Jeffrey Urdangen

Of Counsel ( Chicago )

Direct 312.471.8752 Fax 312.471.8701 LinkedIn

Bio

Jeffrey Urdangen is an accomplished and seasoned defense attorney whose legal career spans almost four decades in private practice and legal education. His range of experience brings a wealth of insight and knowledge to our clients.

Jeff represents persons accused of crimes, primarily at the trial and investigation stage. He dedicated sixteen years as a Clinical Professor of Law and Director for the Center for Criminal Defense at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic working with students on trial level criminal cases. Prior to that he had his own criminal defense practice for 23 years.

Jeff has been a member of the Federal Defender Panel for the Northern District of Illinois since 1989. Some of his impressive accomplishments include serving as defense counsel for over 70 federal and state felony jury trials, five capital jury trials in state and federal courts, and Counsel for ten different petitioners whose convictions were vacated after serving a combined period of 135 years of wrongful conviction incarceration.

When not enjoying time with his wife and children, Jeff devotes his leisure time to tennis, music, reading history and spy novels, and hopefully a return to downhill skiing.

Experience

Representative Engagements

  • Defense counsel for over 70 Federal and State felony jury trials.
  • One of the lawyers for the following petitioners and defendants whose convictions were vacated after serving a combined period of 135 years of wrongful incarceration: Alan Beaman, Paul Terry, Kenneth Adams, Alejandro Hernandez, Julie Rea, Michael Winston, Jose Vasquez, Juan Rivera, Robert Hill, and Gabriel Solache.
  • Appointed on eight occasions, by district judges in four separate federal districts, as lead counsel to represent trial stage capital defendants.
  • First attorney in the United States appointed to represent a capital defendant following the 1988 reinstatement of the federal death penalty by Congress.
  • Represented defendants in five capital jury trials in State and Federal court.
  • Counsel at evidentiary hearing stage for numerous State post-conviction and Federal Habeas petitioners (capital and non-capital).

Expert Testimony

  • White v. Godinez, 96-3187, C.D. Illinois. Federal Habeas Corpus. Subject:  Effective Assistance of Counsel (Qualified by Hon. Harold A. Baker - 2001)
  • People v. Davis, 04 CF 76, Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois. State Post Conviction. Subject:  Effective Assistance of Counsel (Qualified by Hon. Timothy Q. Sheldon - 2005)
  • Malone v. Walls, 04 C 8008, N.D. Illinois. Federal Habeas Corpus. Subject:  Effective Assistance of Counsel (Qualified by Hon. George Lindberg – 2009)
  • Anderson v. United States, 13-CV-01734, S.D. Indiana. Federal Habeas Corpus. Subject:  Effective Assistance of Counsel (Qualified by Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt 2018)

Credentials

Education

John Marshall Law School (Chicago), J.D., 1980
University of Iowa, B.A., 1971

Bar Admissions

Illinois
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Memberships

Cook County Public Defender Advisory Board, Chairperson
Cook County Public Defender, Member of the Five-Person Selection Committee (2015)
Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, Working Group Member
Northern District of Illinois, Federal Defender Panel

Teaching Appointments

Clinical Professor of Law, Director, Center for Criminal Defense, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (2003-2019)
 

Publications & Presentations

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) American Bar Association, National Convention

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) Congressional Sub-committee

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) Federal Defender Programs:  Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Antonio

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) Office of the Cook County Public Defender

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) Chicago Bar Association

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) Kane County Bar Association

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) Chicago Council of Lawyers

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) National Legal Aid and Defender Association

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) Federal Capital Resource Counsel Program

“Trial representation of criminal defendants and capital defendants,” (presenter) National Conference on Wrongful Convictions