Center for Open Government

The Center for Open Government ("COG") Law Clinic operates as a watchdog for the interests of taxpayers and the public, assisting and litigating on issues of transparency and accountability on important matters of public interest.  If you wish to participate in the Center for Open Government, please email Tracy Kish. 

A law clinic with real impact, students are actively involved in actual intake, evaluation and litigation of important cases at all levels of public bodies and the courts.

COG's Activities

COG has pursued numerous cases of note

  • Court transparency.  Successfully obtaining changes to Supreme court Rule 23, resulting in the now publication of all appellate court's previously "unpublished" rulings; continuing project to eliminate all  prohibitions on citing opinions issued as "Rule 23 Orders".
  • Government Transparency.  Forcing FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and OMA (Open Meetings Act) citizen access to government documents and actions; pursuing board members' access to closed meetings of their own boards--we have obtained judgments and settlements, producing significant improvements in government transparency. 
  • Government Accountability.  Recovery of Board awards approving payments to family members, violating anti-nepotism rules. Veazey v Rich Twp. H.S. Dist. 227, 2016 IL App (1st) 1151795 (July 20, 2016).


Cases in the Illinois Supreme Court

  • Asserting the statutory personal liability of local school board members for spending working cash money beyond legal appropriations  Lutkauskas v Ricker, 2015 IL 117090.
  • Successfully invalidating Pension Reform legislation that sliced and deferred vested annual increases. Jones and Johnson v Municipal Employees Ann. & Ben. Fund 2016 IL 119618.
  • The Center is currently involved in: A False Claims/whistleblower case in State Court and in an ongoing review of issues relating to TIFFs (tax increment financing), privatization, and City and State budget issues,

Student involvement

Students analyze important cutting-edge issues and gain real litigation experience by

  • meeting with and interviewing potential clients
  • researching legal issues and possible causes of action and defenses
  • drafting pleadings, motions and memoranda
  • actively participate in ongoing litigation of Freedom of Information, Open Meetings Act, Whistleblower, recovery of fraudulently obtained government funds, and other "citizen" and "taxpayer" litigation
  • gain an understanding of the primary laws affecting public bodies generally

Students will work hard but in return, will gain much that will help in future law practice.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Mr. Krislov directly at KrislovLaw: 312-606-0500.  You can also visit the firm's website:  www.krislovlaw.com.

The Center for Open Government is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters.