Stracci Law Group, PC

Stracci Law Group, PC

Respected - Resourceful - Relentless

This lawyer is licensed to practice in Indiana and has no record of discipline from the Indiana bar association. *

Stracci Law Group, PC

Stracci Law Group, PC

Respected - Resourceful - Relentless

This lawyer is licensed to practice in Indiana and has no record of discipline from the Indiana bar association. *

Firm Overview

Main Office

Main Office
11890 Broadway
Crown Point, IN 46307

Phone

(219) 525-1000

Websites

StracciLaw.com

Fees
Free Initial Consultation?

Free Initial Consultation

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

Fixed Fee Service Available

Hourly Rates

Fixed Hourly Rates Available

Office Information
Office Hours

Monday - Thursday: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM; Friday: 08:00 AM - 03:30 PM; Saturday & Sunday - By Appointment

Emergency After Hours

Yes

Stracci Law Group, PC
Paul Stracci

Paul Stracci is a very experienced criminal trial attorney who has had remarkable success in the courtroom. He successfully defended his first murder case 10 months out of law school, with the jury returning a not guilty verdict on all counts. Paul is a straight shooter and clients may rely upon his honesty, integrity, and willingness to tell the facts as they are. Paul maintains a strong rapport with his clients as well as with other legal professionals in the area. He is a relationship builder, who has built strong relationships with local officials, lawyers, and government agencies, all of which provide him with keen insight into and knowledge of the criminal justice system. Paul and his team handle a variety of criminal cases, including felony and misdemeanor cases in both state and federal courts. He specializes in defending drug distribution and conspiracy cases, criminal gang activity and firearms offenses, white collar and public corruption cases, healthcare fraud offenses, child pornography and sex cases, and other highly complex and often high profile criminal cases. In addition, Paul has had particular success in defending drunk driving criminal offenses. He is a long-time member of the National College for Drunk Driving Defense and has completed drunk-driving courses at the Harvard Law School. Paul has also completed the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Practitioner's Course and the 12 Step Drug Recognition Expert Mini-Course. He has the knowledge and skills to often successfully challenge drunk driving breath tests and blood draws for intoxication. Lastly, Paul has a highly regarded and talented team of lawyers, researchers, and other professionals who work with him as a team, enabling him to work on multiple high-profile cases with the dedication and resources of any firm in the northwest Indiana area.

License

Bar Number: 20388 98
Indiana, 1997

Education

Loyola University
B.A., 1993

Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D., 1997

Stracci Law Group, PC
Paul Stracci

Paul Stracci is a very experienced criminal trial attorney who has had remarkable success in the courtroom. He successfully defended his first murder case 10 months out of law school, with the jury returning a not guilty verdict on all counts. Paul is a straight shooter and clients may rely upon his honesty, integrity, and willingness to tell the facts as they are. Paul maintains a strong rapport with his clients as well as with other legal professionals in the area. He is a relationship builder, who has built strong relationships with local officials, lawyers, and government agencies, all of which provide him with keen insight into and knowledge of the criminal justice system. Paul and his team handle a variety of criminal cases, including felony and misdemeanor cases in both state and federal courts. He specializes in defending drug distribution and conspiracy cases, criminal gang activity and firearms offenses, white collar and public corruption cases, healthcare fraud offenses, child pornography and sex cases, and other highly complex and often high profile criminal cases. In addition, Paul has had particular success in defending drunk driving criminal offenses. He is a long-time member of the National College for Drunk Driving Defense and has completed drunk-driving courses at the Harvard Law School. Paul has also completed the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Practitioner's Course and the 12 Step Drug Recognition Expert Mini-Course. He has the knowledge and skills to often successfully challenge drunk driving breath tests and blood draws for intoxication. Lastly, Paul has a highly regarded and talented team of lawyers, researchers, and other professionals who work with him as a team, enabling him to work on multiple high-profile cases with the dedication and resources of any firm in the northwest Indiana area.

