Criminal & Civil Defense Case Studies – Naperville

The attorneys at our firm take pride in consistently producing positive results for clients. These are a few of our recent case successes in the state of Illinois.

Criminal Defense Cases:

Murder

Sean was part of the trial team that defended James Degorski in the famous Brown’s Chicken massacre of 1993. Degorski’s defense was handled by the prestigious Homicide Task Force. This is a special unit of the Cook County Public Defender’s office that features the office’s best and brightest trial attorneys who specialize in defending the most difficult and complex murder cases. Degorski was charged with seven counts of murder for what the jury believed was Degorski’s part in a robbery of a Palatine area Brown’s Chicken and Pasta back in 1993 that left seven employees dead. For almost a decade, the crime went unsolved until Degorski’s former girlfriend turned him in to the police in 2002. Sean assisted the other members of Degorski’s trial team who worked diligently to point out to the jury several holes in the Prosecution’s evidence, most notably, no direct physical evidence linking Degorski with the crime. Nonetheless, in 2009, Degorski was convicted of all 7 counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Degorski nearly received the death penalty for his crimes. 10 of the 12 jurors voted for the death penalty, but in Illinois a unanimous vote is required for a death penalty sentence. However, Degorski’s trial team was ultimately able to win the sentencing phase on behalf of their client and convince several jurors of the truth of Degorski’s horrible and abusive childhood and the role it may have played in his alleged involvement in this tragic case.

Driving with a Suspended License

Mr. Appelman’s client was facing one year in jail for his 12th charge of Driving with a Suspended License. The prosecution asked the judge for 180 days in jail. Brett successfully argued at the sentencing hearing, and the client was not sentenced to any jail time at all!

Driving with a Suspended License

Brett’s client Frank was charged with Driving with a Suspended License. The prosecutor wanted three months of jail time. Brett argued that the police did not have a legitimate reason (probable cause) for pulling over the defendant. The court agreed and the case against Brett’s client was dismissed.

DUI & Possession of Marijuana

Richmond was charged with DUI and possession of cannabis. At trial Brett proved that the police had not properly entered the suspected drugs into evidence and that the police had almost no evidence that the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the arrest. As a result of Mr. Appelman’s superb representation, the client was found not guilty on all charges.

Domestic Violence

Brett’s client David was charged with Domestic Violence after his ex wife claimed that he had struck her. At trial Brett got the prosecution witnesses to admit that they had not seen any bruising or marks on the ex wife, and that no one had actually seen the defendant strike the ex wife. David was found not guilty on all counts.

Aggravated Assault

Armando was charged with Aggravated Assault for pulling out a gun on a repo man who had come to repossess his car. Brett demonstrated that his client had been in fear for his life and for the safety of his family when the repo man came to take his car in the middle of the night. Armando was found not guilty.

Resisting Arrest

Mr. Appelman’s client Robert was charged with Resisting Arrest. At trial Brett showed that the police’s story of the events did not match the written police report made on the night of the incident. As a result, the jury found the defendant not guilty.

DUI – Driving Under the Influence

Brett’s client was charged with her 5th DUI, and was facing a mandatory six year prison sentence. Brett negotiated with the prosecutor and had her charges reduced. The client was given a sentence of only 60 days of work-release and Drug and Alcohol Treatment due to Brett’s excellent negotiation skills.

Felony Possession of a Firearm

Mr. Appelman’s client was charged with being a Felon in Possession of a Defaced Firearm. The prosecution’s initial offer was three years in prison. Brett was able to negate some of their evidence and secured for his client a sentence of two years of Probation instead of prison time.

Civil Case Results:

Financial Family Law Suit

Mr. Sullivan’s client was suing his ex-fiancee for payments that he had been making on her car. Sean was able to demonstrate at trial that the ex-fiancee had made an oral contract to pay the client back. As a result, the client was awarded over $4,000 by the court.

Stolen Identity Scam

Mr. Sullivan’s client was the victim of a Stolen Identity scam. A bank had mistakenly cashed his paychecks when the checks were stolen. At first the bank offered to only partially pay back the client for the paychecks. Sean was able to point out to the bank their liability, and convinced the bank to triple their settlement offer to the client.

Civil Suit

Mr. Sullivan’s client had bought a used BMW from a car lot and the car broke down within a week due to a bad transmission. Mr. Sullivan not only proved that the car was defective, but also that the car lot knew it was defective, and that they hid that information prior to the purchase. As a result of Sean’s excellent litigation skills, his client was awarded over $20,000!

Civil Suit

Sean’s client G. W. (who lives in New York) purchased a sofa online from a retailer here in Chicago. Shortly after delivery she noticed the sofa was defective and had a persistent, unpleasantly pungent mildew smell. The stench filled her entire apartment and was nearly unbearable. She complained to the retailer who told her she could return the couch by shipping it back to Chicago from NY, at her cost of roughly $2000. Needless to say she was less than eager to take this offer. Few attorneys would take her case. Sean took the case to trial and won on her behalf the entire purchase price of the sofa at approximately $6,000 dollars plus court fees. The retailer attempted a last minute bad faith settlement offer of $2000 which Sean rejected, and then won more than double at trial.