FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Justice David A. Erickson

ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Director of the Trial Advocacy Program, Co-Director of the Program in Criminal Litigation
Chicago, IL, USA


Justice Erickson (ret.) has had a distinguished career as a lawyer, jurist and law professor. He began his career as an Assistant State's Attorney in 1976 after graduating from the John Marshall Law School. He was widely recognized as one of Cook County's top trial lawyers. After leaving the State's Attorney's Office, he spent six years in private practice concentrating in both civil and criminal litigation. In 1988, Justice Erickson was appointed to the bench, where he sat until 1996. He first served in the Municipal Division, as a Felony trial judge in the Criminal Courts and as Supervising Judge of eight felony Narcotics Courts.

In 1996, he stepped down from the bench to take an appointment as First Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County. He stayed in that position for five years, where he directed the nation's second largest prosecutor's office, overseeing seven bureaus with a staff of 2,200, including nearly 1,000 attorneys. In May of 2001, he was recalled to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court. Subsequent to his recall, Justice Erickson (ret.) sat for three years in the Juvenile Court, where he acted as a Trial Judge and at times Acting Supervisory Judge. He remained in Juvenile Court until his appointment to the Appellate Court.

During both tenures on the bench, Justice Erickson received the highest ratings from all bar associations, including the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Hispanic Lawyers, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association, Asian-American Bar Association, Chicago Council of Lawyers, Cook County Bar Association, and the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago.

Justice Erickson served as Vice-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association's subcommittee on capital litigation certification and training. He was appointed by former County Board President John Stroger to chair the "Courts in the 21st Century" committee. He also co-chaired the Judicial Education Mandatory Meetings for the Illinois Judges Association.

In August of 2006, he retired as a justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and accepted a position as a Senior Lecturer in Law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Since that time, he has served as Director of the school's nationally ranked Trial Advocacy Program, Director of the Criminal Law Certificate Program, and Program Director of the school's "Rule of Law" initiative in Mexico. Under his guidance, the law school has captured many regional and national honors, including three National Championships in 1988, 2007 and 2008 at the TYLA/ACTL National Trial Competition. In 2010, he coached the first Chicago-Kent team to win in the NITA Tournament of Champions. His Chicago-Kent teams have won some 24 Midwest regional titles and numerous invitational titles.  Additionally, he teaches courses in Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Intensive Trial Advocacy.

Since retiring from the bench, he was appointed by Governor Patrick Quinn to investigate and recommend reforms for the awarding of Meritorious Good-Time in the Illinois Penitentiary System, and served as a consultant for the Corporation Counsel's Office of the City of Chicago. In 2007, he also served as a Special General Counsel for the University of Chicago Hospitals. He has served as a consultant expert for the ARDC on cases involving prosecutorial misconduct, and also for private law firms regarding 1983 Civil Rights Litigation.

Since 2006, Justice Erickson has been consulted by and given commentary on legal issues to numerous media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Sun Times, Daily Herald, Associated Press, and television stations like ABC, NBC and WTTW. He lives on the Northwest Side with his wife, Susan, and two dogs.

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