License

Bar Number: 20388 98
Indiana, 1997

Education

Loyola University B.A., 1993


Valparaiso University School of Law J.D., 1997


Stracci Law Group, PC
Alison L. Benjamin

Alison Benjamin started her career as a Deputy Prosecutor at the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she prosecuted felony drug offenses and high-profile murder cases. Alison left the prosecutor's office in 2003 to devote her career to criminal defense. She now defends doctors and other medical professionals charged with healthcare fraud; politicians and lawyers charged with public corruption; and a multitude of clients from all walks of life charged with a wide range of complex federal offenses, including white collar crimes, bank and wire fraud, sex and violent crimes, tax evasion, large-scale drug conspiracies, firearms offenses, and RICO violations.

Stracci Law Group uses a team approach to defend federal criminal cases. Ms. Benjamin thrives in the team environment. She is a passionate and detail-oriented litigator who works with state and federal clients to review the facts and circumstances of each case and formulate defense strategies. Alison is known for her legal research and writing skills and does a significant amount of research and motion and brief writing in the law firm's more complex state and federal cases. She also works with clients to develop sentencing mitigation an integral component of today's federal criminal defense work and is responsible for writing sentencing memoranda in all of the firm's federal criminal cases. In addition to trial litigation, Alison also engages in appellate work and files interlocutory and direct appeals relating in both state and federal criminal cases and has argued before both the Indiana Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Alison focuses on presenting her clients in the best possible light. She also understands the importance of communication with clients, other attorneys working on the case, and the courts, and takes the time to explain each step of the process to her clients.

Ms. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in all Indiana Courts as well as in a number of Federal Courts across the country.

Stracci Law Group, PC
Alison L. Benjamin

Alison Benjamin started her career as a Deputy Prosecutor at the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she prosecuted felony drug offenses and high-profile murder cases. Alison left the prosecutor's office in 2003 to devote her career to criminal defense. She now defends doctors and other medical professionals charged with healthcare fraud; politicians and lawyers charged with public corruption; and a multitude of clients from all walks of life charged with a wide range of complex federal offenses, including white collar crimes, bank and wire fraud, sex and violent crimes, tax evasion, large-scale drug conspiracies, firearms offenses, and RICO violations.

Stracci Law Group uses a team approach to defend federal criminal cases. Ms. Benjamin thrives in the team environment. She is a passionate and detail-oriented litigator who works with state and federal clients to review the facts and circumstances of each case and formulate defense strategies. Alison is known for her legal research and writing skills and does a significant amount of research and motion and brief writing in the law firm's more complex state and federal cases. She also works with clients to develop sentencing mitigation an integral component of today's federal criminal defense work and is responsible for writing sentencing memoranda in all of the firm's federal criminal cases. In addition to trial litigation, Alison also engages in appellate work and files interlocutory and direct appeals relating in both state and federal criminal cases and has argued before both the Indiana Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Alison focuses on presenting her clients in the best possible light. She also understands the importance of communication with clients, other attorneys working on the case, and the courts, and takes the time to explain each step of the process to her clients.

Ms. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in all Indiana Courts as well as in a number of Federal Courts across the country.

Stracci Law Group, PC
J. Michael Woods

Michael Woods is a 2006 graduate of Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington where he served on the Moot Court Board. While in Bloomington, he served as President and Vice President of the Monroe County Council where he oversaw appropriations for various parts of the criminal justice system, including the expansion of funding for corrections and the creation of a new court. As a member of the council, Michael helped spearhead the creation of a new tax to fund the Youth Services Bureau so fewer children were separated from their families during their time in the juvenile justice system. A deputy prosecutor for nine years, Michael is an experienced trial attorney who has handled thousands of cases ranging from simple traffic tickets to complex homicides. He has tried over 30 cases at jury trial on various charges including drunk driving, drug dealing, robbery, criminal gang activity, and murder. As a deputy prosecutor, Michael secured one of the first successful convictions for the criminal gang sentencing enhancement in Indiana, and implemented new techniques for obtaining, preserving, and admitting evidence from smartphones, Facebook, and Twitter. He has also argued numerous bail, juvenile waiver, and suppression hearings. Michael now brings that experience, knowledge, and skill to Stracci Criminal Defense a law firm designed to make sure their clients are never overwhelmed or overmatched by the State. He understands in detail the evidence traditionally used in criminal trials such as ballistics examinations, DNA, fingerprints, surveillance recordings, breath tests, blood draws, and drug analysis. Additionally, Michael has extensive experience in new and emerging types of evidence such as forensic cell phone and computer examination, cell tower data analysis, mobile location services, and social media accounts. He is well-versed in complex criminal statutes and ever-evolving sentencing enhancements. Michael has presented legal training on topics including the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (2007) and the Digital Presentation of Evidence in Criminal Trials (2014). He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association and Indiana Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in all Indiana courts.

