Edward Genson has been called the dean of Chicago criminal defense attorneys by Lawyers USA and the Chicago Tribune, and “the go-to lawyer in town” by Chicago Magazine. In more than 40 years of white-collar and criminal defense practice, he has been lead counsel in high-profile civil and criminal litigation as defense attorney for senior business executives (including a major North American newspaper publisher), leading political figures (for example, a former Illinois Congressman and a former Illinois governor), as well as such other notable clients an internationally known musical entertainer and a prominent motion picture actor. The New York Times describes Mr. Genson as “a master strategist who will fight to the end for his clients,” and Time Magazine adds that, “for a certain type of client who isn’t willing to give up without a fight, Genson is the ideal advocate.”
Mr. Genson has litigated matters at the state and federal levels throughout the country, and his national reputation in white-collar defense is reflected in selection by his professional peers for inclusion in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. His other peer recognitions include listing in The Best Lawyers in America (annually since 1988), Illinois Leading Lawyers Network and Illinois SuperLawyers. He has been rated the number one criminal defense lawyer in the Chicago area by the Leading Lawyers Network for three consecutive years. The prestigious Chambers and Partners has ranked Mr. Genson as a top national trial lawyer, saying that he “has a long and successful history of defending those accused of white-collar crime” and citing professional sources who say that he is “a wonderful lawyer, and makes a good impression on jurors and judges.”
For each case that he undertakes, Ed Genson uses his in-depth knowledge of trial procedure to craft a defense focused on the specific dynamics of the jury and judge involved. In one of his most publicized cases, after casting doubt on an important piece of the prosecution’s evidence, Genson and his defense team opted not to call for a mistrial but to instead chose to hear the jury’s verdict. As described in The National Law Journal, the “major gamble . . . paid off” in a not-guilty verdict on 14 charges against the client. Genson is also tenacious in defense of his clients – Chicago Magazine deemed him “a master of the cross-examination.” As Ed himself described for Lawyers USA the commitment his clients have come to expect: “Trial law is an all-encompassing kind of profession. It’s your whole life when you’re at trial.”
In addition to his extensive trial practice, Genson has undertaken numerous appeals for his clients. That includes admission before the U.S. Supreme Court and Illinois State Supreme Court, as well as seven United States Circuit Courts.
As a reflection of his high professional reputation, Mr. Genson has been invited to speak before numerous professional organizations (such as the American Bar Association and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) and law schools (including those at John Marshall University, Loyola of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois). His writings on litigation defense issues have been published by the American and Illinois State Bar Associations and Loyola University Law School. He has also received several gubernatorial appointments to Illinois state boards and commissions. A lifelong Chicagoland resident, Ed lives with his wife in suburban Deerfield; they have three children and five grandchildren.
professional awards & honors
- Member, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Listed, T2he Best Lawyers in America, 1988 to present (white-collar criminal defense)
- Listed, Chambers and Partners, 2010 (litigation – trial lawyers)
- Listed, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (criminal defense law – white-collar and felonies & misdemeanors)
- Listed, Illinois SuperLawyers, 2005 to present
- Lynn Marek, “Lawyer who defended R. Kelly, Conrad Black will represent embattled Blagojevich,” The National Law Journal, 22 December 2008.
- Eric Ferkenhoff, “Taking the ‘Unwinnable’ Cases,” Time Magazine, 18 December 2008.
- Susan Saulny, “Vigorous Blagojevich Defense by Noted Lawyer,” New York Times, 17 December 2008.
- Lynne Marek, “R. Kelly’s Defense Attorney Took a Gamble, and It Paid Off,” The National Law Journal, 18 June 2008.
- “R. Kelly Trial: The Key Players,” Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2008.
- Nora Lockwood Tooher, “Q&A With Four Prominent Chicago Defense Lawyers,” Lawyers USA, 1 April 2008, reprinted in Northwestern University School of Law “In the News” blog.
- Steve Rhodes, “Devil’s Advocate,” Chicago Magazine, March 2005.
- U.S. District Court – Northern (trial bar), Central (trial bar) and Southern Districts of Illinois
- U.S. District Court – W estern, Eastern Districts of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court – Northern, Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court – Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court – Northern District Of California
- U.S. District Court – Southern, Central Districts of Florida
- U.S. District Court – Central District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court – District of New Mexico
- U.S. Court of Appeal – Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits Supreme Court of Illinois
- U. S. Supreme Court
professional affiliati ons
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Leading Lawyers Network Advisory Board
presentations and lectures
- American Bar Association (Criminal Section; Litigation Section; Criminal Law Committee)
- Chicago Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Illinois Judges Association
- Illinois Public Defender Association; Cook
- Nat ional Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- National College of Criminal Defense Attorneys
- Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent Law School
- John Marshall Law School
- Loyola University School of Law
- Northwestern University (School of Law; School of Medicine; School of Journalism)
- University of Illinois Law School
- “Taped Evidence in Criminal Cases: Confronting the Tape Recorder,” American Bar Association Litigation Magazine, winter 1994
- “A Guide to Handling Federal Narcotics Forfe iture Cases,” Illinois Bar Journal, April 1991
- “Prosecutorial Courtroom Misconduct in Illinois,” Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal; fall 1987