John L. Stainthorp has been a member of People’s Law Office since 1980. His primary area of practice is representing plaintiffs who have been wrongfully imprisoned, falsely arrested or subjected to excessive force by police officers, or who have been injured in other personal injury cases. He also represents criminal defendants at trial and on appeal, mostly in death penalty cases.
In the course of his practice he has obtained a $9,000,000 jury verdict against the City of Hammond on behalf of a man falsely imprisoned on a rape charge; a $6.3 million settlement against the City of Chicago for another plaintiff wrongfully imprisoned on a rape charge; is part of the legal team that has recently won a $6.2 million settlement on behalf of anti-war protestors who were falsely arrested by Chicago police; and was one of the attorneys who represented Kenny Adams in the $36 million Ford Heights settlement. He has successfully argued on behalf of plaintiffs in the United States Supreme Court in cases which expanded the protections of the Fourth Amendment and narrowed the defense of prosecutor immunity. In addition, he has obtained significant and wide-reaching decisions from the Illinois Supreme Court limiting the persons who can be sentenced to death, and has represented several defendants whose death sentences have been reversed. In 2010 he was the recipient, with his partners G. Flint Taylor and Joey Mogul, of the Arthur Kinoy People’s Law Award “in recognition of his steadfast commitment to the struggle for justice for survivors of torture.”
He handles all stages of litigation, from trial preparation through trial and appeal. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, where he helped win two landmark civil rights decisions – Soldal v. Cook County and Buckley v Fitzsimmons – the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and in Illinois and New York.
University of Manchester, England, LL.B. 1971
State University of New York JD 1979
United States Supreme Court
Illinois Supreme Court
State of New York
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Awards & Honors:
Arthur Kinoy People’s Law Award
Ron Sable Award
National Lawyers Guild
National Police Accountability Project (NPAP)
Mr. Stainthorp has published numerous articles on aspects of civil rights law, most in the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report and Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney’s Fees Annual Handbook.