Part-time Faculty A-M
Peter G. Baroni
Title/s: Founding Partner, Leinenweber Baroni & Daffada
Mr. Baroni graduated from DePauw University with a BA in History and a minor in English Literature. He graduated, cum laude, from Howard University School of Law where he was an editor on the law journal. During law school Mr. Baroni was an honors clerk for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a summer research intern for the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, an extern for Federal District Court Judge Paul Friedman and an extern at the United States Department of Justice.
Upon graduation, Mr. Baroni became an assistant state’s attorney for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office. As an assistant, he tried hundreds of criminal and civil cases, including over 60 jury trials. In 1998, he received the Prosecutor of the Year Award for the misdemeanor division. Baroni went on to serve as a felony prosecutor and in 2000, he received the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Special Commendation for Outstanding Achievement.
In 2000, Mr. Baroni became legal counsel to the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate President. As legal counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Baroni worked closely with members of both sides of the aisle analyzing legislation and negotiating creative compromises in the best interest of the States. Despite obvious partisan divides in the House and Senate, Mr. Baroni developed the respect and trust of the members of the Republican and Democratic caucuses, particularly members of each chamber’s judiciary committees.
Ultimately, Peter staffed Senators John Cullerton (Democrat and now Illinois Senate President), Barack Obama (Democrat and now President of the United States of America) and Kirk Dillard (Republican and no candidate for Governor) in drafting comprehensive capital punishment reform in 2003. Baroni has coauthored several scholarly articles with Senate President Cullerton relating to his work directing the CLEAR Commission and its rewrite of all Illinois criminal law (see infra). In addition, he has authored or co-authored numerous other scholarly works and law review articles, most recently, “No” Still Means “Yes”: The Failure of the “Non-Consent” Reform Movement in American Rape and Sexual Assault Law published in the Northwestern Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology.
In 2004, Baroni began a law practice and public policy consulting business. His law practice focuses on criminal and civil litigation. Additionally, Baroni has served as special counsel to a number of government bodies and committees.
In late 2004, Baroni became the Co-Director of the Criminal Law Edit Align and Reform (CLEAR) Initiative. Chaired by former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson and Appellate Court Justice Gino DiVito, the CLEAR Initiative, and its Commission, completely overhauled the Illinois Criminal and Sentencing Codes. In his capacity as CLEAR’s director, Baroni has worked directly with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, her chief of staff and other senior staffers at the General’s office, as well as the Governor’s legal counsel and staff. The culmination of CLEAR Initiative was passage of the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012.
From 2005 to early 2008, Baroni served as special counsel to the Illinois Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee. The Committee actively analyzed changes in law relating to the landmark reforms enacted in 2003 to the capital punishment system in Illinois. In his capacity as special counsel, Baroni worked closely with members of the legislature, legislative staff, the Attorney General and attorneys in the Governor’s office.
Further, Mr. Baroni served as adjunct professor of law at DePaul University College of Law from 2005 to 2010 where he has taught Advanced Illinois Criminal Law and Policy. In 2011, Baroni joined the adjunct faculty at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, teaching Illinois Criminal Law and Policy. These classes focus on substantive Illinois law and policies underlying those statutes.
In 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Baroni to his current position on the Second District Committee on Character and Fitness. As a member of the Committee for the last six years, Baroni is charged with ensuring the ethical and intellectual integrity of people applying to practice law in Illinois.
In 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Baroni to his current position on the Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction Criminal Committee, CLEAR Commission Subcommittee. As a member of the CLEAR Subcommittee, Baroni is charged with drafting proposed jury instructions based on the changes recommended by the CLEAR Commission and enacted in the Criminal Code of 2012.
In 2010, Baroni began co-authoring the annual seminal treatise on Illinois criminal sentencing called the Illinois Sentencing and Disposition Guide published by Lexis/Nexis. His co-author is Justice Gino DiVito. The 2014-15 Guide comes out in November 2014.