Baku N. Patel
Attorney Baku N. Patel is lead counsel in all felony criminal defense cases and personal injury/wrongful death matters at Patel Law, P.C.
Background & Education
Mr. Patel was born in 1969 in Baroda, Gujarat, India. He was raised in the United States when his parents arrived from India in 1970. Mr. Patel received two bachelor degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1991, one in economics and one in political science. After graduating from college, he attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1994.
U.S. Military Service
While in law school in August of 1993, Mr. Patel was commissioned in the United States Navy as an Officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corp (JAG). Upon graduating from law school, he served on full-time active duty as a JAG Officer, where he served as a criminal defense trial attorney and as a military prosecutor. He attained the rank of Lieutenant. He then left active duty and joined the reserves, where he subsequently attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserves.
After leaving active military service, Mr. Patel joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as a trial attorney prosecuting anti-trust and consumer fraud cases. After serving as a Federal Prosecutor for the FTC, he served as a senior prosecutor for the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s office and in the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s office. In each of those positions, Mr. Patel prosecuted numerous criminal cases to jury verdicts. After serving as senior prosecutor for both offices, Mr. Patel was then appointed by the Fifth Judicial Circuit as the Chief Public Defender of Vermilion County. He was appointed at the age of 31, making him the youngest Chief Public Defender in the State of Illinois.
In that capacity, Mr. Patel defended thousands of criminal cases. He also defended numerous murder trials to verdict, including death penalty cases when it was in effect. In fact, Mr. Patel was certified by the Illinois Supreme Court to be lead counsel in death penalty cases before it was abolished in Illinois. He was selected as a member of the Capital Litigation Trial Bar, which was an exclusive membership to attorneys who have exemplified jury trial experience in handling murder cases to verdict. As of today, none of Mr. Patel’s client’s charged with murder have been sentenced to death, nor even to life in prison. Each and every one of Mr. Patel’s murder cases has resulted in either full acquittal, dismissal of charges, reduction of charges, a jury verdict for lesser included charges, or parole eligible sentences.
After serving as Chief Public Defender, Mr. Patel went into private practice, concentrating in the area of criminal defense and personal injury/wrongful death cases. In private practice, Mr. Patel has continued to represent numerous murder cases, as well as all types of felony, misdemeanor, and DUI cases. Mr. Patel has tried over 150 criminal jury trials to verdict, thereby making him one of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys in the Champaign-Urbana area. Mr. Patel has also recovered tens of millions of dollars for clients injured in auto and truck accidents, dog attacks, nursing home abuse, and medical malpractice.
Federal Court Trial Experience
Mr. Patel is eligible to practice in more than just State courts; he is also a member of the Bar in Federal District Court in both the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. In addition, in the Federal District Court of the Central District of Illinois, Mr. Patel is a panel member eligible for court appointments to represent very serious federal criminal cases. Eligibility for panel membership is determined exclusively by the Federal District Judges based on an attorney’s federal trial experience. As noted above, Mr. Patel was a former Federal prosecutor both as a U.S. Navy JAG and the Federal Trade Commission. At the FTC, Mr. Patel was a trial attorney prosecuting consumer fraud cases. One of his highest profile cases involved working closely with Canadian law enforcement to shut down one of the largest lottery scam operations in North America. Due to Mr. Patel’s extensive experience in trying federal criminal cases, he was certified by the Federal District Court to be a panel member.
In addition, he has routinely been privately retained by those charged with very serious federal matters. He has defended federal narcotic charges, gun charges, environmental pollution cases, real estate fraud, child pornography, and securities fraud. Each of these cases involved thousands and thousands of pages of evidence and extensive investigation resulting in successful outcomes that well exceeded the client’s expectations. Due to the complexity of federal criminal defense, Mr. Patel is uniquely qualified to represent those charged with such serious matters in federal court.
Mr. Patel truly believes in utilizing all of his experience to defend the rights of clients to the fullest extent of the law. He will aggressively defend his clients and rely on his jury trial experience to protect their freedoms. He is also supported by a strong legal team that works together on every client’s case. If you are in need of aggressive representation, whether fighting the State or U.S. Government or taking on insurance companies, contact attorney Baku Patel at Patel Law, PC for a free case evaluation.
Baku and his wife reside in Urbana, IL. His oldest son is currently a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. His youngest son is attending college.
- U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
- University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Juris Doctor - 1994
- Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
- Bachelor’s Degree (Magna Cum Laude) – 1991
- Double Major: Political Science and Economics
- Honors: United States Navy as an Officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corp (JAG)
Honors and Awards
- Attained Rank of Lieutenant Commander (U.S. Navy)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Association for Justice
- Motor Vehicle, Collision, Highway and Premises Liability section member
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys – Member
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 – Civil Plaintiff
- Capital Litigation Trial Bar – Member before the death penalty was abolished in Illinois
Past Employment Positions
- U.S. Navy JAG Officer – Lieutenant Commander
- Federal Trade Commission - Trial Attorney
- Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office - Prosecutor
- Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office - Senior Prosecutor
- State of Illinois - Youngest Chief Public Defender