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Misdemeanor Conviction Instead of Felony Criminal Neglect for Pro Bono Client

11 February 2010
Mayer Brown Article

After a six day bench trial in a unique pro bono criminal defense case, a team of Chicago litigators obtained acquittal for our client on two counts of felony criminal neglect. Instead, she was convicted only of a misdemeanor after the death of her profoundly mentally and physically disabled 13-year-old son.

Our client and two Medicaid-funded nurses were charged with criminal neglect after the boy was rushed to the hospital with bedsores, malnourishment and sepsis. Our client claimed that she was relying on the care and advice of the two nurses. The court agreed, to an extent, finding that the case was one more of nonfeasance than malfeasance.

Judge James Linn of the Cook County Circuit Court found that our client abdicated too much of the responsibility for taking care of the boy, and that she had to be ultimately responsible for his care. He also found, however, that her actions, or inactions, did not rise to the level of felony criminal neglect.

The Mayer Brown team included Howard Roin, Marc Kadish and Anne De Geest.

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