State’s Attorney’s Office Releases Report of Outside Counsel Recommendations

May 25, 2018

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has released a report regarding recommendations about the selection, engagement, and management of outside counsel. The report was prepared by former U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Otlewski from the law firm of King & Spalding, who were engaged in December 2017 to conduct a pro bono review of outside counsel engagements by the State’s Attorney’s office. After an extensive review process, the report makes several recommendations, notably that the State’s Attorney’s Office:

  • Obtain court authorization for all outside counsel engagements, with notice to and involvement by the Litigation Subcommittee for all engagements;
  • Provide clear policies and procedures for selection panels to determine whether a case is appropriate for outside counsel and whom to select;
  • Implement clear policies and procedures to manage cases assigned to outside counsel that address oversight of the cases, case budgeting, and review of invoices; and
  • Document and make publicly available information about the selection, engagement, and management of outside counsel.

The State’s Attorney’s Office will work with the litigation subcommittee of the Cook County Board to implement these recommendations, using them as the basis to develop formal protocols governing outside counsel engagements going forward.

“I greatly appreciate King & Spalding’s diligent work and thorough report which provides important guidance that I’m committed to implementing,” said State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. 

A copy of the report can be found here.