Kilby Cantwell Macfadden
Department of Justice
Criminal prosecution

Kilby Macfadden's steady rise to her position as assistant chief in the Department of Justice's Criminal Division is no surprise to anyone who has watched this talented attorney's career. Macfadden's peers say she is a natural leader, a skilled litigator and a dedicated public servant. 

This is a potent combination. Her fellow attorneys say that Macfadden and her team always work toward the best possible result for the public good. 

"To achieve her level of professional success at such a young age is a testament to her intelligence, grit and hard work," said Karyn Bass Ehler, General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Public Health. "At the Department of Justice, she has undoubtedly made her mark on the legal profession."

Macfadden is fortunate: She's found a career that is perfectly suited to her personality and talents. Her peers say that Macfadden is committed to using her skills as a lawyer and prosecutor to further justice. 

A Judge with the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Law Division pointed to Kilby's role as coordinator of the Cook County State's Attorney Deferred Prosecution Program. Upon leaving the State's Attorney's Office, Macfadden continued her pursuit of justice at the Public Integrity Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General's Office. Here, she directed multifaceted investigations and prosecutions of public corruption throughout the state of Illinois.

Macfadden then took those skills to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nevada, where she was selected to prosecute medical professionals for their illegal distribution of prescription drugs, mostly opioids. She continues to spearhead these complex prosecutions in the hardest hit regions of the country for the Department of Justice.

The judge has also seen Macfadden's work up-close. Macfadden was assigned to the judge’s criminal courtroom in Skokie, where she was working on deferred prosecution call consisting of drug offenders who were given a chance to avoid having a permanent criminal record if they completed treatment and counseling recommended by the probation department. 

"This was not an easy assignment," the Judge said. "It required a great deal of extra follow-up work to keep the court fully informed of the defendants' progress. It also required an enormous amount of patience coupled with empathy for the struggles of addiction. Kilby took the time to explain the details and expectations of the program to the defendants and their lawyers. This engendered a common goal for success for all the involved parties as opposed to a typical adversarial proceeding."

Another judge with the Circuit Court of Cook County, first met Macfadden 12 years ago, when he interviewed her for a position in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Macfadden immediately impressed, and the judge said he knew from first meeting her that this young attorney would make an impact in Illinois. 

"What sets her apart is that Kilby is a leader," the Judge said. "Some attorneys are highly intelligent. Some attorneys work tremendously hard. Other attorneys are gifted orators and excel in the well of the courtroom. Kilby is the rare attorney who possesses all three."