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Richard J. Dvorak | Willowbrook Criminal Lawyer

Richard Dvorak Lawyer

Richard J. Dvorak update listing

Criminal, Civil Rights, Police Misconduct, Personal Injury, Sexual Harassment

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Richard Dvorak graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and history. In 1996, after a brief career in journalism, Mr. Dvorak began attending De Paul University College of Law. During law school, he took a year off to teach English in South Korea and Spain. After returning to De Paul in 1998, Mr. Dvorak was chosen to be a summer intern in Mexico City with an independent Mexican human rights organization. Having lived and worked in Spain and Mexico, Mr. Dvorak is fluent in Spanish.

After graduating from De Paul law school in 1999, Mr. Dvorak worked as an attorney with the Cook County Public Defender's Office in Chicago. While working for the Public Defender's Office, Mr. Dvorak successfully tried numerous bench and jury trials.  Mr. Dvorak then went into private practice, concentrating his work in criminal defense, civil rights and personal-injury litigation. In the Fall of 2004, Mr. Dvorak and Neil Toppel formed the partnership of Dvorak & Toppel.

Mr. Dvorak is the author of the "Confessions" and "Representing Clients in the Early Stages of a Criminal Action" Chapters of Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's authoritative practitioner's guide, "Defending Illinois Criminal Cases." Mr. Dvorak is also the author of a law review article published in the Michigan Journal of Race & Law, 5 Mich. J. Race & L. 611 (2000), titled, Cracking the Code: "'De-Coding' Colorblind Slurs During the Congressional Crack Cocaine Debates." This article, which traces the racist history behind the passage of every major federal drug law, argues why the federal crack cocaine sentencing scheme violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. This article has been cited in dozens of published law review articles; by the American Civil Liberties Union in a March 19, 2002 speech before the United States Sentencing Commission; and was cited by a federal judge in New York in support of his published decision that reduced the sentence for an African-American man convicted of possessing crack cocaine. See Simon v. United States, 361 F.Supp.2d 35, 43, n.9 (E.D. N.Y. 2005).

Mr. Dvorak is a member of the Legal Advisory Board of First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA), a Chicago-based, non-profit legal organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of individuals in Chicago Police Department police custody. Mr. Dvorak is a member of the Illinois Bar, the general and trial bars for the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, as well as a member of the bar for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Position Organization Location Duration
Owner Dvorak Law Offices, LLC Willowbrook, IL September 2010 - Present
Owner/Partner Dvorak, Toppel & Barrido, LLC Chicago, IL March 2003 – September 2010 (7 years 7 months)
Lawyer DiFranco & Associates, PC N/A March 2002 – March 2003 (1 year 1 month)
Assistant Public Defender Cook County Public Defender's Office N/A March 2000 – March 2002 (2 years 1 month)
School Degree Major Graduation
DePaul University College of Law J.D. Law School 1999
University of Wisconsin Bachelors of Arts Journalism and History 1993
State / Court Date
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit 2007
U.S. Supreme Court 2004
Illinois 1999
U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois 1999
  • National Police Accountability Project, Member

    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member

    First Defense Legal Aid, Advisory Board Member
  • Nation's Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel, 2015
    Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2014
  • Armed Robbery
    People of the State of Illinois v. M.M. (2011) — In the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Kane County. The client was charged with committing two armed robberies, within about 20 minutes of each other. The client confessed and there was strong eyewitness testimony. The client, seventeen years old at the time of the offense, was not a citizen, and was eligible for immediate deportation to Mexico. After extensive negotiation and presentation of mitigating evidence on his behalf, Attorney Richard Dvorak was able to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges to simple robbery, and to give the client probation. Upon serving a short jail sentence, the client was able leave custody, and fight his immigration case while on an immigration bond

    False Arrest/Excessive Force
    A.M. & A.M. v. City of Berwyn (2008) — United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois. The clients, husband and wife, were celebrating the 4th of July holiday at their home when Berwyn Police arrived to investigate a fireworks complaint. The couple alleged that during the course of the police investigation, the husband was excessively Tasered and the wife was falsely arrested for obstructing and battery to a police officer. The wife, who was represented by Attorney Richard Dvorak during the criminal trial, was acquitted of all criminal charges at a jury trial. As a result of being Tasered, the husband underwent spinal surgery and missed months of work while recuperating. After substantial litigation, a confidential monetary settlement agreement was reached with Berwyn on behalf of both the husband and the wife.

    Denial of a Defense Jury Instruction
    People of the State of Illinois v. J.M. (2012) — In the Illinois Appellate Court, Third Judicial Circuit. The client was charged with felony driving on a suspended license, and represented by another attorney in the trial court. The attorney asked for an instruction on the affirmative defense of necessity, but the judge refused to give the instruction, the client was convicted, and was sentenced to three years in prison. On appeal, Attorney Richard Dvorak convinced the appellate court that the trial judge committed reversible error in refusing to give the jury instruction, and thus the client's conviction was overturned.

  • "Confessions" and "Representing Clients in the Early Stages of a Criminal Action", Chapters of Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's Authoritative Practitioner's Guide, 2009

    Cracking the Code: "De-Coding' Colorblind Slurs During the Congressional Crack Cocaine Debates", Michigan Journal of Race & Law, 5 Mich. J. Race & L. 611 (2000), 2000

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Willowbrook, IL 60527

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