Adrian Delgado ’21 and Dominica Puglise ’20 receive 2020 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Adrian Delgado ’21 and Dominica Puglise ’20 are the recipients of the 2020 Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic at Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Adrian Delgado
Adrian Delgado

The awards, which include a cash stipend, are made at the end of the academic year to Chicago-Kent students who have demonstrated dedication to the Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic, and who have provided “zealous advocacy” on behalf of the program’s clients. Recipients are selected by Chicago-Kent faculty who teach in the law school’s Certificate Program in Criminal Litigation.

“Although both Adrian and Dominica indicated a desire to work for the state’s attorney of Cook County, that never interfered with them giving 100 percent attention and devotion to the defense cases to which they were assigned under my supervision,” says Clinical Professor Richard Kling, who supervised Delgado and Puglise in the Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic. “That is the sign of a true dedicated and ethical advocate.”

Delgado, who will graduate from Chicago-Kent in December 2020, earned a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in criminology, law, and justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago. During law school he worked in the Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic as a law clerk. While working at the clinic, he obtained his 711 license, which allows law students to represent clients in court under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Additionally, Delgado is an executive board member for the Hispanic/Latino Law Students’ Association and a Chicago-Kent trial advocacy team member.

Dominica Puglise
Dominica Puglise

Puglise graduated magna cum laude from Oakland University with a bachelor’s degree in international relations. During law school she worked as a law clerk for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for criminal appeals and later, as a 711 licensed law clerk for the felony division. Puglise was a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review, the Chicago-Kent Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and the Kent Justice Foundation. She received CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Criminal Procedure: Investigative Processes, Trial Advocacy 2, and Legal Writing 4 classes.

In March, prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Puglise and Kling were set to go to trial on a felony securities fraud case in the Northern District of Indiana.

“I worked with Professor Kling through trial preparation, including meeting with the client, organizing trial exhibits, and sifting through discovery, which was no easy task, given the nature of the case,” Puglise explains. “The trial preparation and eventual trial postponement due to the pandemic gave me some of the most important lessons: Always be prepared and always be prepared for things not to go as planned. While I’m upset that I will no longer be second-chairing the trial with Professor Kling, I wouldn’t give up the hours we spent strategizing opening statements, picking witnesses, or researching securities, something I thought I would never enjoy researching.”

Puglise has accepted an offer as an assistant state’s attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office post-graduation.

The Fleischman Family Awards for Excellence in Criminal Clinic were established by Chicago-Kent alumni and criminal defense attorneys Jack and Sidney Z. Fleischman in 2008 to recognize outstanding students in the criminal defense section of the Chicago-Kent Law Offices. In establishing the award, the Fleischmans also pay tribute to the contributions made to Chicago’s legal community by their late grandfather, former Cook County Circuit Court Judge Philip A. Fleischman, and their father, attorney Marshall A. Fleischman.

Jack and Sidney Fleischman are identical twins who participated in Chicago-Kent’s criminal law clinic before they earned their law degrees in 1987. The Fleischman brothers are currently partners in their own criminal defense law firm, Fleischman & Fleischman, P.A., located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and West Palm Beach, Florida.