Valorem brings its experience in the alternative fee arena to its strong criminal defense and plaintiff's civil rights practice. Stuart Chanen, a former Assistant United States Attorney, heads our team, which represents companies, executives, witnesses, victims, and other individuals in a wide array of matters involving alleged criminal conduct and fraud.
Examples of representations on both the individual and company side include whistleblower claims, grand jury and other government investigations; internal investigations, qui tam actions and criminal charges in both state and federal court. Stuart has tried numerous cases to verdict, for both victims and those accused of fraud or other crimes, including families, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, lenders, insurance companies, debtors, creditors.
Valorem also has an active practice and successful track record of representing wrongfully convicted individuals in post-conviction proceedings, and has a robust plaintiff's civil rights practice. In 2017, Nicole Auerbach and Stuart Chanen won a nearly $13.4 million jury verdict (including punitive damages) for their wrongfully convicted client, Deon Patrick, whose confession was coerced by Chicago police officers. In 2012, Valorem obtained a $25 million jury verdict (largest wrongful conviction verdict in the U.S.) for our client Thaddeus Jiminez who was exonerated by the State of Illinois after having been arrested at the age of 13 and imprisoned for 16 years for a murder he did not commit. Most of the lawyers at the firm have now handled one or more civil rights cases for wrongfully convicted clients and our track record of successful resolution through trial or settlement continues to grow every day.
Stuart Chanen and Hank Turner also obtained a partial award for Valorem client Robert Veal, dubbed one of the "Dixmoor 5," when the Illinois State Police settled the claims against it for $40 million. Several other cases are currently pending.
Valorem and its lawyers understand the anguish and stress that a fraud or criminal case brings to our clients. We are sensitive to balancing our client’s desire for an effective, vigorous defense with their desire to keep their fees and costs predictable and reasonable. For years, Valorem has been entering into flat fee and other non-hourly based fee agreements with its criminal law clients. We know how to price criminal defense and related litigation and we know how to handle litigation in the most high-quality, cost efficient manner.
We are also sensitive to efforts to avoid indictment and believe in an active interchange with the government to minimize the impact to our clients.