Malia & Rinehart, P.C.
33 North County Street
Suite 608
Waukegan, IL 60085

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Eric F. Rinehart

Location: Waukegan, IL
Fax: 847-249-2420

Eric Rinehart has successfully and aggressively represented thousands of clients in criminal, civil, and appellate cases.  Eric employs this diverse range of litigation experience to assist his clients in achieving their goals.

Before starting Malia & Rinehart, Eric was an assistant public defender for nearly five years in Lake County, Illinois.   Eric is one of the most accomplished trial attorneys in Lake County as he has tried dozens of jury and bench trials.   Eric has advocated for common-sense reform to the justice system in the appellate courts and even the Supreme Court of Illinois.  Eric is known for his passionate and vigorous advocacy inside and outside of the courtroom.  Eric believes in fighting for the rights of all citizens from all communities.

Prior to his focus on civil rights and criminal law, Eric was an associate with the business-litigation firm of Schopf & Weiss in Chicago, Illinois. At Schopf & Weiss, Eric developed his civil litigation skills and effectively represented clients in complex contractual disputes, antitrust litigation, and employment discrimination suits. 

Eric is licensed to practice in Illinois and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois and the Northern District of Indiana. He is a member of the Lake County Bar Association, and the Chicago Council of Lawyers.

Eric received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he concentrated in the areas of criminal law and clinical trial experience.  Eric was also a participant in the law school's moot court competition.  Eric graduated magna cum laude from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois , with a bachelor's degree in political science.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Felonies
  • Criminal Misdemeanors
  • DUI (Alcohol- or Drug-Related)
  • License Reinstatement and Statutory Summary Suspensions
  • Traffic Matters
  • Expungements
  • Orders of Protection/Domestic Violence Cases
  • Civil Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 2001
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2001
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2002


  • University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D. - 2001
    • Honors: Moot Court Competition
    • Honors: Mandel Legal Aid Clinic
  • Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois
    • B.A.
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Published Works

  • Compendium on Reporters' Privilege--Federal Law in Seventh Circuit, (co-author), Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press, Internet Compendium, 2002

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Lake County Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Lake County Public Defender's Office, Assistant Pubic Defender, 2003 - 2008
  • Schopf & Weiss, LLC, Litigation Associate, 2001 - 2003

Pro Bono Activities

  • Seventh Circuit Appellate Brief and Oral Argument - United States v. Curtis Brewer, 2002 - 2003
  • Cabrini Legal Aid Society, 2001 - 2003