On October 3, 2013, attorney Sarah Toney joined other skilled litigators, Cook County judges and Chicago Police Officers at the Chicago Bar Association's headquarters in Chicago to teach DUI Summary Suspension hearing skills to lawyers. The training involved lectures on the grounds for the hearing, mock demonstrations, as well as break out sessions where the volunteers practiced cross examinations.
The training program was presented to volunteer attorneys who are part of the Summary Suspension Volunteer pro bono program.
Ms. Toney lectured to the lawyers on the legal issues of what constitutes a reasonable articulable suspicion, as well as conducted a mock direct examination of a client during a summary suspension hearing. She then served as a judge in the break outs, allowing the volunteers to perform cross examinations on actual Chicago Police Officers, and Ms. Toney coached them on ways to improve their crosses.
A summary suspension hearing is a crucial part of a DUI case, however it is a civil proceeding. Public Defenders who are helping clients in their criminal DUI case are not able to represent their clients in the summary suspension hearing due to their high volume of cases, making it more important to have trained and educated volunteer lawyers. The volunteers are attorneys who are looking for more litigation experience, to help clients in a different field of law, or just want to expand their DUI skills. It is at the summary suspension hearing that a client will be fighting for their driving privileges, and as such, it is important to have the best representation possible.
Attorney Sarah Toney and The Toney Law Firm handle all aspects of DUI cases, including the summary suspension hearing. Ms. Toney has been asked to teach at the CBA's volunteer training for the past 3 years.