License

Bar Number: 26649 53
Indiana, 2006

Education

Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington
J.D., 2006

Stracci Law Group, PC
J. Michael Woods

Michael Woods is a 2006 graduate of Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington where he served on the Moot Court Board. While in Bloomington, he served as President and Vice President of the Monroe County Council where he oversaw appropriations for various parts of the criminal justice system, including the expansion of funding for corrections and the creation of a new court. As a member of the council, Michael helped spearhead the creation of a new tax to fund the Youth Services Bureau so fewer children were separated from their families during their time in the juvenile justice system. A deputy prosecutor for nine years, Michael is an experienced trial attorney who has handled thousands of cases ranging from simple traffic tickets to complex homicides. He has tried over 30 cases at jury trial on various charges including drunk driving, drug dealing, robbery, criminal gang activity, and murder. As a deputy prosecutor, Michael secured one of the first successful convictions for the criminal gang sentencing enhancement in Indiana, and implemented new techniques for obtaining, preserving, and admitting evidence from smartphones, Facebook, and Twitter. He has also argued numerous bail, juvenile waiver, and suppression hearings. Michael now brings that experience, knowledge, and skill to Stracci Criminal Defense a law firm designed to make sure their clients are never overwhelmed or overmatched by the State. He understands in detail the evidence traditionally used in criminal trials such as ballistics examinations, DNA, fingerprints, surveillance recordings, breath tests, blood draws, and drug analysis. Additionally, Michael has extensive experience in new and emerging types of evidence such as forensic cell phone and computer examination, cell tower data analysis, mobile location services, and social media accounts. He is well-versed in complex criminal statutes and ever-evolving sentencing enhancements. Michael has presented legal training on topics including the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (2007) and the Digital Presentation of Evidence in Criminal Trials (2014). He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association and Indiana Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in all Indiana courts.

License

Bar Number: 26649 53
Indiana, 2006

Education

Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington J.D., 2006


Stracci Law Group, PC
Joshua S. Malher

For Attorney Joshua Malher, personal injury is a passion born from his own life experience.

Years ago, as a younger man, Josh was rear-ended by a driver while sitting at a traffic light. Josh escaped without injury, but his then-girlfriend, now-wife suffered substantial injuries to her neck and back. The young couple sought out an attorney to help them with their claim for personal injury. The attorney they hired was curt, dismissive, and ultimately recovered only a fraction of what their case was worth. He also left them with huge medical bills and a very bad taste in their mouths.

So, Josh did what any rational person would do: he went to law school to became a personal injury attorney.

While in law school, Josh clerked for Judge William Boklund in LaPorte Superior Court and Judge Gregg Donat in Tippecanoe County Superior Court. Josh became a published author, having contributed to the Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court (available at Amazon.com and Google Books). Josh was also a member and Associate Justice of the Moot Court Honor Society.

