Steven Art

Steve Art is a partner at Loevy & Loevy. He works on civil rights cases concerning wrongful convictions, deaths in jails and prisons, police killings, and other violations of the Constitution. Steve has successfully exonerated multiple innocent people wrongly imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, and he has helped his clients win more than $100 million in jury verdicts and settlements. Find out more about Steve’s cases on the “Representative Cases” tab above.

Steve graduated from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2009. During law school, he served as Executive Articles Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review, and won the Julius H. Miner Moot Court Competition, the Raoul Berger Prize in writing, and the Lowden-Wigmore Prize. At Northwestern, Steve worked on wrongful convictions and international human rights issues in the Bluhm Legal Clinic, he was recognized as a member of the Public Service Honor Roll for his community service, and he was an officer of the American Constitution Society and Public Interest Law Group. Steve was also an extern to Judge Mark Filip of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Following law school, Steve served as a law clerk to Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit during the court’s 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 terms. Since then, Steve has represented clients in dozens of appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals. Most recently, he secured a 9-1 victory for Johnnie Lee Savory in Savory v. Cannon, et al., a wrongful conviction case before the en banc Seventh Circuit.

In 2016, Steve was recognized at Northwestern’s Annual Public Service Benefit Dinner for his contributions to public interest law. He is a member of the board of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, and until recently served as president of the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. In the past, Steve has been a member of the Criminal Justice Committee of Chicago Appleseed and the Chicago Council of Lawyers, he was a founding member of the Justice Council of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, and he has been a volunteer for the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, the ACLU of Illinois, and Cabrini Green Legal Aid.

Before becoming a lawyer, Steve worked in the music industry in Chicago.

Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
• J.D. (magna cum laude) – 2009
• Dean’s list

The University of Chicago
• A.B. (with honors) – 2003
• Dean’s list

Clerkships & Past Employment

• Law Clerk, Hon. Diane P. Wood, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Publications

An Empirical Examination of Universal Jurisdiction for Piracy (with Eugene Kontorovich), American Journal of International Law, Vol. 104, No. 3, 2008

The Meaning of the Seventeenth Amendment and a Century of State Defiance (with Zachary Clopton), Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 107, No. 3, 2013

TRIAL COURT LITIGATION

People v. Demetrius Johnson (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois) Counsel for Demetrius Johnson, who was wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit. Secured Mr. Johnson’s exoneration.

People v. Thomas Sierra (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois) Counsel for Thomas Sierra, who was wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit. Secured Mr. Sierra’s exoneration.

People v. Geraldo Iglesias (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois) Counsel for Geraldo Iglesias, who was wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit. Secured Mr. Iglesias’s exoneration.

Rivera v. Guevara, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Counsel for Jacques Rivera, who was wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit and spent 21 years in prison as a result of alleged police misconduct. Jury returned a $17 million verdict for Mr. Rivera.

Burgess v. Baltimore Police Department, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland) Counsel for Sabein Burgess, who was wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit and spent 19 years in prison as a result of alleged police misconduct. Jury returned a $15 million verdict for Mr. Burgess. Appeal pending.

Fields v. City of Chicago, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Counsel for Nathson Fields, who was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death for a double murder he did not commit as a result of alleged police misconduct. Jury returned a $22 million verdict for Mr. Fields, among the highest jury verdicts in a wrongful conviction case in U.S. history. Jury verdict affirmed on appeal.

Rivera v. Lake County, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Counsel for Juan Rivera, who was wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit and spent 20 years in prison as a result of alleged police misconduct. Case settled for $20 million, one of the largest pretrial settlements of a wrongful conviction case in U.S. history.

Fox v. Barnes, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Counsel for Ray Fox and his family in civil rights lawsuit alleging that deliberate indifference by prison officials to Mr. Fox’s medical needs resulted in serious brain injuries. Jury returned a $12 million verdict for Mr. Fox, among the highest deliberate indifference verdicts in U.S. history.

Awalt v. Marketti, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Counsel for estate of a man who died at a county jail as a result of alleged denial of medication and medical treatment during a five-day pretrial detention. Case settled following trial for multiple millions of dollars.

Bost v. Wexford Health Sources, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Maryland) Counsel for family of Fatima Neal, who died at a county jail as a result of alleged denial of medical care. Case against the individual defendants settled for $3 million. Case against Wexford Health Sources pending.

Julian v. Hanna, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana) Counsel for man wrongfully convicted of arson as a result of alleged police misconduct. On appeal of a motion to dismiss, won unanimous reversal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Case settled before trial for $3 million.

Ford v. Caddo Parish, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana) Counsel for Glenn Ford, who was wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit, was sentenced to death, and spent 30 years in solitary confinement as a result. Case pending.

Roberts v. County of Riverside, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Central District of California) Counsel for Horace Roberts, who was wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit and spent 20 years in prison as a result. Case pending.

Echavarria v. Roach, et al. (U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts) Counsel for Angel Echavarria, who was wrongly convicted of a murder he did not commit and spent decades in prison as a result. Case pending.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East v. DeJoy (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida) Counsel for 1199SEIU in challenge to delay of U.S. Mail in Florida during the 2020 General Election.

Black Lives Matter, et al. v. Wolf, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) Counsel for social justice organizations in challenge to Trump Administration’s alleged unconstitutional actions to deter peaceful protest.

