Lola Vollen Testifies For Plaintiff

Lola Vollen, editor of the book "Surviving Justice," and founder of the "Life After Exoneration" program, recently testified for plaintiff Alejandro Dominguez in his civil rights lawsuit against the City of Waukegan and former Police Lieutenant Paul Hendley. Ms. Vollen conducted a 7 hour interview of Mr. Dominguez. Ms. Vollen testified that it is very unusual for a person who served time in prison to pursue their exoneration. She also testified regarding post-rape trauma syndrome and said that Mr. Dominguez was suicidal after getting out of prison. On cross-examination, Ms. Vollen testified that she is not a psychiatrist or treater and that she did not examine Mr. Dominguez's prison records or medical records. 

Dr. James Cavanaugh Testifies For Defendants

Dr. James L. Cavanaugh, Jr. recently testified for the defendants, the City of Waukegan and former Police Lieutenant Paul Hendley, in a civil rights suit filed by Alejandro Dominguez. Dr. Cavanaugh was rebutting the testimony of plaintiff's expert, Dr. Terry Kupers. Dr. Cavanaugh is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Rush Medical College and is the founder of Cavanaugh & Associates. Dr. Orest Eugene Wasyliw, also a member of Cavanaugh & Associates, also testified for the defendants. Dr. Wasyliw opined that Mr. Dominguez has painful feelings but those feelings do not impair him in his daily life. Dr. Wasyliw opined that Mr. Dominguez's petition for executive clemency was inconsistent with Mr. Dominguez suffering from a major depressive disorder. This trial took place in the Northern District of Illinois before the Honorable Milton I. Shadur.

Dr. Terry Kupers Testifies For Plaintiff Re: PTSD

Dr. Terry Kupers, a California psychiatrist, has testified again on behalf of a plaintiff, this time for Alejandro Dominguez in his civil rights suit against the City of Waukegan. On October 10, 2006, Dr. Kupers testified that Mr. Dominquez suffers from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Earlier this year, Dr. Kupers testified on behalf of Michael Evans in his suit against the City of Chicago and ten former Chicago Police Officers. Dr. Kupers testified in that case that Mr. Evans suffers from PTSD. Dr. Kupers also testified last year on behalf of plaintiff Steve Manning in his suit against two FBI agents, Robert Buchan and Gary Miller. In each case, the plaintiff was represented by the law firm of Loevy & Loevy. All three of these trials were conducted in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Kupers is the author of the book "Prison Madness."  

Dr. Gary Wells Testifies Re: Eyewitness Identification

On October 10, 2006, Dr. Gary Wells, Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University, testified as an expert witness for the plaintiff Alejandro Dominguez in his trial against the City of Waukegan. Dr. Wells testified that he is an expert in eyewitness memory and eyewitness identification. He claims that he has published more than anyone in the world on these topics. Dr. Wells testified that it was improper for the Waukegan police to conduct a "show-up" two days after the subject rape, despite the fact that the rape victim said she had seen her attacker before. He opined that the police should have conducted a line-up instead. He also testified that the police should have given a warning that "the offender might or might not be in the line-up" - which was not given. This is the third case that Dr. Wells has been retained by attorney Jon Loevy. Dr. Wells also testified for the plaintiff Michael Evans this summer in his suit against the the City of Chicago and ten former Chicago police officers. (The jury returned a verdict for all of the defendants in that case). Also, in 2005, Dr. Wells testified for plaintiff Steve Manning in his suit against two FBI agents, Robert Buchan and Gary Miller. (The jury awarded Manning $6.6 million in that case, but pending post-trial motions seek to overturn that award).

Federal Jury Awards $9 Million To Waukegan Man

On Tuesday, October 17, 2006, a jury awarded Waukegan resident Alejandro Dominguez $9 million in damages in his civil rights lawsuit. Dominguez had sued the city of Waukegan and former Waukegan Police Lieutenant Paul Hendley.  Dominguez, now 33 years old, was convicted of rape in 1990 when he was 16 years old. He spent four years in prison. Dominguez later conducted DNA testing which showed that his DNA did not match DNA from the crime scene. In 2002, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich granted Dominguez an innocence pardon. Dominguez claimed that Hendley caused the rape victim to falsely identify Dominguez. Toward the end of the two-week trial, the court granted Waukegan's motion for a directed finding and the case proceeded solely against Hendley. The case was tried in the Northern District of Illinois before the Honorable Milton I. Shadur. Dominguez was represented by Jon Loevy from Loevy & Loevy. The defendants were represented by Waukegan attorney Mike Noonan.

False Arrest Claims - Statute of Limitations

The United States Supreme Court recently held oral argument in Wallace v. City of Chicago, a case which arose out of the arrest of Andre Wallace on charges of murder. After being released from custody in 2002, Wallace filed suit against the City of Chicago and two detectives, alleging, among other things, a false arrest claim. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the false arrest claim, finding the claim to be time-barred. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding the statute of limitations had begun to run on the false arrest claim at the time of arrest. Wallace filed a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, challenging the Seventh Circuit's determination that his false arrest claim was time-barred and noting that other federal appeals courts have held that the statute of limitations does not begin to run on a false arrest claim until the underlying charges are dismissed. The United States Supreme Court granted Wallace's petition and oral argument was held on November 6, 2006. A decision on this important issue is expected by the Spring of 2007.