Kathleen Zellner

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Kathleen Zellner
Kathleen Zellner October 2009
Kathleen Zellner October 2009
BornKathleen Thomas
Midland, Texas
OccupationAttorney
EmployerKathleen T. Zellner & Associates
Website
www.kathleentzellner.com
 
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Kathleen Zellner
Kathleen Zellner October 2009
Kathleen Zellner October 2009
BornKathleen Thomas
Midland, Texas
OccupationAttorney
EmployerKathleen T. Zellner & Associates
Website
www.kathleentzellner.com

Kathleen Zellner (née Thomas; born in Midland, Texas) is an American lawyer.

Early life[edit]

Zellner was born in Midland, Texas. She is the second oldest of eight children. Her father, Owen Daniel Thomas,[1] was an engineer and geologist for Phillips Petroleum in charge of its worldwide production and exploration. He was involved in the Ecofisk oil discovery in the North Sea and discoveries in South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.[2]

Zellner married Robert E. Zellner, Jr., while they were attending the University of Missouri. Zellner began her legal education at McGill College of Law in its double degree program in French civil law and English common law. She completed her legal education at Northern Illinois University College of Law.[3]

Career[edit]

Zellner started her law firm in January 1991. The firm represents both civil and criminal clients. She has obtained the exoneration of 10 wrongfully convicted men, handling many of these cases pro bono.[4] In one case, she obtained the release of death row inmate Joseph Burrows by persuading the real killer to confess to the murder. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial court decision releasing Burrows from death row.[5] In November 2009, she began working to obtain Ryan Ferguson's release from prison.[6][7] On November 12, 2013, her client, Ryan Ferguson was released from prison after serving ten years, following the overturn of his murder conviction by the Western Appeals Court.[citation needed]

In 1994, Zellner persuaded Larry Eyler to confess to 21 murders prior to his death. All 21 murder cases were closed. She has won millions of dollars in civil jury trials and settlements.[8] She also won $15.5 million for the false arrest and malicious prosecution of Kevin Fox, who was incarcerated for 8 ½ months for the murder of his 3 year old daughter.[9] His wife, Melissa, recovered for her loss of consortium and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[citation needed]

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