Jonathan M. Brayman is a Partner with Breen & Pugh. His practice focuses on state and federal criminal defense, Section 1983 civil rights actions, class actions, and asset forfeiture defense.
Brayman has distinguished himself as both a trial and appellate lawyer. In his first year of practice, he helped obtain outright acquittals in his first jury trial (February 2011) and in his first murder trial (November 2011). Brayman has helped to create favorable precedent recognizing greater protections for citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, and winning outright reversals and new trials for numerous clients leading to their release from prison.
Brayman served as one of the lead attorneys who represented a Chicago man exonerated after serving 20 years of false imprisonment in a Section 1983 wrongful conviction case against the City of Chicago and two former Area 3 CPD Detectives, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement in June 2018.
Before joining Breen & Pugh, Brayman worked with the Law Offices of Thomas Peters, where he litigated Section 1983 civil rights cases. He served as class counsel to tens of thousands of class members in numerous civil rights class actions successfully challenging the unconstitutional policies and practices of the City of Chicago and winning settlements that included wide-ranging injunctive and monetary relief.
Brayman graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2010 with the Willard L. Boyd Public Service Award (Highest Honors). He was named the 2009-2010 Ramza-Fester “Rainbow Rights” Scholar; an award given to a student with exemplary service in helping to advance the rights of individuals in the LGBT community through community outreach, legal advocacy, and scholarship.
Prior to graduating from law school, Brayman’s experience included helping to win a new trial for a man sentenced to death by a federal jury in Louisiana. Brayman also worked for federal district court judges in Chicago and in New Orleans (2009), as well as a research assistant to Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a prominent critical race theorist and employment law scholar (2008-10). During law school, Brayman also clerked in the Chicago office of the Federal Defender Program and served as a student writer and contributing member to the Journal of Gender, Race & Justice.
In addition to his work with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Brayman currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, as well as on the Justice Council for Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions and on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Access to Justice’s Forms Committee for Civil Asset Forfeiture. He has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and was profiled byLeading Lawyers in their inaugural publication of Emerging Lawyers. Brayman is a proud member of the Chicago Inn of Court.
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.