs alleged that, in retaliation for the beating, dozens of correctional officers came onto the deck and beat them. The firm represented all twelve inmates. After extensive litigation, the County Board approved a settlement of $750,000, one of the largest non-death excessive force settlements the County has ever approved.
The Plaintiff, a pre-trial detainee at the Cook County Jail, and son of a Chicago police officer, was beaten at the Cook County Jail by several Cook County Jail correctional officers. Also, a high-ranking supervisor was on the scene, but failed to prevent the beating. At trial, the Plaintiff was awarded $25,000 in compensatory damages, but $725,000 in punitive damages, for a total award of $750,000.
Negligence/Willful and Wanton Misconduct
Attorney Richard Dvorak represented nine personal injury clients, in relation to the tragedy that occurred at the E2 Nightclub on February 17, 2003, when 21 individuals died, and numerous others were injured, in a stampede at a crowded Chicago nightclub. Mr. Dvorak obtained roughly $600,000 in settlements as compensation for his nine clients.
Significant Criminal Defense Victories
Obstructing an Arrest – NOT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES
People of the State of Illinois v. W.E. (2021) -- In the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Defendant was charged with obstructing an arrest by failing to produce identification during a traffic stop, and going down the wrong way on a one-way street. The officer claimed that the Defendant drove the wrong way down a one-way street, and that he refused to identify himself during a traffic stop. The Defendant, a Lyft driver, testified he did not make it all the way into the street and was only backing out of his driveway to allow his brother to leave their home, and that he did properly identify himself to police after a minor delay. The court found the Defendant not guilty of both the obstruction charge, and the traffic ticket, since the officer admitted during cross-examination that the Defendant's vehicle was not all the way into the one-way street when he was stopped by police.
Gun Charges – ALL EVIDENCE SUPPRESSED
State RICO Act – ALL EVIDENCE SUPPRESSED
People of the State of Illinois v. J.A. (2016) – in the Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit – Will County, Illinois. The Client was charged, along with 25 other defendants, with being a high-ranking member of an alleged RICO drug conspiracy, and the client was being held on a $1 million bond. All the evidence in the case was obtained through wiretapping, approved by a judge. Despite this, Mr. Dvorak was able to convince the judge to grant a motion to suppress all the evidence obtained through from this wiretapping, since the prosecutor who obtained the wiretapping order did not have the legal authority to obtain such an order. The State appealed the court's ruling, and in a 2018 published opinion, the Second District Appellate Court affirmed the judge's decision to suppress the wiretap evidence.
Harassment Through Electronic Communications – ALL CHARGES DISMISSED
People of the State of Illinois v. J.R. (2015) – in the Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit – Dupage County, Illinois. The client was charged four counts of Harassment Through Electronic Communications for, among other things, sending an email to his son’s probation officer calling them several profane names and telling them that he wished they would catch Ebola and die. Mr. Dvorak successfully convinced the judge to dismiss all the charges against he client, since this speech was protected by the First Amendment.
Criminal Sexual Assault - NOT GUILTY
People of the State of Illinois v. R.H. (2015) – In the Circuit Court of Cook County. The client was charged with criminal sexual assault for allegedly forcing his ex-wife to engage in sexual contact during a time while their marriage was falling apart. At trial, on cross-examination, Mr. Dvorak so thoroughly impeached the ex-wife that the client was found not guilty on all charges, even without the client having to testify.
First-Degree Murder - NOT GUILTY
People of the State of Illinois v. J.C. (2010) - In the Circuit Court of Cook County. The client was charged with first-degree murder. The client was able to bond out during the pendency of the case. There were two eyewitnesses to the shooting who claimed the client was involved in the shooting. The alleged murder weapon was also found in the client's bedroom. One eyewitness recanted before trial, telling a defense investigator that he was pressured by police into claiming our client was involved in the shooting. The other witness was thoroughly cross-examined and discredited at trial. The client was found not guilty.
Felony Obstruction of Justice - DROPPED ALL CHARGES
People of the State of Illinois v. S. P. (2013) -- In the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Kankakee County, Illinois. The client alleges she was sexually assaulted by a police officer, while another officer stood by and failed to prevent it from happening. The Illinois State Police investigated the matter, and concluded she was lying. She was charged with felony obstruction of justice for allegedly lying about being raped. The State initially offered one and a half years in prison for a working, single mother with no criminal background. The State told attorney Richard Dvorak that the DNA rape kit exonerated the officers. Attorney Richard Dvorak requested additional DNA discovery, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 417, and, tucked into the middle of this additional discovery was a lab report that indicated the client's DNA was found on one of the officer's underwear, a fact hidden from defense counsel until the case was almost ready to go to trial. Upon discovering this information, the State realized it had no case, and dropped all charges against her.
