Chicago, Illinois Federal Appeals Attorney - Federal Lawyer
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Chicago, Illinois Federal Appeals Attorney

Chicago address – by appointment only:
205 North Michigan Avenue Suite 810
Chicago, IL 60601
Linda Julin McNamara
Attorney Linda Julin McNamara
Federal Appeals Team Lead
Former Deputy Chief, Appellate Division
Elizabeth Stepp
Attorney Elizabeth K. Stepp
Federal Appeals Team Lead
Partner & Yale Graduate

Unfortunately, many defendants do not realize that they have the right to appeal their criminal conviction or sentence. They might even miss important appeals deadlines as they try to figure out what their legal options are. Do not make this costly mistake. Talk with a legal professional sooner rather than later.

A federal conviction will negatively impact your finances, relationships, and personal freedom. Knowing what is at stake, it is important to have reliable legal representation in the appellate court. Without good legal counsel, you could find yourself unable to properly appeal your conviction and the steep sentence that came with it.

The federal appellate defense lawyers at the Oberheiden P.C. can provide you with information about the appeals process. We will ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the chance to find justice with an appellate court’s review.

Federal Criminal Justice System in Chicago, Illinois

There are some similarities between the state and federal criminal justice systems in Illinois. However, understand that you will be facing off against powerful federal agencies that want to prosecute you and harshly sentence you for your suspected crimes.

At the starting point of your criminal case, you will be the subject of an intense investigation from one or more federal law enforcement agencies, such as the DOJ, DEA, FBI, IRS, or DHS. Once the relevant evidence is gathered and probable cause established, you will be charged and arrested. Some defendants decide to take a plea bargain early on to reduce their charges or sentencing.

However, if you are charged with a federal crime in Chicago and want to prove your innocence, your trial will take place in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. There are two court locations in this district, but charges that originate in Chicago will generally go through the courthouse located at 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604.

Some defendants win their criminal cases in the district court. However, if you need to make an appeal, this will happen in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Seventh Circuit is responsible for federal appeals in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Your appeal will be heard by the judges at the Everett McKinley Dirksen U.S. Courthouse. This is located in the same building as the district court, at 219 South Dearborn Street in Chicago.

Our team of appellate lawyers will support you throughout your legal journey. In addition, if your conviction is not reversed, we will help you file for a rehearing or take your appeal to the highest level of the federal criminal justice system. The Supreme Court of the United States is more selective about the cases they take on. However, if you know that your criminal trial was mishandled and that you have solid grounds for an appeal, Oberheiden P.C. has the experience to file a petition for the Supreme Court’s review.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden



Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney


Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

The Federal Appeals Process in Chicago, Illinois

The federal appeals process will be focused on the legal errors made during your trial in the district court. While you will be given the chance to reverse the lower court’s decision, defendants are not allowed to present new evidence or testimony at the circuit court.

This is because federal appeals are a completely different legal process. There will be no new trial granted at this time. Instead, our team will help you find grounds for an appeal to prove that your criminal case should be reconsidered. Some possible grounds for an appeal could include:

  • The evidence used in court did not prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
  • The jury was biased or displayed misconduct during your trial
  • Your trial judge did not correctly apply the law to your case or abused his or her discretion
  • Your sentence does not fit the criminal offense
  • Other legal errors were made that put your conviction into doubt

After we discuss your criminal case and decide what trial error to base your appeal on, we will file a Notice of Appeal on your behalf. Our legal team will explain the deadlines for your appeal and make sure your paperwork is submitted at the right location and time.

Once your appeal is processed and sent to the district court, records from your trial will be delivered to the appellate judges. You can also request your court records which we will use to create a legal brief for your appeals case. This brief is one of the most important parts of your appeal. It is a legal document of dozens of pages that describes the legal mistakes made by the district court and argues that your conviction is unjust and should be overturned on appeal.

A group of panel judges will look over your brief and decide if the decision of the lower court should be affirmed or overturned. They will also look at the brief sent in by the prosecution team, as well. Both briefs and court records are reviewed behind closed doors. However, an oral argument could be requested if the appeal judges want more detailed information. In most cases, though, your brief is sufficient and the appellate court will send a final verdict through the mail.

Winning your appeal can mean that you get a complete reversal of your conviction, a new trial, or new legal instructions for the lower court. If you lose your appeal, then your conviction will remain unchanged. You can choose to appeal for rehearing or petition for the Supreme Court’s review.

Criminal Cases We Handle in Chicago, Illinois

Federal criminal appeals are one of the most complicated areas of law. To win your appeal and improve your chances of success in the appellate court, our lawyers will meticulously review your trial records and use their intimate familiarity with the law and the appeals process to advocate on your behalf.

Oberheiden P.C. has defended clients in Chicago, Illinois, and other areas of the country. We are well prepared to defend you in the federal court system. Our appeals lawyers have handled many cases, including in these areas of the law:

  • Bribery
  • Embezzlement
  • Tax evasion
  • Public corruption offenses
  • Conspiracy
  • Securities fraud
  • Import/Export Violations
  • Drug crimes
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Mail and wire fraud

We also represent defendants for other types of federal offenses. Reach out to us immediately to fully understand what your legal options are.

Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Appeals and Oberheiden P.C.

How Do I Know Whether My Criminal Case Qualifies For an Appeal?


Not every criminal case has a good ground for an appeal. In fact, you will need a strong legal basis to file your appeal and convince the appellate court that your conviction should be reviewed. Most individuals will not know how to do this on their own.

That is why you should contact our appeals lawyer early on in the legal process. The lawyers at our law firm have extensive experience in the appellate courts. Over the years we have made it possible for clients to receive the results they are looking for. While not all cases will qualify for an appeal, we know what to look for in your court records and other court documents.

If a trial error was made and your case was mishandled in some way, we will find these mistakes and help you file your appeal.

Why Should I Hire a Federal Appellate Defense Lawyer to Protect My Rights in Court?


Many defendants are unaware of the appeals process and will need the help of a federal appellate defense lawyer. Again, criminal appeals cases are highly complex and challenging to win. Without the right set of skills and experience your freedom and rights will be in danger.

An appeals lawyer understands the appellate court and knows how to present your case in the best possible light. They will pay attention to the details of your criminal case and will go over your court records with a fine tooth comb. This way they can determine the strongest grounds for an appeal.

Your appellate lawyer will also fully represent you and advocate on your behalf in the oral argument and through your written appellate brief. Strong presentation skills, written skills, and attention to detail are required, to say nothing of an intimate understanding of the law. Appeals lawyers meet these specific qualifications and are a must if you want to reverse your federal criminal conviction.

Why Does Oberheiden P.C. Not Call Itself the Best Law Firm?


We suggest looking over these glowing testimonials from our previous clients. While Oberheiden P.C. is confident about our legal skills, hearing us call ourselves the best law firm can get redundant. Instead, we think it is better to hear about our legal results from the people we have successfully defended in the appellate court.

Contact Oberheiden P.C. Today for Legal Representation in Chicago, Illinois

Do not underestimate the elite federal investigators, attorneys, and judges that run the criminal justice system in Illinois. Federal agencies, and the attorneys helping them affirm your conviction, have years of experience winning appellate cases.

While this can be stressful for defendants, you do have the chance to overturn your conviction and prove that your case was not handled fairly. Finding a federal appeals lawyer should be your top priority as you fight the unjust verdict of the lower courts.

If you have any serious doubts about the final verdict of your criminal trial, contact our law firm today. We also suggest contacting us by phone at our national phone number: (888) 680-1745. Our team can help you schedule a free consultation and will answer any questions you have about the appeals process in Chicago.

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