After graduation, Josh was fortunate enough to work with one of Lake County's preeminent civil attorneys, Michael Back. When Mr. Back passed away, Josh would spend the next five years honing his skills as a personal injury and civil attorney and focusing on recovering substantial settlements and judgements for his clients. Then, seeking to broaden his experience and sharpen his trial acumen, Josh joined the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, where he would successfully try misdemeanors and felony cases, including acting as the sole prosecutor in a murder trial, a first in the county in almost fifteen years. While working for the Prosecutor, one of his most challenging cases was against Paul Stracci and his team at Stracci Law Group. Shortly after the trial, Mr. Stracci approached Josh and asked him to join the firm to develop a personal injury practice offering the same kind of relentless advocacy it offered to their criminal clients. Josh happily accepted, anxious to return to working with injured and aggrieved parties in the civil courts, and joined the Stracci Law Group in 2018.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys river-panning for rare earth metals, ice cream sculpting, collecting Faberge toiletries, marinating things, translating the collected works of Marcel Proust into Dothraki, and making up hobbies he doesn't actually do to sound more interesting.

Education:

Valparaiso School of Law, Juris Doctorate Purdue University, West Lafayette, Bachelor of Arts; graduated with Highest Distinction

License

Bar Number: 2900864
Indiana, 2010

Education

Purdue University
B.A.,

Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D.,

Stracci Law Group, PC
Joshua S. Malher

For Attorney Joshua Malher, personal injury is a passion born from his own life experience.

Years ago, as a younger man, Josh was rear-ended by a driver while sitting at a traffic light. Josh escaped without injury, but his then-girlfriend, now-wife suffered substantial injuries to her neck and back. The young couple sought out an attorney to help them with their claim for personal injury. The attorney they hired was curt, dismissive, and ultimately recovered only a fraction of what their case was worth. He also left them with huge medical bills and a very bad taste in their mouths.

So, Josh did what any rational person would do: he went to law school to became a personal injury attorney.

While in law school, Josh clerked for Judge William Boklund in LaPorte Superior Court and Judge Gregg Donat in Tippecanoe County Superior Court. Josh became a published author, having contributed to the Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court (available at Amazon.com and Google Books). Josh was also a member and Associate Justice of the Moot Court Honor Society.

After graduation, Josh was fortunate enough to work with one of Lake County's preeminent civil attorneys, Michael Back. When Mr. Back passed away, Josh would spend the next five years honing his skills as a personal injury and civil attorney and focusing on recovering substantial settlements and judgements for his clients. Then, seeking to broaden his experience and sharpen his trial acumen, Josh joined the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, where he would successfully try misdemeanors and felony cases, including acting as the sole prosecutor in a murder trial, a first in the county in almost fifteen years. While working for the Prosecutor, one of his most challenging cases was against Paul Stracci and his team at Stracci Law Group. Shortly after the trial, Mr. Stracci approached Josh and asked him to join the firm to develop a personal injury practice offering the same kind of relentless advocacy it offered to their criminal clients. Josh happily accepted, anxious to return to working with injured and aggrieved parties in the civil courts, and joined the Stracci Law Group in 2018.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys river-panning for rare earth metals, ice cream sculpting, collecting Faberge toiletries, marinating things, translating the collected works of Marcel Proust into Dothraki, and making up hobbies he doesn't actually do to sound more interesting.

Education:

Valparaiso School of Law, Juris Doctorate Purdue University, West Lafayette, Bachelor of Arts; graduated with Highest Distinction

License

Bar Number: 2900864
Indiana, 2010

Education

Purdue University B.A.,


Valparaiso University School of Law J.D.,


Stracci Law Group, PC
Maryam Afshar-Stewart

Maryam A. Afshar-Stewart's rapid rise through the legal field is the result of a deeply-rooted work ethic, singleness of purpose, and the lifelong pursuit of one goal..to win. Even as a child, Maryam always knew she was going to be an attorney. The first-generation daughter of an immigrant mother and father, Maryam learned early in life that success comes to those willing to put in the work. As a result, while still completing her bachelor's degree at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, Maryam's persistence and academic achievement helped her secure a position at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Kirkland and Ellis, LLP where she assisted attorneys in preparing major cases for complex litigation as well as other sophisticated transactional matters.

