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Daniel T. Coyne

Clinical Professor of Law

Professor Coyne practices criminal law in the Law Offices of Chicago-Kent and focuses his representation on defending individuals charged with murder and individuals subject to involuntary commitment pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Act.

Prior to joining the faculty at IIT Chicago-Kent in May 2005, Professor Coyne headed a private practice working exclusively on criminal cases. He has previously been special legal consultant to the Circuit Court of Cook County Mock Trial Project of the Chicago Coalition for Law-Related Education (CCLRE), a program that involved all of the Chicago Public High Schools in a citywide, mock-trial competition. He coached trial advocacy teams and authored six trial manuals utilized by the project. Professor Coyne has also been active in the Fairy Trial Project of the Circuit Court of Cook County since its inception in 1987, serving as legal consultant to the writing and production teams.

Professor Coyne has previously taught at Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northern Illinois University, and has been a guest lecturer at Northwestern University, Iowa State University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. For five years, he was associated with the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, teaching law-related curricula to gifted students who gathered each summer from schools around the world.

In March 2002, Professor Coyne was named by Chicago Magazine in its "Thirty Tough Lawyers" feature. In August 2003, he was featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin's Amicus Curious column about the constitutional law curriculum at the Center for Talent Development. In 2005 and 2006, murder cases litigated by Professor Coyne were the subject of feature stories published in the Chicago Reader. In 2007, he was named Faculty Member of the Year by the Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association.

From 2005 to 2007, Professor Coyne was active in the Appleseed Fund for Justice research project focusing on the Chicago felony court system. This work led to the publication in December 2007 of the Appleseed Report on Chicago's Felony Courts, a comprehensive study outlining the efficacy of the criminal court system and providing dozens of recommendations for improvement. In December 2008, he was elected a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. In January 2009, Professor Coyne was appointed to the advisory board for the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center/ABA Study of the Cook County Public Defender's Office. From 2007 to 2009, Professor Coyne served as president of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, Chicago's public interest bar association. He is currently co-chair of the council's Criminal Justice Committee. In June 2010, Governor Pat Quinn appointed Professor Coyne as a commissioner on the newly formed Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission.

Professor Coyne earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1980, following his military service as a combat air crewman in the U.S. Navy. He earned his law degree from The John Marshall Law School in 1984. Professor Coyne holds a Lead Counsel Certification in the Capital Litigation Trial Bar of the Illinois Supreme Court. He is a regular contributor to the national and local media on criminal law issues. Professor Coyne teaches criminal litigation and focuses his pro bono efforts on indigent people with AIDS who require representation in the criminal justice system.

Selected Publications

Proposal for Drug Offender Stationhouse Deferral Program (2010).

Restructuring Proposal for the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County (2010).

A Report on Chicago's Felony Courts (Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice Criminal Justice Project, December 2007) (member of advisory board).

A Report on Chicago's Felony Courts: Executive Summary (Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice Criminal Justice Project, December 2007) (member of advisory board).