Nate Nieman, Attorney at Law

Nate Nieman is a trial and appellate lawyer whose practice focuses on criminal defense and collateral matters. Mr. Nieman’s practice is specifcally geared towards representing criminal defendants in post-trial matters, whether in post-trial motions, post-conviction petitions, or on appeal. Mr. Nieman began his career in the Dekalb County Public Defender’s office and the Office of the State Appellate Defender – Third District before entering private practice in his hometown of the Quad Cities. Mr. Nieman’s law office is located blocks away from the Mississippi River in Rock Island, IL.

Mr. Nieman has published widely on various criminal defense topics. Mr. Nieman has written several articles on criminal law and procedure for the Northern Law Blog and several articles on criminal appellate procedure for the The Brief, which is published by the Illinois Appellate Lawyer’s Association. Mr. Nieman has also published articles in the Kane County Bar Briefs and the ISBA’s Traffic Law and Courts newsletter. Mr. Nieman founded the IPCB to deepen his knowledge of his practice area as it develops and to share those discoveries with readers who have the same interest.

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The petitioner in People v. Custer, 2019 IL 123339, requested the Illinois Supreme Court to extend procedures and protections established in People v. Krankel to claims of unreasonable assistance by post-conviction counsel in proceedings under the Post Conviction Hearing Act. Ultimately, the Supreme Court declined the invitation to expand its application of Krankel. Custer was initially charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Custer entered an open guilty plea to the charge. Prior to sentencing, petitioner was arrested again and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, aggravated assault, unlawful use of a weapon, and…
The appellant in People v. Todd, 2019 IL App (3d) 170153 appealed the trial court’s order summarily dismissing his pro se post-conviction petition on the grounds that the court erred because the petition presented an arguable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. The Appellate Court of Illinois Third District affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Whiteside County. Todd entered an open plea to one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, which was accepted by the court. Prior to sentencing, the State produced a pre-sentence investigation report (PSI) which stated that Todd had five prior felony…
The Illinois Supreme Court granted petitions for leave to appeal in a slate of interesting post-conviction cases on September 25, 2019. This means that the court has agreed to hear these appeals, and that its decision in these cases will be binding on all lower appellate and trial courts. People v. Green, 2019 IL App (2d) 160217-U (link to original opinion) Defendant argued that the trial court erred by denying his post-conviction petition because he established that defense counsel had a per se conflict of interest where counsel previously represented the intended victim of the murder, and defendant neither knew…
The appellant in Williams v. Dorethy, 2019 IL App (3d) 180135 appealed the decision of the trial court dismissing his mandamus petition sua sponte, on the grounds the court erred in doing so. Ultimately, the Third District reversed the trial court and remanded. Keith Williams filed a pro se request for leave to file a mandamus petition against the defendants related to various violations and/or abuses of prison policies by HCC administration and staff, while incarcerated. Id. at ¶ 3. Two days later, the trial court allowed the petition to be filed, but dismissed the petition prior to any of the named defendants…
The appellant in People v. Wesley, 2019 IL App (1st) 170442, appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his post-conviction petition at the first stage of post-conviction proceedings, on the grounds that he was denied due process and effective assistance of counsel by both his trial and appellate counsel. The appellate court affirmed. Terrell Wesley was charged and convicted of first degree murder for a 2008 shooting outside a grocery store in Maywood, Illinois. At his 2010 bench trial, Wesley was only identified by one witness, Jason Ervin, who testified that he’d seen Wesley leaving the store, walking backwards, and…
The appellant in People v. Ramsey, 2019 IL App (3d) 160759, appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his post-conviction petition at the second stage of post-conviction proceedings, on grounds that the court erred by ruling, among other things, that an executive commutation could not be judicially reviewed. Ultimately, Third District affirmed. Daniel Ramsey was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, one count of home invasion, and one count of residential burglary. At the time Ramsey committed the crimes, he was 18 years old. Ramsey initially received the…