After gaining valuable experience in private practice and obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Psychology, Maryam attended Valparaiso University Law School, in Valparaiso, Indiana where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2016. During her time in law school, Maryam gained valuable insight as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., presiding judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois as well as the Honorable Judge Samuel L. Cappas in the Lake Superior Court Criminal Division, Indiana. Maryam also gained practical experience as a part of Valparaiso University Law School's Criminal Clinic where she defended indigent clients charged with a range of misdemeanors and felonies. In addition, Maryam was a member of the Valparaiso University Law Review Executive Board where she authored and published the article Wrongfully Incarcerated Never Fully Compensated: An Examination of Indiana's Failure to Indemnify Exonerated Inmates, a discussion of the pervasive problem of wrongful incarceration and the lack of just compensation for those later found to be innocent. Maryam also worked directly with the metro homicide unit in the Lake County Prosecutor's Office. Maryam was President of the Women Law Student's Association and Vice-President of the Muslim Students Association.

After graduating law school in 2016, Maryam accepted a position as a deputy prosecuting attorney with the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she has prosecuted hundreds of felonies and misdemeanors. Maryam has conducted twenty trials and has secured convictions in complex murders, domestic violence, kidnapping, and sexual assault cases at trial. She was also selected to assist in the prosecution of a death penalty case.

Maryam's reputation as a tough, aggressive trial attorney earned her an appointment by elected Lake County Prosecutor, Bernard Carter, to the newly-formed Lake County Prosecutor's Office Special Victim's Unit, which specializes in prosecuting cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and domestic violence related homicides. Maryam has extensive experience and has received training from experts throughout the country on the particular and unique issues involved in the prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence. Maryam has also served as keynote speaker at forums to discuss the prosecution and defense of cases involving domestic violence and sex crimes.

She has also conducted various trainings for law enforcement officers and nurses on topics that include investigation, prosecution, and courtroom testimony. Maryam was also a member of the Lake County Sexual Assault Response Team.

Outside the Prosecutor's Office, Maryam worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, Valparaiso University Law School, educating the next generation of attorneys in trial practice.

Having mastered the intricacies of prosecution work, Maryam now joins Stracci Law Group and brings with her that same belief that success comes to those willing to put in the work and continues the pursuit of what has always been her goal... and ours...to win!

Education

DePaul University
B.S.B.A., 2012

Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D.,

Stracci Law Group, PC
Maryam Afshar-Stewart

Maryam A. Afshar-Stewart's rapid rise through the legal field is the result of a deeply-rooted work ethic, singleness of purpose, and the lifelong pursuit of one goal..to win. Even as a child, Maryam always knew she was going to be an attorney. The first-generation daughter of an immigrant mother and father, Maryam learned early in life that success comes to those willing to put in the work. As a result, while still completing her bachelor's degree at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, Maryam's persistence and academic achievement helped her secure a position at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Kirkland and Ellis, LLP where she assisted attorneys in preparing major cases for complex litigation as well as other sophisticated transactional matters.

After gaining valuable experience in private practice and obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Psychology, Maryam attended Valparaiso University Law School, in Valparaiso, Indiana where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2016. During her time in law school, Maryam gained valuable insight as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., presiding judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois as well as the Honorable Judge Samuel L. Cappas in the Lake Superior Court Criminal Division, Indiana. Maryam also gained practical experience as a part of Valparaiso University Law School's Criminal Clinic where she defended indigent clients charged with a range of misdemeanors and felonies. In addition, Maryam was a member of the Valparaiso University Law Review Executive Board where she authored and published the article Wrongfully Incarcerated Never Fully Compensated: An Examination of Indiana's Failure to Indemnify Exonerated Inmates, a discussion of the pervasive problem of wrongful incarceration and the lack of just compensation for those later found to be innocent. Maryam also worked directly with the metro homicide unit in the Lake County Prosecutor's Office. Maryam was President of the Women Law Student's Association and Vice-President of the Muslim Students Association.

After graduating law school in 2016, Maryam accepted a position as a deputy prosecuting attorney with the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she has prosecuted hundreds of felonies and misdemeanors. Maryam has conducted twenty trials and has secured convictions in complex murders, domestic violence, kidnapping, and sexual assault cases at trial. She was also selected to assist in the prosecution of a death penalty case.

