Steven Art

Steve Art is a partner at Loevy & Loevy. He focuses on civil rights cases concerning wrongful convictions, deaths in jails and prisons, police shootings, and other violations of the Constitution. He has helped to exonerate innocent people wrongly imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, and he has secured tens of millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlements for his clients. Find out more about Steve’s cases by clicking “Representative Cases” above.

Steve graduated from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, 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, the Lowden-Wigmore Prize, and Senior Research Honors. At Northwestern, Steve worked on wrongful convictions and international human rights cases in the Bluhm Legal Clinic, he served as an officer of the American Constitution Society and the Public Interest Law Group, and he was a member of the Public Service Honor Roll. He was also a judicial extern to Judge Mark Filip of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Following law school, Steve served as law clerk to the 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. In addition to that appellate experience, Steve has argued cases and written numerous briefs in the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and he has written amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.

Bar Admissions
• Illinois, 2010
• United States Supreme Court, 2020
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2018
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2017
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2011
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 2013
• U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2011
• U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 2012

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

The University of Chicago
• A.B. – 2003
• With Honors
• 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.

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. The case is currently 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.

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. Petition for certiorari denied.

• J.K.J. v. Polk County, 2020 WL 2563256 (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.

• Koh v. Ustich, 933 F.3d 836 (7th Cir. 2019); Graf v. Koh, No. 19-624 (U.S. Supreme Court) (brief in opposition). 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. Petition for certiorari denied.

• 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, No. 125621 (Illinois Supreme Court) Counsel in case examining standards governing petitioners for certificates of innocence in Illinois. Appeal pending.

• 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. Appeal pending.

• 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, 2020 WL 2832116 (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.

• Fields v. City of Chicago, No. 17-3079 (7th Cir.) Counsel for plaintiff in wrongful conviction case following a $22 million jury verdict for client. Appeal pending.

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

• 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, 135 S. Ct. 2466 (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.