I was talking with lawyers about the cases that inspired our practice. Here are the cases I mentioned:
Hogan v. Department of Justice
I first met William Hogan before I finished law school. At the time, he was a star prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office. Hogan was responsible for leading prosecutions of the infamous El Rukn gang that resulted in over 50 convictions.
By the time I was out of law school, things changed for Hogan. He was blamed for problems discovered during the El Rukn prosecutions. Three federal judges ruled Hogan had engaged in misconduct. The government fired him.
Hogan hired my partner to represent him before I became a lawyer.
Hogan filed claims to clear his name and get his job back. He rented an office next to mine. The office was dedicated entirely to his case. It was filled with books on the special procedures involved with federal employment litigation. Mountains of documents were organized in files labelled and stacked in every corner. The office light was always on. I saw hard work in law school, but I had never saw anything like the type of work that Hogan and his lawyers put into the case. It was inspiring to be a small part of it.
The trial was just as intense. Almost every witness was a powerful and well known Chicago lawyer. Most of them were federal prosecutors. The judge heard testimony from over 50 witnesses.
In the end, all of the hard work paid off. The judge ruled for Hogan and he was was totally vindicated in a long written opinion. Hogan was reinstated him and awarded backpay.
Mora v. Calumet City
I will always remember the first day Al Mora walked into my office.
Mora was a police officer for Calumet City. He and three other police officers were fired after the 1997 mayoral election. Mora thought it was political retaliation. He believed they were fired because of how they voted in the election. They did not support Jerry Genova, the candidate who won the election and who was now the mayor of Calumet City.
At the time, the City had an administrative hearing scheduled and they wanted to hire lawyers to represent them at the hearing.
Days later I was in Calumet City for the hearing watching the City’s lawyers try to prove the reasons the four police officers were fired.
About 18 months later, I was in the federal courtroom when a jury returned verdicts for Mora and the three other police officers awarding them a total of $4.75 million because their First Amendment rights were violated.
Working on this case, I saw first-hand how power can be used to harm people–and I learned how the law can be used to protect individual rights and balance the scales. The Calumet City Fraternal Order of Police made us honorary members for our work on the case.
Three years after the Calumet City police officers won their verdict, Jerry Genova was convicted for taking kickbacks and using “an army” of city workers to do his political work. According to news reports, Calumet City police officers and city employees celebrated the verdict together at block parties.
The prosecutors who convicted Genova? William Hogan (!) and my future partner Anthony Masciopinto(!!)
Do you think you have been mistreated at work? Contact Jeff