The appellant in People v. Ryburn, 2019 ILL App (4th) 170779, appealed the trial court’s decision dismissing his successive post-conviction petition at the second stage of proceedings. The Fourth District ultimately reversed the dismissal of the petition and remanded the case for further proceedings. Ryburn was originally charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, four counts of criminal sexual assault, and four counts of aggravate criminal sexual abuse for his actions on September 8, 1998. Ryburn pled guilty to three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, pursuant to a plea agreement, in exchange for the State’s dismissal…
The appellant in People v. Ames, 2019 IL App (4th) 170569 appealed the trial court’s order denying’s his second motion for leave to file a successive post-conviction petitio on the grounds that the circuit court erred by allowing the State to respond to the motion. Ultimately, the Appellate Court of Illinois Fourth District affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County. Ames was convicted of one count of home invasion and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and sentenced to consecutive terms of 28 years of imprisonment for home invasion and 6 years each for aggravated…
The appellant in People v. Harris, 2019 IL App (4th) 170261 appealed the decision of the trial court summarily dismissing his pro se petition for post-conviction relief on the grounds that his petition presented an arguable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to request a continuance to secure witness testimony for his claim of self-defense. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal. Harris was found guilty on five counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated battery of a child, one count of home invasion, and one count of armed robbery at…
The appellant in People v. Peacock, 2019 IL App (1st) 170308 appealed the trial court’s decision denying leave to file his successive post-conviction petition, on the grounds that his sentence constituted a de facto life sentence and violated the eighth amendment of the United States Constitution and the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution. The Appellate Court of Illinois First Judicial District ultimately reversed and remanded the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County for further proceedings. Appellant Taki Peacock is currently service concurrent respective sentences of 80 years, 30 years, 30 years, and 30 years of imprisonment…
The appellant in People v. Barefield, 2019 IL App (3d) 160516 appealed the dismissal of his petition for relief from judgement (filed under section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure), on the grounds that his conviction for armed habitual criminal should be vacated because the predicate offense, his conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (AUUW), was void ab initio and should also be vacated. The Appellate Court of Illinois Third District ultimately reversed the dismissal of the petition by the trial court. Barefield was charged with armed habitual criminal after having twice been convicted of AUUW, Aggravated Robbery,…
The appellant in People v. Walker, 2019 IL App (3d) 170374 appealed the decision of the trial court’s order his pro se post-conviction petition on the grounds that the dismissal was erroneous. The Third District ultimately affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court. Eric D. Walker was charged with and pled guilty to aggravated battery and burglary and was sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2016. In 2017, Walker filed a pro se post-conviction petition, raising “numerous claims, many of which related to the representation [he] had received.” Id. at ¶ 6. Walker alleged that his attorney, the assistant public defender, conspired against him…
The appellant in People v. Parker, 2019 IL App (5th) 150192 appealed the decision of the Circuit Court of Washington County denying his motion for leave to file successive post-conviction petition. Leonard Parker was charged with four counts of first degree murder based on a theory of accountability related to the stabbing of a victim by a co-defendant, during the course of a robbery and residential burglary in September of 2000. Parker was 16 years old at the time of arrest. Id. at ¶ 2. Shortly thereafter, Parker entered into a negotiated plea agreement in which he pled guilty…
The appellant in People v. Roberson, 2019 IL App (1st) 170757 appealed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismising his pro se petition for relief from judgement (under section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure) on the grounds that the dismissal was premature since it was within 30 days of the petition’s filing. The Appellate Court of Illinois First District ultimately affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Appellant Roberson was charged with one count of armed habitual criminal and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, related…
The appellant in People v. Shaw, 2019 IL App (1st) 152994 appealed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that the trial court erred in dismissing his petition because he made a substantial showing of actual innocence when he presented an affidavit averring that the deceased victim had previously admitted to misidentifying him and had named another man as the offender. Germaine Shaw pled guilty and was sentenced to 28 years’ imprisonment for aggravated criminal sexual assault and 6 years’ imprisonment (to be served concurrently) for each home invasion offense,…