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Stanley J. Adelman

Stanley J. Adelman

Senior Counsel

After 44 years practicing in the area of business litigation, Stanley Adelman now devotes himself exclusively to pro bono matters.

He won a post-conviction appeal in the Illinois Appellate Court on an attempted murder case and recently reversed the trial court in another post-conviction matter, ultimately resulting in complete exoneration of the client. He mediated the settlement of a juvenile private prison case concerning conditions, filed in the Southern District of Florida. He represented one of the defendants in the much publicized Jena 6 case in Jena, Louisiana. In the last few years he has filed two amicus briefs in cases seeking and obtaining en banc reversals of two panels in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and one in the District Court and the Seventh Circuit successfully opposing an injunction challenging the constitutionality of Illinois election laws. He recently filed an amicus brief in the Illinois Supreme Court on recusal of judges. He handled a major public accommodation discrimination case in federal court in Georgia representing the NAACP and various individuals against a national restaurant chain. Mr. Adelman worked with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and US AID, drafting legislation relating to the courts and a code of civil procedure as well as working on legal training issues in Kosovo.

Bar admissionsIllinois
CourtsSupreme Court of the United StatesUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Tenth CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Federal CircuitTrial Bar, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison 1967
    Editor, Wisconsin Law Review (1965-1967)
    Member, Wisconsin National Moot Court Team
    Order of the Coif
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison 1964
    with honors


Stan has been listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law for approximately 25 years, and has been designated an Illinois Super Lawyer in every year since 2005 until retirement from his business litigation practice. In 2007, he received DLA Piper's national Pro Bono Partner of the Year award.

Pro Bono

In 2009, the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice honored Stan with its Unsung Hero award for his pro bono work and leadership. In 2007, he received the Seeds of Justice Award from the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest for his work on the federal case seeking changes in the Nebraska foster care system.

Stan helped develop the Chicago office's signature Juvenile Justice Project and remains involved in cases derived from that project. He also has handled several cases through the Equip for Equality Special Education Clinic. In 2007, he received DLA Piper's national Pro Bono Partner of the Year award.

He is a past president of the Board and Director of the Appleseed Fund for Justice. He was also a Center Director of the Appleseed National Board. 


  • Speaker, "A Struggle for Fairness: the Jena 6 Cases," Chicago Bar Association
  • Speaker/Author, "Issue of Standing Under Civil RICO," seminar presented by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education
  • Speaker/Author, "Experts in Litigation," Illinois CPA Foundation Annual Conference


Mr. Adelman taught at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy for over 20 years and has lectured at the University of Chicago and the University of San Diego law schools.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Council of Lawyers, State and Federal Judicial Selection Committees and Ethics Committee; Co-Chairman, Evaluation of the Judges, Bankruptcy Judges and Magistrate Judges for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • The Lawyers Club of Chicago

Civic and Charitable

  • Past President of the Board and a Board Member of the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
  • Equip for Equality/Equality for Kids Bar Campaign
  • Past Director and Member, Friends' Committee, Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago
  • Past President and Member, American Inns of Court (Markey-Wigmore)