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.
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.