Maryam's reputation as a tough, aggressive trial attorney earned her an appointment by elected Lake County Prosecutor, Bernard Carter, to the newly-formed Lake County Prosecutor's Office Special Victim's Unit, which specializes in prosecuting cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and domestic violence related homicides. Maryam has extensive experience and has received training from experts throughout the country on the particular and unique issues involved in the prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence. Maryam has also served as keynote speaker at forums to discuss the prosecution and defense of cases involving domestic violence and sex crimes.

She has also conducted various trainings for law enforcement officers and nurses on topics that include investigation, prosecution, and courtroom testimony. Maryam was also a member of the Lake County Sexual Assault Response Team.

Outside the Prosecutor's Office, Maryam worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, Valparaiso University Law School, educating the next generation of attorneys in trial practice.

Having mastered the intricacies of prosecution work, Maryam now joins Stracci Law Group and brings with her that same belief that success comes to those willing to put in the work and continues the pursuit of what has always been her goal... and ours...to win!

Education

DePaul University B.S.B.A., 2012


Valparaiso University School of Law J.D.,


Stracci Law Group, PC
Peter Fouts

Education

Wabash College
B.A., 2015

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
J.D., 2018

Stracci Law Group, PC
Peter Fouts

Education

Wabash College B.A., 2015


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law J.D., 2018


Firm Overview

Main Office

Main Office
11890 Broadway
Crown Point, IN 46307

Phone

(219) 525-1000

Websites

StracciLaw.com

Fees
Free Initial Consultation?

Free Initial Consultation

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

Fixed Fee Service Available

Hourly Rates

Fixed Hourly Rates Available

Office Information
Office Hours

Monday - Thursday: 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM; Friday: 08:00 AM - 03:30 PM; Saturday & Sunday - By Appointment

Emergency After Hours

Yes

Stracci Law Group, PC
Paul Stracci

Paul Stracci is a very experienced criminal trial attorney who has had remarkable success in the courtroom. He successfully defended his first murder case 10 months out of law school, with the jury returning a not guilty verdict on all counts. Paul is a straight shooter and clients may rely upon his honesty, integrity, and willingness to tell the facts as they are. Paul maintains a strong rapport with his clients as well as with other legal professionals in the area. He is a relationship builder, who has built strong relationships with local officials, lawyers, and government agencies, all of which provide him with keen insight into and knowledge of the criminal justice system. Paul and his team handle a variety of criminal cases, including felony and misdemeanor cases in both state and federal courts. He specializes in defending drug distribution and conspiracy cases, criminal gang activity and firearms offenses, white collar and public corruption cases, healthcare fraud offenses, child pornography and sex cases, and other highly complex and often high profile criminal cases. In addition, Paul has had particular success in defending drunk driving criminal offenses. He is a long-time member of the National College for Drunk Driving Defense and has completed drunk-driving courses at the Harvard Law School. Paul has also completed the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Practitioner's Course and the 12 Step Drug Recognition Expert Mini-Course. He has the knowledge and skills to often successfully challenge drunk driving breath tests and blood draws for intoxication. Lastly, Paul has a highly regarded and talented team of lawyers, researchers, and other professionals who work with him as a team, enabling him to work on multiple high-profile cases with the dedication and resources of any firm in the northwest Indiana area.

