CBA Record November-December 2023

ments they created to get a search warrant still endure and are followed today.” In the book, a plaintiffs’ law firm has a grand idea: figure out a way to get inmates’ sentences cleared on wrongful conviction charges. Then represent the exonerated in suing the city and obtain large settlements. Rinse and repeat. When the cap on awards stalls, find a new angle, for example, a white client. Alexrood explores the slippery slope that can lead down the road to perdition for the immoral. One of the attorneys, speaking to his wife before he is indicted, says: “First we begin seeking justice, one day we’re buying justice, and then we end up stealing justice. I knew it was wrong, but every time we stepped over the line, it seemed so small. Next thing you know, you’re completely lost.” The book jacket notes that Axelrood “presents authentic, nuanced, realistic characters who struggle to navigate com plex issues in the criminal justice system today.” This is his fourth novel. Axelrood’s books consider moral issues and tempta tions lawyers face and are lessons on what to avoid to maintain your license and stay out of jail.



Stealing Justice By Larry Axelrood

Post Publishing (2023) Reviewed by Daniel A. Cotter C hicago prosecutor Marisol Cuellar has been assigned a case seeking the exoneration of Terry Jackson (TJ), who was convicted of murdering a young girl. A plaintiff’s firm is pursuing wrongful conviction settlements against the city for exonerated defendants, and this matter is key to the firm recovering. There is one big problem. As Cuellar investigates the matter, it becomes clear that TJ is guilty. Confessions from nine years ago and eyewitnesses make it clear that the crime happened as prosecuted. Cuellar becomes a whistleblower and part of a team assembled to investigate what is really happening before it’s too late.

In Stealing Justice , Larry Axelrood explores issues of morals and ethics in the law. As a former judge, prosecutor, and criminal defense attorney, his experience gives him unique perspectives. Through his writing he addresses a situation amiss. Axelrood is especially effective at using easy-to-understand terms to outline issues in the law for readers without a legal back ground. He speaks of technology and war rants: “While the Founding Fathers may have never envisioned cell phone technol ogy, they were keenly aware of the right to privacy. They believed that a man’s home was sacrosanct and that individual privacy rights were to be protected. The require

Daniel A. Cotter is Attorney and Counsel at Howard & Howard Attor neys PLLC, a member of the CBA Record Editorial Board, and Past President of the CBA.

A Conversation with City of Chicago Corporation Counsel Mary Richardson-Lowry

December 11, 2023 | 4:00 p.m. | Members Free! In-person at CBA Building or Live Webcast Networking reception follows in-person event 0.75 IL MCLE Credit. Register at Thank you to our reception sponsors:

Co-sponsored by the CBA’s Civics, DICE and Public Affairs Committees.

48 November/December 2023

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