APPELLATE COURT LITIGATION

• Savory v. Cannon, 947 F.3d 409 (7th Cir. 2020) (en banc) Counsel in case about claim accrual in wrongful conviction cases. 9-1 ruling in favor of client reversing dismissal of case.

• J.K.J. v. Polk County, 960 F.3d 367 (7th Cir. 2020) (en banc) Counsel at en banc stage in case about municipal liability for sexual assaults in correctional facilities. Ruling in favor of client affirming multi-million dollar jury verdict.

• Stinson v. Gauger, 868 F.3d 516 (7th Cir. 2015) (en banc) Counsel at en banc stage in case about jurisdictional limitations of qualified-immunity appeals. Ruling in favor of client dismissing appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

• Fields v. City of Chicago, 981 F.3d 534 (7th Cir. 2020) Counsel for plaintiff in wrongful conviction case following a $22 million jury verdict for client. Ruling in favor of client affirming jury verdict.

• Koh v. Ustich, 933 F.3d 836 (7th Cir. 2019) Counsel in case about appellate jurisdiction over qualified-immunity appeals in wrongful conviction cases. Ruling in favor of client dismissing appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

• Jackson v. Curry, 888 F.3d 259 (7th Cir. 2018) Counsel for plaintiff in case about appellate jurisdiction over qualified-immunity appeals in wrongful conviction cases. Ruling in favor of client dismissing appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

• Julian v. Hanna, 732 F.3d 842 (7th Cir. 2013) Counsel for plaintiff in case about the viability of federal malicious prosecution claims. Ruling in favor of client recognizing such a claim for the first time in the Seventh Circuit.

• Jimenez v. City of Chicago, 732 F.3d 710 (7th Cir. 2013) Counsel for plaintiff in wrongful conviction case following a $25 million jury verdict for client. Ruling in favor of client affirming jury verdict.

• Palmer v. State of Illinois, 2021 IL 125621 (Ill. 2021) (Illinois Supreme Court) Counsel in case establishing standards governing the award of certificates of innocence in Illinois. Unanimous ruling that client Charles Palmer was entitled to a certificate of innocence.

• Vargas v. Los Angeles, No. 19-55967 (9th Cir.) Counsel for plaintiff in wrongful conviction case. Appeal pending.

• Kuri v. City of Chicago, No. 19-2967 (7th Cir.) Counsel for plaintiff in wrongful conviction case following a $4 million jury verdict for client. Ruling in favor of client affirming jury verdict.

• Vance v. Rumsfeld, 701 F.3d 193 (7th Cir. 2012) (en banc); Vance v. Rumsfeld, No. 12-976 (U.S. Supreme Court 2013) (petition for certiorari). Counsel for civilian American citizens who alleged that they were detained and tortured by U.S. military officials in Iraq.

• Engel v. Buchan, 710 F.3d 698 (7th Cir. 2013) Counsel in case about Bivens actions for due process violations. Ruling in favor of client recognizing Bivens action.

• Owsley v. Gorbett, 960 F.3d 969 (7th Cir. 2020) Counsel in case about standing to pursue denial of access to courts claim. Ruling in favor of client reversing dismissal of case.

• Burgess v. Baltimore Police Department, No. 19-1600 (4th Cir.) Counsel in wrongful conviction case following a $15 million verdict for plaintiff. Appeal pending.

Lombardo, et al. v. St. Louis, et al., No. 20-391 (S. Ct.) Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of petitioner at cert. stage in case examining whether police officers violate the Constitution’s prohibition on excessive force when they kill a shackled and handcuffed arrestee inside of a jail cell by compression asphyxiation.

Larry Thompson v. Pagiel Clark, et al., No. 20-659 (S. Ct.) Counsel for civil rights, racial justice, and criminal defense organizations in support of petitioner at certiorari stage in case examining whether individuals seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment must prove their innocence in criminal proceedings in order to pursue section 1983 claims. Certiorari granted.

McDonough v. Smith, 139 S. Ct. 2149 (2019) Counsel for amici curiae federal courts scholars in support of petitioner in case about accrual of section 1983 claims for wrongful prosecution in violation of due process. Ruling for petitioner.

• Manuel v. City of Joliet, 137 S. Ct. 911 (2017) Counsel for amicus curiae Albert Alschuler in support of petition in case about Fourth Amendment claims for wrongful detention. Ruling for petitioner.

• Manuel v. City of Joliet, 903 F.3d 667 (7th Cir. 2018) Counsel for amicus curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of plaintiff in case about elements and accrual of false detention claims. Ruling for plaintiff.

• Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 576 U.S. 389 (2015) (cited in Kingsley, 135 S. Ct. at 2474) Counsel for amici curiae Former Corrections Experts in support of petitioner in case about use of force claims brought by pretrial detainees. Ruling for petitioner.

• Beaman v. Freesmeyer, 131 N.E.3d 488 (Ill. 2019) Counsel for amici curiae former prosecutors in support of petitioner in case about the elements of malicious prosecution in Illinois. Ruling for petitioner.

• Avery v. City of Milwaukee, 847 F.3d 433 (7th Cir. 2017) Counsel for amici curiae Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic in support of plaintiff in case about due process claims alleging fabrication of evidence. Ruling for plaintiff.