Michael I. Leonard

Top rated White Collar Crimes attorney in Chicago, Illinois

Leonard Trial Lawyers
Michael I. Leonard
Leonard Trial Lawyers

Practice Areas: White Collar Crimes, Criminal Defense, Employment & Labor; view more

Licensed in Illinois since: 1991

Education: Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2024
Free Consultation

Leonard Trial Lawyers

120 North LaSalle Street
Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60602 Visit website


Mike is believed to be the only presently practicing lawyer who has obtained 7 or more different not guilty jury verdicts in federal criminal jury trials in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) in federal criminal prosecutions brought by the United States Attorneys' Office for the Northern District of Illinois. Those include federal jury trials in 2021 and 2002. He has also obtained the dismissal or pre-trial diversion of numerous other federal criminal cases, and successfully obtained favorable federal sentences for dozens and dozens of other federal criminal defendants. Mike also has a quite active Illinois State court criminal practice, and he recently obtained a not guilty jury verdict in a murder prosecution brought by the Cook County State's Attorneys' Office.

In addition, Mike has successfully tried to verdict or litigated hundreds of other cases in criminal and civil cases in Federal and State courts, in Illinois and across the country. In civil cases, Mike has extensive experience in employment, whistleblower, retaliation, and complex commercial cases. Accordingly, his trial victories in civil cases have come in a wide variety of matters, including employment, whistleblower, non-compete, ERISA, securities fraud, and contract and commercial matters. 

Mike has litigated or tried to verdict matters in, among other Federal and State jurisdictions, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada.

Mike has also successfully Arbitrated numerous other cases.

In Mike's appellate practice, he has argued before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on numerous occasions; as well as before various Illinois Appellate Courts, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Appellate Court, and the Idaho Supreme Court.

Mike is one of the founding Partners of Leonard Trial Lawyers, LLC. 

Mike has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top trial lawyers in the State of Illinois and nationally, including by America's Top Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers Network, Crain's, and the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, among others.

Mike's cases have featured in by national and local newspapers, television and radio news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Law 360, and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Mike also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Practice at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law. He also regularly speaks at legal seminars and conferences on the art and science of trial practice.

Mike is a 1988 graduate of the University of Iowa, and he obtained his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1991 - where he was a member of its National Trial Team as well as its Law Journal.

Practice areas

Criminal Defense: White Collar, Criminal Defense, Employment & Labor: Employee

Focus areas

Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Domestic Violence, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Criminal Law - Federal, Drug & Alcohol Violations, False Accusations, Felony, Labor Law, Murder, Parole, Probation, Sex Offenses, Sexual Harassment, Tax Evasion, Theft, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, White Collar Crime

  • 50% Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • 30% Criminal Defense
  • 20% Employment & Labor: Employee

First Admitted: 1991, Illinois

Professional Webpage: https://www.leonardtriallawyers.com/

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • North Western University's School Of Law (Chicago), Adjunct Professor
  • Mike frequently speaks on trial and litigation related skills.  He was an Instructor for several years in the Chicago Bar Association's Federal Trial Bar training course for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Top trial lawyer and commercial and criminal litigator, by The National Trial Lawyers; America’s Best Attorneys; Super Lawyers; Leading Lawyers Network; American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys; and Crain’s Chicago Business
  • 40 Illinois Lawyers Under 40 to Watch, Chicago, 2004
  • Super Lawyers, Business Litigation
  • Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney, Attorney and Practice Magazine
  • Pro Bono Service Award, International Human Rights Law Group, 1995
  • Leading Lawyers Network (Litigation)
  • America's Top 100 Attorneys, 2018
  • The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers (Illinois)
  • Chicago Lawyer (Leading Commercial Litigation Attorneys)
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Illinois, 1991
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Mike regularly handles a wide variety of civil and criminal pro bono matters.  Mike recently obtained a not guilty jury verdict in one such case on behalf of a client in a murder case that had been pending for some 7 years. 
Educational Background:
  • University of Iowa, B.A., 1988
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Mike has obtained a great number of notable verdicts in Federal and State Courts, in both criminal and civil matters. He is believed to be the only presently practicing attorney, in Illinois and nationally, to have obtained SEVEN different not guilty jury verdicts in federal criminal prosecutions against the United States Attorneys' Office in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including most recently in 2021 and 2020.  , 2021
Industry Groups:
  • All

Office location for Michael I. Leonard

120 North LaSalle Street
Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 312-815-6572


12 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2024

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