Significant Appellate Victories
Predatory Sexual Assault – NEW SENTENCING HEARING
Major Brady Violation Victory.
Goudy v. Cummings (2019) -- In the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Our client, Walter Goudy, was wrongfully convicted of a 1993 murder in Anderson, Indiana, and spent 16 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The Seventh Circuit reversed his conviction in 2011 based on the prosecution withholding exculpatory evidence, in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). The next year, our firm filed a lawsuit against the police and prosecutor who withheld that exculpatory evidence. In the lower court, the district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. However, on appeal, Richard Dvorak argued the district court wrongfully granted this motion. The Seventh Circuit agreed, and reversed the case so that Walter can finally have his day before a jury against the police and prosecutors who he alleges framed him for a crime that he did not commit.
State RICO Act/Suppression of Evidence.
People of the State of Illinois v. J.A. (2018) -- In the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District. In the lower court, Mr. Dvorak convicted the judge to suppress illegally obtained wiretap evidence. The State appealed the judge's decision, and in an historic decision, the Second District Court of Appeals affirmed the judge's ruling. This was the first case to ever hold that, in authorizing non-consensual wiretap orders, the application must be specifically authorized by The elected State's Attorney, not just one of his or her assistants.
Attempt Kidnapping/Confession Should Have Been Suppressed – CONVICTION OVERTURNED
People of the State of Illinois v. K.G. (2016) – In the Illinois Appellate Court, Third Judicial District. The client was convicted of attempt kidnapping, among other charges, and sentenced to six years in prison. He was represented by a different attorney in the trial court. In the lower court, the judge denied the client’s motion to suppress his confession. On appeal, Mr. Dvorak was able to convince the appellate court that the judge’s ruling was in error, and the conviction was overturned.
PCS/Illegal Search And Seizure - CONVICTION OVERTURNED
People of the State of Illinois v. B.B. — In the United States Supreme Court (2004); in the Supreme Court of Illinois (2003); in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District (2002). The client, who was represented at trial by another attorney, was convicted of possession of narcotics after the judge denied the client's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. On appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, Attorney Richard Dvorak convinced the Appellate Court to overturn the client's conviction. The State appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, which heard arguments on the case. The Illinois Supreme Court also held the client was subjected to an illegal search and seizure, and affirmed the decision of the appellate court. The State appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court, which, after asking both sides to brief the issue of whether to accept the State's petition, decided not to hear arguments on the case, and affirmed the decision of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Sexual Assault/Speedy Trial Demand - RELEASED FROM PRISON AND NOT REGISTERED AS A SEX OFFENDER
People of the State of Illinois v. M.W. (2013) – In the Illinois Appellate Court, Third Judicial Circuit. The client was charged with sexually assaulting a woman, his next-door neighbor. The police conducted DNA testing, which linked the client to the sexual assault (the defense was consent, and thus the DNA testing was not crucial to the outcome of the case). Before trial, the client's trial attorney (not Mr. Dvorak) demanded a speedy trial, but after the State's request for a 60-day extension of time was granted, the client's trial attorney failed to move to discharge the client. On appeal, Attorney Dvorak successfully argued the client received ineffective assistance of counsel because the trial attorney should have not only demanded trial, but also moved to discharge the client after the 120-day speedy trial term expired, since the judge should never have granted the 60-day speedy trial extension, due to the insufficiency of the State's extension proffer. The client was released from prison, not forced to be re-tried, and he was relieved of his duty to register as a sex offender
Very skilled - Found Hidden Evidence in a very high profile case...
Not only did he find evidence that proved my innocence, he was able to prove the evidence was purposely hidden by law enforcement. More...
Failure Is Never An Option
Since being on my case, Richard has uncovered more hidden evidence that Lawyers I had in the past had'nt been able to discover, More...
AGG UUW / DUI
I meet with a few lawyers before I meet with Richard and as cliche as it sounds, but he literally got me my life back. More...
Great Criminal Defense Lawyer
Rich was very helpful, kept me in the loop, and got me a great deal in my misdemeanor criminal matter, keeping me out of jail. More...
I truly believe that through his diligent, hard work and legal experience this was the reason I was released. More...