I am a criminal defense attorney in private practice with twenty five years experience as a prosecutor. I have handled approximately 160 jury trials for serious felonies including gang-related crimes; many of my trials emphasized forensic evidence and analysis, including DNA evidence, drug analysis, and ballistics. My work has also involved extensive motion practice and appellate work. My current practice is focused on trial litigation in the areas of criminal law, including DUI trials as well as summary suspension hearings, and representation of police officers and other professionals before administrative boards. I am passionate about winning your case and available to lend trial experience to other attorneys. In my new law practice I have dedicated myself to providing a personalized and dedicated approach to whatever your legal problem or need may be. As a twice-elected trustee of a township encompassing five communities, I also have experience in dealing with local governmental entities and can represent clients before a variety of administrative boards.
April 2012-present: Private Practice Attorney at Law Offices of Laura J. Morask
2004-January 2012, Supervisor: Branch 44 Preliminary Hearing, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office: Responsible for all felony cases coming into the court system at the Harrison and Kedzie Courthouse; and for assisting police daily with coordinating court appearances, indictments and preliminary hearings; and for advising them on search and arrest warrants and ongoing investigations. Responsible for training and supervising dozens of younger Assistant State’s Attorneys and supervising Branch 44 staff and advising Branch 43 (misdemeanor) staff.
2001-2004, Special Prosecutions Bureau, Gang Crimes Unit, Senior Gang Crimes Prosecutor: Responsible for handling serious complex gang prosecutions countywide as well as long-term multi-jurisdictional task forces targeting specific gangs. Gang Crimes liaison to the Skokie Court complex, handled numerous cases at the Skokie Courthouse including multiple first degree murders, child sex offense cases and weapons and narcotics cases involving victims from the Maine Township community.
2001-2004, Member, Multi-jurisdictional task force including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Chicago Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Responsible for acting as the representative of the State’s Attorney’s Office on teams that targeted, apprehended, and prosecuted high ranking leaders of the Black Disciple Street Gang
1998-2001, Senior Sex Trial Specialist: Instrumental in developing and implementing the first vertical felony prosecution unit under the Congressional Violence against Adult Women Act. First senior sex crimes trial specialist, and as such, responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious sex crimes where the seriousness typically was enhanced because the predator was a repeat offender or the cases involved domestic violence or stalking. In this two-year assignment prosecuted successfully to juriesy thirty Class X sex offense cases and also handled seven special prosecutions, successfully prosecuting two first degree murder cases where the victims were children, and one capital case involving the murder and rape of an eleven year old girl and her mother. Coordinated cases with several police agencies including the University of Illinois police department and several northwest suburban police departments.
1987- February 2012, Attorney, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office: Responsible for prosecuting approximately 160 jury trials, all Class X felony or higher (such as first degree murder, solicitation to commit murder, capital cases).
Public Service / Elected Office Experience
- 2001-present, Trustee, Maine Township
- 1998-present, Founding Member, Prosecutor’s Bar Association (PBA)
- 1998-2007, Co-Chair, PBA Judicial Evaluation Committee
- 2000, Invited Speaker, PBA Seminar; Jointly sponsored by DuPage and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Offices; “DNA Evidence Simplified”, How to effectively analyze and present DNA evidence in Court.
- 2001-2002, Instructor and Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Columbia, South Carolina, “Proliferation of Girl Gangs”
- 1999-present, Member, Northwestern Suburban Bar Association (NWSBA)
- Member, NWSBA Judicial Evaluation Committee
- 1998-2002, Member, Women’s Bar Association (WBA)
- 1998-2000, Member, WBA Judicial Evaluation Committee
- 1998-2003, Member Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)
- 1998-1999, Member ISBA, Judicial Evaluation Committee
- 1987-present, Member Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
- Former Member, CBA Judicial Evaluation Committee;
- Former Member, CBA Record Editorial Board
- 1996-present, Member, Carpenter Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
- Member, American Legion, Awarded Service to the American Constitution
- Member, Emerson & Maine South PTOs
- Volunteer, Committee Member, National Night Out Against Crime
- Volunteer, Lecturer to MaineStay Youth and Family Services
- Sponsor, Park Ridge Junior Foundation
- Ethics Advisor, Maine Township Board
- 1987, J.D., Chicago Kent College of Law
- 1978, B.A. in English Literature, Washington University
- 1974, High School Diploma, Highland Park High School