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Scott J. Frankel

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Practice areas

  •     Civil Rights
  •     Criminal Law
  •     Capital Offenses
  •     Criminal Appeals
  •     Criminal Antitrust
  •     Criminal Conspiracy
  •     Criminal Fraud
  •     Drivers License Suspension
  •     DUI/DWI
  •     Expungements
  •     Federal Criminal Law
  •     Felonies
  •     Forgery
  •     Habeas Corpus
  •     Misdemeanors
  •     Money Laundering
  •     Murder
  •     Parole and Probation
  •     Post-Conviction Remedies
  •     Sex Crimes
  •     Shoplifting
  •     Theft
  •     Traffic Violations
  •     Vehicular Homicide
  •     Wire Fraud
  •     Civil Rights Section 1983
  •     Civil Liberties
  •     Assault and Battery
  •     Burglary
  •     Civil Forfeiture
  •     Crime Victims Compensation
  •     Criminal Defense
  •     Criminal Forfeiture
  •     Criminal Investigation
  •     Odometer Tampering
  •     Criminal Prosecution
  •     Death Penalty
  •     Driving While Intoxicated
  •     Electronic Surveillance
  •     Extortion
  •     Extradition
  •     Forensic Accounting
  •     Forensic DNA
  •     Forensic Medicine
  •     Forensic Science
  •     Grand Jury Practice
  •     Hit and Run
  •     International Criminal Law
  •     Homicide
  •     International Extradition
  •     Mail Fraud
  •     Malicious Prosecution
  •     Manslaughter
  •     Search and Seizure
  •     Sexual Assault
  •     Stalking
  •     Victims Rights
  •     Weapons Charges
  •     Wiretapping
  •     White Collar Crime
  •     Embezzlement
  •     White Collar Criminal Defense
  •     White Collar Fraud
  •     Fraud and Deceit
  •     Art Fraud
  •     Automobile Fraud
  •     Civil Fraud
  •     Fraud
  •     Identity Theft


  • Ohio (inactive), 1985
  • Illinois, 1987
  • Northern and Central Districts of Illinois
  • Northern District of Indiana
  • Western District of Michigan
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Southern District of Ohio


  • Ohio State University College of Law, J.D., with honors, 1985
  • Editor-in-Chief, Ohio State Law Journal
  • Awarded the Becker Memorial Award for Leadership and Scholarship
  • Oberlin College, B.A., 1981
  • Semester in Tours, France and the Rightmire Memorial Award for Leadership and Scholarship


  • French

Biographical details
Mr. Frankel handles cases at federal and state levels with a primary focus on the defense of serious felonies, such as murder, attempted murder, serious fraud and narcotics cases. He has represented individuals in more than 50 jury trials and numerous bench trials. Mr. Frankel’s track record includes numerous appeals to state and federal appeals courts, state petitions for post-conviction relief and federal petitions for habeas corpus.

Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Frankel worked as a Felony Trial Attorney at the Cook County Public Defender. These years in public service provided Mr. Frankel with invaluable experience and unique insight into the workings of the prosecution. He is skilled in all aspects of defense and fully knows the “ins and outs” of the criminal system.

As a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Frankel has had numerous victories, which include an Illinois Supreme Court outright acquittal and a post-conviction commutation of a death sentence by Governor George Ryan.

Past employment positions

  •     Cook County Public Defender, Felony Trial Attorney, 1989-1992
  •     Mayer, Brown & Platt, Litigation Associate, 1987-1989
  •     U.S. District Court, S.D. Ohio, Law Clerk, 1985-1987

Professional organizations

  •     Chicago Bar Association
  •     Young Lawyers Section, Illinois (Director, 1994-1995)
  •     Criminal Justice Committee (Chair, 1993-1994)
  •     Federal Trial Bar Course (Co-Chair, 1992-1993)

Teaching experience
Trial practice seminars sponsored by the Cook County Public Defender, DuPage County Public Defender, University of Chicago, Mandel Legal Aid Clinic and Chicago Bar Association.

Seminars attended

  •     8th National Seminar on Development and Integration of Mitigation Evidence (2011)
  •     Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College (2006)
  •     Defending Illinois Death Penalty Cases (2005)
  •     Life in the Balance sponsored by National Legal Aid and Defender Association and Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel (2004)
  •     Federal Capital Defense Strategy Session (2003)
  •     Life in the Balance Death Penalty College sponsored by Santa Clara University (2001)
  •     Several other continuing legal education seminars relating to trial practice, appellate practice, and defense of criminal cases in general and capital cases in particular

Frankel & Cohen represents clients in Chicago and throughout Illinois, as well in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.