Joe Ferguson has extensive practice experience in the private and government sectors. He was an elbow clerk to the late Hon. Myron H. Bright of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Eighth Circuit) and Hon Suzanne B. Conlon of the U.S. District Court (ND IL). He spent two years in private practice with Sidley Austin where his work included anti-trust and commercial litigation, and pro bono death penalty litigation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He went on to spend 15 years in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois (USAO-ND IL). His first six years were with the office’s Civil Division, where he litigated cases at both the trial (USDC-NDIL) and appellate (USCA- 7th Cir.) court relating to, among other areas, employment discrimination (Title VII), civil rights, environmental law, and government program fraud. Ferguson’s work included a landmark environmental case, which was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court. He spent nearly ten years in the office’s Criminal Division, prosecuting cases involving public corruption, mail/wire fraud, tax fraud, terrorist financing, narcotics trafficking, and labor racketeering. He served as the Chief of the Money Laundering and Forfeiture Section, having been its Deputy Chief. He also held positions as Deputy Chief of Financial Crimes & Special Prosecutions and USAO Terrorist Financing Coordinator. He has received the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for his work in the area of asset forfeiture. He is also a recipient of the Gaston Gianni Award from the President’s Council on Integrity & Efficiency for prosecuted broad scale government program fraud.
Ferguson has been an adjunct instructor at Loyola since the late 1990s, first as an appellate writing and advocacy instructor, and, for the last ten years, teaching National Security Law and Prosecuting and Defending Terrorism Cases. He helped develop and establish the National Security and Civil Rights Program. He also is an adjunct in the Political Science Department at Lake Forest College. Ferguson has also taught and lectured at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, which provides training for federal, state, and local prosecutors and investigative agencies. With USDOJ, he also has presented to foreign military, criminal, and intelligence organizations regarding evidence gathering and prosecution of terrorism-related cases in the U.S.