Both of Koehler Mullenix's founding partners have exemplary track records of winning cases on behalf of their clients.
As a former justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, as well as a state legislator and law instructor, Judy Koehler puts her deep understanding of Illinois law and formidable courtroom experience to work on behalf of her clients.
As a public defender with a 30-year background, Jim Mullenix has a well-earned reputation for achieving the best possible results for his clients in the courtroom. The Daily Herald has called his record of winning cases "phenomenal," as he draws on his extensive trial and negotiating experience.
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Here are a few examples of Judy Koehler's successful cases:
A client contacted Judy for help after the client's parent passed away without leaving a will behind. Judy successfully helped her client through this complicated situation, which involved a number of probate proceedings. The process began with Judy and her client filing a Petition for Independent Administration, and also included an Affidavit of Heirship, a notice to heirs and creditors, clearing the title to the decedent’s real estate, obtaining a surety bond for the sale of the real estate, negotiating claims against the estate, resolving conflicts among heirs to the estate, distribution to the heirs, and finally closing the estate.
Judy represented a client whose mother was extremely angry after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Doctors reported to the court that the mother was totally incapable of making personal and financial decisions and recommended that Judy's client be awarded guardianship. Judy helped her client file for Plenary Guardianship, but the mother contested it and Probate Court appointed an attorney for mother. At this point, Judy successfully obtained consent to guardianship from the client's other siblings, and negotiated with the mother and her attorney to withdraw her objection to guardianship. Ultimately, the court entered an order declaring the mother a disabled person and appointed Judy's client as plenary guardian of her mother's person and estate.
Purchase of Real Estate
Judy's clients in this case found themselves dealing with a deceptive seller after they'd entered into a sales contract to purchase a duplex home. Judy and her clients discovered that the City of Chicago had filed suit against the owners, citing the owners for (among other things) failing to meet minimum requirements of the Code constituting an ongoing injury to the public health, safety, and welfare. It became clear that the owners had misrepresented ownership of the property to Judy's clients — the lawsuit revealed that there were actually three owners, and only one of them had signed the sales contract. This meant that the sales contract was invalid, and thus unenforceable. During the following weeks, Judy helped her clients resolve the case successfully — negotiating the minefield of clearing the title by determining the lawful owners, release of a mechanic's lien, redeeming delinquent tax purchases, and intervening in the city's lawsuit. Ultimately, with Judy's assistance, the clients were able to achieve their goal of obtaining a warranty deed, and are now rehabbing the duplex where one of the clients currently resides.
Here are some of Jim Mullenix's most recent wins:
Domestic Battery Case
In a case involving charges of misdemeanor domestic battery and interfering with the reporting of a domestic battery, Jim obtained a recant statement from the complaining witness — forcing the State to drop all charges against the client.
Felony Arrest Warrant Case
For a client who was facing an outstanding felony arrest warrant for aggravated battery, Jim negotiated a bond that kept his client free. While the client was out on bond, Jim obtained recant statements from complaining witnesses — once again forcing the State to drop all charges against the client, who never spent a single day in jail.
For a client facing charges of misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs, Jim successfully negotiated a plea to reduced charges of reckless driving and no alcohol/drug counseling.
Order of Protection Case
Jim successfully obtained supervision for a client who was facing a violation of an order of protection, as well as a violation of a previous supervision. The complaining witness and prosecution wanted a conviction and jail time on the new charge, but Jim's client walked out of court with neither, as the judge recommitted the client to supervision.
And here are some of Jim's earlier successes:
People v. Edgar Hope
(1990 retrial — Judge Robert Boharic)
Jim represented a convicted cop-killer who was accused of the murder and armed robbery of off-duty Cook County Sheriff Lloyd Wycliffe, who was moonlighting as a security guard at McDonalds in Chicago's far South Side.
People v. Eddie Williams
(1995 re-sentencing — Judge Themis Karnezis)
After the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the conviction but vacated the death sentence, Jim successfully represented Mr. Williams in his re-sentencing hearing for the contract murder of Valerie McDonald. The case was Illinois's first reported instance of a jury arriving at a life verdict following a previous death verdict.
People v. Leroy Washington
(2003— Judge Thomas Sumner)
In this case, Jim gained an acquittal on all charges despite the defendant's video confession to murdering and robbing an off-duty Chicago firefighter four days after Sept. 11, 2001. This case was the first reported acquittal involving a video murder confession in the State of Illinois.
People v. Antoinne Powell
(2002 — Judge Dennis Porter)
Jim successfully investigated and obtained recantations from the majority of the eyewitnesses and presented an out-of-state alibi — resulting in acquittal for a double murder during the armed robbery of a liquor store on Chicago's near West Side.
People v. Termarielle Hicks
(2006 — Judge Garritt Howard)
To counter the defendant's written confession, and eyewitness testimony, Jim presented forensic evidence — including DNA — establishing that the alleged passenger was the actual driver in a triple reckless homicide. The State dropped all charges after an 11-1 NG hung jury.
People v. Anthony Crane
(1991 — Judge Themis Karnezis)
An eyewitnesses implicated the defendant, who also confessed to arson-robbery murder of Southwest side tavern owner William McHugh. A jury convicted the defendant, but the appellate court reversed and remanded, stating that a Motion to Quash should have been granted. The new trial judge, James Linn, allowed the State to reopen the Motion to Quash years after the fact, and the defendant was convicted a second time. The appellate court again reversed and remanded the verdict. The state eventually dropped all charges.
People v. Dannie Robinson
(1990 — Judge Loretta Morgan)
A "Witherspooned" jury (selected for their willingness to consider the death penalty) found the defendant Not Eligible for the death penalty, despite their verdict of guilty on all counts for a contract murder. The appellate court reversed and remanded based on numerous errors by the trial court. The defendant eventually pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of "time served" and is a free man enjoying his grandchildren on the West side.
People v. Miguel Castillo
(1991 — Judge John Morrissey)
Jim employed a forensic entomologist (Bernard Greenberg, Ph.D.) to help ascertain the time of death of the badly decomposed body of Rene Chinea, and also argued that the defendant was in jail at the time of the murder. The defendant had been convicted based solely on his alleged oral confession, but with Jim's representation he was later granted post-conviction relief and eventually exonerated, receiving a settlement in excess of one million dollars.