ttorney Sara Garber is an energetic, motivated, and hard working criminal defense and civil rights attorney. She exhibits an unwavering commitment to fighting racism, the prison industrial complex, and police abuse of power.
Sara puts her clients first. She will work tirelessly and creatively to obtain the best result possible for her clients._
Sara has been recognized by her peers as an exceptional practitioner. In 2017, 2018, and 2019 she was nominated and selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star (top 2.5% of attorneys under 40). In 2017 She was placed on the Top 40 Under 40 trial lawyers designation by the National Trial Lawyers, Inc. Further, In 2018, Sara was nominated and selected as a Leading Emerging Lawyer for the areas Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Defense, by the Chicago Law Bulletin's Leading Lawyers Division, which recognizes the top 2% of Chicago lawyers under 40._
Sara is an adjunct professor and co-teaches a Civil Rights Clinic at DePaul University College of Law. Sara also presents at continuing legal education seminars on representing inmates on parole.
National Police Accountability Project National Lawyers Guild Chicago Committee to Free Black Political Prisoners Women's Criminal Defense Bar Association Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
University of Illinois 2007
University of Illinois College of Law 2010, cum laude_
Sara has dedicated her law practice to fighting against state-sponsored oppression and racist policing, as well as to standing hand-in-hand with her clients who have been arrested and charged with crimes. Sara focuses her practice on criminal defense and federal civil rights lawsuits against the police for civil rights violations, including: illegal search and seizure, false arrest, excessive force, First Amendment (free speech) violations, and malicious prosecution. Sara is licensed to practice law in Illinois state and federal courts._
Sara has litigated a multitude of police misconduct cases to settlement and trial, obtaining favorable results for her clients. Notably, Sara was involved in a civil rights trial against the Chicago Police for malicious prosecution where the jury returned a verdict of $1 Million dollars for her client. Additionally, Sara helped secure an unprecedented jury verdict on behalf of two panhandlers who were repeatedly harassed by Cook County Sheriff's officers. The verdict not only compensated her clients but required the Cook County Sheriff's department to institute new training on the First Amendment Rights of Panhandlers.
Sara has also successfully represented numerous clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies by obtaining a dismissal of all charges or a not-guilty verdict. Some of Sara's remarkable successes in criminal cases include obtaining a not guilty jury verdict for two clients charged with felony aggravated battery to a police officer. Sara's clients were battered by the police, and the police brought false charges to cover up their abuse. After winning the criminal trial, Sara filed civil rights lawsuits on behalf of her clients for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and excessive force._
Sara also achieved an impressive victory when she successfully litigated a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence which resulted in dismissal of two armed robbery charges for her 19 year old client. Sara again obtained success on a pre-trial motion and was able to suppress her client's confession taken pursuant to an illegal interrogation in an attempted murder case. Most recently, Sara obtained a not guilty jury verdict on all charges for a client who faced 13 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault._
Additionally, Sara is skilled at negotiating results for her clients when litigation may not be the best option. Based on the presentation of creative and extensive mitigation materials Sara has worked out impressive deals including the dismissal of all charges or serious felony charges reduced to misdemeanors._
Political / Protest Cases
As an activist and movement lawyer, Sara is experienced at handling political and protest related cases. She represents a large number of Chicago activists, including black lives matter activists, anti-racist activists, and anarchist activists. Sara believes that true transformational change in society will not come solely from legal battles won in the courts, and requires community organizing, direct action, and demonstrations on the street. Sara is well-known for representing anti-racist activists arrested for violently disrupting a white supremacy meeting in Tinley Park, Illinois.
As part of her criminal practice, Sara also handles appeals, post-trial, post-conviction, clemency, and parole related matters. Most notably, Sara has represented three indeterminately sentenced inmates (C# inmates) in parole hearings, all of whom she was able to get released from prison. One of the three was a man who was falsely convicted of murder back in 1976 when he was 18 years old. This client spent 38 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Sara took over the case and worked tirelessly to find evidence of his innocence and get him released from prison._
Personal Injury/Breach of Contract
While Sara specializes in police abuse cases and criminal defense, she has extensive experience litigating a wide variety of personal injury and contract cases, including: personal Injury cases, products liability cases, breach of contract cases, and employment discrimination cases. In fact, attorney Sara Garber began her career in the general litigation department of a large Chicago law firm. There, as an associate attorney, she learned how to litigate aggressively and strategically for her clients and handled multi-million dollar personal injury matters involving catastrophic injuries, complex products liability cases, and nation-wide medical malpractice and medical products liability cases.