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Jonathan M. Brayman

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago, IL

Breen & Pugh
53 West Jackson Boulevard, Suite 1215
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-360-1001
Fax: 312-362-9907
Selected to Rising Stars: 2016 - 2022
Licensed in Illinois Since: 2010
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense (60%), Appellate (20%), Civil Rights (20%)
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

Jonathan M. Brayman is a Partner with Breen & Pugh. His practice focuses on state and federal criminal defense, Title IX defense, Section 1983 civil rights actions, class actions, and asset forfeiture defense.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and on the Executive Committee for the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Brayman serves as the Chair of NACDL's Young and New Lawyers Committee and as the Co-Chair of NACDL's Council of Affiliates.

About Jonathan M. Brayman

First Admitted: 2010, Illinois

Professional Webpage: http://breenpughlaw.com/jonathan-m-brayman/

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Served as the Co-Chair of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' annual Violent Crimes seminar in Chicago, Illinois.

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Brayman served as class counsel to tens of thousands of class members in numerous civil rights class actions successfully challenging the unconstitutional policies and practices of the City of Chicago and winning settlements that included wide-ranging injunctive and monetary relief (more than $7M).  See Gates v. City of Chicago, 623 F.3d 389 (7th Cir. 2011); Smith v. City of Chicago, 365 Fed. Appx. 20 (7th Cir. 2010); Kennedy v. City of Chicago, No. 06 CV 4914, 2007 WL 4553040 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 18, 2007) (Darrah, J.).

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Brayman serves on the Justice Council for Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions
  • Brayman is a member of the Chicago Inn of Court
  • Brayman is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Access to Justice’s Forms Committee for Civil Asset Forfeiture
  • Brayman currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (IACDL) as the Second Vice-President.  He is a member of the Membership Committee, the CLE Committee, and the COVID-19 Task Force for IACDL.  Brayman is a Life Member of IACDL.
  • Brayman currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the nation's largest criminal defense bar association.  By appointment of NACDL's President, Brayman currently serves as the Chair of the Young and New Lawyer Sub-Committee.  He also serves as the Co-Chair of the Council of Affiliates, a committee representing the approximately 100 affiliate organizations of NACDL, as well as on NACDL's Fourth Amendment Committee and Membership Committee.  Brayman is a Life Member of NACDL.

Educational Background

  • Brayman graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2010 with the Willard L. Boyd Public Service Award (Highest Honors).  He was named the 2009-2010 Ramza-Fester “Rainbow Rights” Scholar; an award given to a student with exemplary service in helping to advance the rights of individuals in the LGBT community through community outreach, legal advocacy, and scholarship. Prior to graduating from law school, Brayman’s experience included helping to win a new trial for a man sentenced to death by a federal jury in Louisiana.  See United States v. John Johnson, 713 F. Supp. 2d 595 (E.D. La. May 18, 2010) (Berrigan, J.).  Brayman also worked for federal district court judges in Chicago and in New Orleans (2009). While at the University of Iowa College of Law, Brayman worked as a research assistant to Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a prominent critical race theorist and employment law scholar (2008-10).  He represented his class on the law school’s student government and on the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students (ECGPS).  Brayman served as a student writer and contributing member to The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice.  Also during law school, Brayman clerked in the Chicago office of the Federal Defender Program and studied abroad in the Greek Isles, though Tulane University Law School.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Provided an overview of civil asset forfeiture laws on the state and federal levels.  Discussed civil rights class actions brought by Chicago citizens against the Chicago Police Department and Cook County that brought about systemic reform in the State of Illinois, as well as future reform efforts., Speaker, Should Civil Asset Forfeiture Be Reformed?, Legal, 2017
  • Served on a panel of criminal defense attorneys discussing their experiences as a criminal defense attorney with law students and faculty from Mercer Law School. Panel was organized and hosted by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Mercer Law Criminal Defense Association.  MLCDA's stated purpose is to seek to inspire, develop, and mentor Mercer Law students who aspire to become criminal defense attorneys by hosting renowned speakers, conducting trial skills workshops, and establishing a mentorship program with state and national criminal defense organizations. The ultimate goal of the MLCDA is to promote equal justice for all. , Speaker, NACDL and MLCDA's Criminal Defense Panel Discussion, 2020

Honors/Awards

  • , Named to America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators by America's Top 100, 2020
  • 2nd Largest Civil Rights Settlement, Top 50 Settlements in Illinois in 2018, Top Verdict, 2018

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Member of the United States Supreme Court, 2020
  • Member of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, 2020
  • Member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2010
  • Member of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2010
  • Member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2010

Industry Groups

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Inn Of Court
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Illinois Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Justice Council Of The Center On Wrongful Convictions
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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Office Location for Jonathan M. Brayman

53 West Jackson Boulevard
Suite 1215
Chicago, IL 60604

Last Updated: 8/24/2021

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