Lauren A Freeman

Lauren A Freeman

Freeman Legal Consulting and Expert Witness Services, LLC

Chicago , IL 60618
Mobile: 312-320-9419

Introduction

In April 2017, Lauren retired from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office after a distinguished 30-year career during which she handled some of Chicago's highest-profile police and correctional officer misconduct prosecutions. Lauren’s extensive prosecutorial and investigative review experience positions her as a valuable independent consultant for undertaking case assessment/review, investigative assistance, expert witness work, and litigation support, in cases involving alleged police, correctional officer, and prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful convictions, the use of force and deadly force, officer-involved shootings, Monell claims, Sec. 1983 civil rights violations, "code of silence" allegations, felony review assessment, internal investigative assistance, and wrongful convictions.

Lauren's career began In September, 1987, when sworn in as an Assistant State's Attorney (A.S.A.). During her first decade as a prosecutor, she was assigned to handle appeals, misdemeanor prosecutions, domestic violence cases, "felony review," preliminary hearings, grand jury investigations/indictments, narcotics prosecutions, sex crimes, child exploitation cases, robberies, armed robberies, aggravated batteries, burglaries, residential burglaries, thefts, attempt murders, and first degree murder cases. She litigated countless felony motions, bench trials, and jury trials in some of the busiest courtrooms in the country.

In March, 1997, Lauren was assigned to the Public Integrity Unit (PIU) of the Special Prosecutions Bureau where she was promoted to "first chair" and focused on the investigative review, indictment, and prosecution of public officials and public employees, including law enforcement officers. in addition to her PIU duties, she became a member of the Capital Litigation Trial Bar and successfully indicted and prosecuted defendant Milton Hampton for the rape/strangulation murder of a 65 year-old woman.

During the last 12 years of her career, Lauren was designated, along with a very small group of A.S.A.s, to focus solely on the investigative review and prosecution, when appropriate. of law enforcement officers for felony misconduct allegations throughout Cook County. As the senior member of that unit, she handled numerous high-profile cases including the well publicized prosecutions of Chicago Police Officer (CPO) Anthony Abbate and three CPOs in the "Jefferson Tap" case. In 2004 and 2005, she supervised the investigation and indictment of the "Melesio" and "Redman" Chicago Police Department (CPD) Special Operations Section cases. In 2006, she successfully prosecuted Cook County Sheriff Correctional Officer (CCSCO) Kenyata Sanders for attempting to smuggle a gun and knife to her boyfriend, an inmate in the Cook County Jail in custody for first degree murder. Most recently, she handled the indictments and prosecutions of CPD Commander Glenn Evans, CPD Sgt. Edward Howard, CPO Michael Bergeson, CPO Erin Mowry, Illinois State Police Trooper Juan Lopez, CPD Evidence Custodian Pamela Brown, and CCSCO Rico Palomino.

For all of her cases, Lauren voted her own grand jury subpoenas, drafted her own indictments, and interviewed countless complainants, witnesses, police officers, and correctional officers. She obtained every relevant document and piece of evidence available to her in every case, often requested additional investigation, and drafted detailed, confidential charging recommendation memorandums, many of which were reviewed by the elected State's Attorneys themselves. Part and parcel of many of these investigations, she regularly reviewed Use of Force Continuums, department rules and regulations, and developed a thorough understanding of procedures dictated by Garrity v. New Jersey."

In addition, Lauren's former unit reviews all of the officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths in the entire county. She personally reviewed countless shootings for possible criminal conduct on the part of the officers and learned much from "dotting the "I"s and crossing the "t"s. She worked closely with investigators and supervisors from CPD Bureau of Internal Affairs (IAD), The Independent Police Review Authority ("IPRA," now the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, "COPA"), the ISP Public Integrity Task Force, the ISP Division of Internal Investigations, and the Sheriff's Office of Professional Review, as well as other municipal agencies who acted as the case investigators. She is intimately familiar with the investigative files from all of these agencies as well as CCSAO felony prosecution files. She understands Garrity-compelled administrative statement law and procedure, received training and certification in Force Science Analysis from the Force Science Research Institute, and in June, 2016 she attended the National Attorneys General Training Institute's (NAGTRI's) National Effective Practices and Protocols for Officer-involved Shootings Symposium.

Lauren brings three decades of prosecutorial experience to the table. With a uniquely independent and critical eye, she can assess investigations and cases of all kinds and if requested, can draft expert reports detailing their strengths and weaknesses which could prove crucial to prosecutors, plaintiffs, and defendants, alike. In addition, she can offer invaluable litigation support for criminal, civil, and administrative cases involving allegations of law enforcement officer and/or prosecutorial misconduct.


Areas of Expertise

  • 1983 Litigation
  • Criminal Law
  • Deadly/Excessive Force
  • Jail Suicide
  • Jails & Prisons
  • Jury/Trial Consultant
  • Law Enforcement
  • Police Procedures
  • Wrongful Death

Expert Background

Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
A: Retired (30 years of service) from Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Special Prosecutions Bureau
JD, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law
BA, The University of Michigan
Certified Force Science Analyst; Force Science Research Institute
Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
A: American Bar Association; Member Civil Rights and Social Justice Division
Chicago Bar Association; Member Judicial Evaluation Committee
Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association
Attended June, 2016 National Attorneys General Training Institute's (NAGTRI's) National Effective Practices and Protocols for Officer-involved Shootings Symposium.
Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
A: No
Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
A: Two (both current); I began my practice in 2018.
Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
A: 1) Review and assessment of prosecutorial misconduct and municipal liability under Monell; 2) Review and assessment of misconduct allegations against a Chicago police officer
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
A: 50%
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
A: 50%
Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
A: Several as a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney but none yet as an expert witness; I began my consulting and expert witness work in 2018.
Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
A: March, 2017
Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
A: None; I have only been retained for one case since I entered this field as a consultant/expert in 2018.
Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
A: None; I have only been retained for two cases since I entered this field as a consultant/expert in 2018 and both are pending.
Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
A: I began my practice in February 2018.
Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
A: Case assessment and consultation, expert witness services, investigative assistance, and litigation support
Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
A: $325 per hour (no charge for initial phone inquiry and to discuss retention terms). Rate is negotiable for smaller cases.
Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
A: $325 per hour. Rate is negotiable for smaller cases.
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
A: $325 per hour (10 hour minimum per day) plus expenses. Hourly rate includes all breaks and waiting time and must be paid in advance, subject to cancellation agreement as specified in signed retention agreement. Rate is negotiable for smaller cases.
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
A: $325 per hour (10 hour minimum) plus expenses. Hourly rate includes all breaks and waiting time and must be paid in advance, subject to cancellation agreement as specified in signed retention agreement. Rate is negotiable for smaller cases.
Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
A: $3250 (10 hour) minimum initial non-refundable retainer paid in advance to be applied to hourly rate for initial case review and oral case assessment (amount depends on volume of materials requiring initial oral review). Retainer to be replenished periodically as needed and agreed upon with client prior to undertaking additional consulting/expert witness work to include further review of materials, topical research, report writing, and testimony. Finalized fees including travel and other expenses, to be specified in signed retention agreement. Rates are negotiable for smaller cases.

References

Available Upon Request