Locke Lord’s Terry Canade and Abigail Van Hook (both of Chicago) obtained a jury verdict from the Northern District of Illinois in favor of their pro bono court-appointed client’s excessive force claims under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The case alleged that after the client, Abre Jackson, was granted his request for grade restoration and segregation reduction by the Illinois Department of Corrections and later moved to a separate facility, the defendants refused to acknowledge Jackson’s imminent restoration. Jackson then pleaded his case behind bars through his open chuck hole, a six-inch-high by one-foot-wide food opening barely large enough for him to fit both arms through while hunched over, which set the excessive force in motion. Jackson asserted constitutional claims for cruel and unusual punishment, resulting in a jury trial that ruled in favor of his excessive force claim. The jury also awarded Jackson compensatory and punitive damages. The Locke Lord team petitioned and was granted an award of attorneys’ fees, which the Firm donated to the Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC), a nonprofit organization in Chicago that advocates for prisoners, tenants and disabled people denied public benefits. UPLC also provides support to lawyers recruited by the federal court to represent prisoners, support which Locke Lord was able to call upon while representing Jackson.
Locke Lord has a rich and long-standing tradition of giving back to its communities through pro bono projects. The Firm considers it an obligation and responsibility as lawyers and as human beings to provide legal services to people who cannot afford them. Read about Locke Lord’s commitment to pro bono initiatives.
Posted on October 31, 2023