License

Bar Number: 20388 98
Indiana, 1997

Education

Loyola University
B.A., 1993

Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D., 1997

Stracci Law Group, PC
Paul Stracci

Paul Stracci is a very experienced criminal trial attorney who has had remarkable success in the courtroom. He successfully defended his first murder case 10 months out of law school, with the jury returning a not guilty verdict on all counts. Paul is a straight shooter and clients may rely upon his honesty, integrity, and willingness to tell the facts as they are. Paul maintains a strong rapport with his clients as well as with other legal professionals in the area. He is a relationship builder, who has built strong relationships with local officials, lawyers, and government agencies, all of which provide him with keen insight into and knowledge of the criminal justice system. Paul and his team handle a variety of criminal cases, including felony and misdemeanor cases in both state and federal courts. He specializes in defending drug distribution and conspiracy cases, criminal gang activity and firearms offenses, white collar and public corruption cases, healthcare fraud offenses, child pornography and sex cases, and other highly complex and often high profile criminal cases. In addition, Paul has had particular success in defending drunk driving criminal offenses. He is a long-time member of the National College for Drunk Driving Defense and has completed drunk-driving courses at the Harvard Law School. Paul has also completed the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Practitioner's Course and the 12 Step Drug Recognition Expert Mini-Course. He has the knowledge and skills to often successfully challenge drunk driving breath tests and blood draws for intoxication. Lastly, Paul has a highly regarded and talented team of lawyers, researchers, and other professionals who work with him as a team, enabling him to work on multiple high-profile cases with the dedication and resources of any firm in the northwest Indiana area.

License

Bar Number: 20388 98
Indiana, 1997

Education

Loyola University B.A., 1993


Valparaiso University School of Law J.D., 1997


Stracci Law Group, PC
Alison L. Benjamin

Alison Benjamin started her career as a Deputy Prosecutor at the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she prosecuted felony drug offenses and high-profile murder cases. Alison left the prosecutor's office in 2003 to devote her career to criminal defense. She now defends doctors and other medical professionals charged with healthcare fraud; politicians and lawyers charged with public corruption; and a multitude of clients from all walks of life charged with a wide range of complex federal offenses, including white collar crimes, bank and wire fraud, sex and violent crimes, tax evasion, large-scale drug conspiracies, firearms offenses, and RICO violations.

Stracci Law Group uses a team approach to defend federal criminal cases. Ms. Benjamin thrives in the team environment. She is a passionate and detail-oriented litigator who works with state and federal clients to review the facts and circumstances of each case and formulate defense strategies. Alison is known for her legal research and writing skills and does a significant amount of research and motion and brief writing in the law firm's more complex state and federal cases. She also works with clients to develop sentencing mitigation an integral component of today's federal criminal defense work and is responsible for writing sentencing memoranda in all of the firm's federal criminal cases. In addition to trial litigation, Alison also engages in appellate work and files interlocutory and direct appeals relating in both state and federal criminal cases and has argued before both the Indiana Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Alison focuses on presenting her clients in the best possible light. She also understands the importance of communication with clients, other attorneys working on the case, and the courts, and takes the time to explain each step of the process to her clients.

Ms. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in all Indiana Courts as well as in a number of Federal Courts across the country.

Stracci Law Group, PC
Alison L. Benjamin

Alison Benjamin started her career as a Deputy Prosecutor at the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she prosecuted felony drug offenses and high-profile murder cases. Alison left the prosecutor's office in 2003 to devote her career to criminal defense. She now defends doctors and other medical professionals charged with healthcare fraud; politicians and lawyers charged with public corruption; and a multitude of clients from all walks of life charged with a wide range of complex federal offenses, including white collar crimes, bank and wire fraud, sex and violent crimes, tax evasion, large-scale drug conspiracies, firearms offenses, and RICO violations.

Stracci Law Group uses a team approach to defend federal criminal cases. Ms. Benjamin thrives in the team environment. She is a passionate and detail-oriented litigator who works with state and federal clients to review the facts and circumstances of each case and formulate defense strategies. Alison is known for her legal research and writing skills and does a significant amount of research and motion and brief writing in the law firm's more complex state and federal cases. She also works with clients to develop sentencing mitigation an integral component of today's federal criminal defense work and is responsible for writing sentencing memoranda in all of the firm's federal criminal cases. In addition to trial litigation, Alison also engages in appellate work and files interlocutory and direct appeals relating in both state and federal criminal cases and has argued before both the Indiana Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Alison focuses on presenting her clients in the best possible light. She also understands the importance of communication with clients, other attorneys working on the case, and the courts, and takes the time to explain each step of the process to her clients.

Ms. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in all Indiana Courts as well as in a number of Federal Courts across the country.

Stracci Law Group, PC
J. Michael Woods

Michael Woods is a 2006 graduate of Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington where he served on the Moot Court Board. While in Bloomington, he served as President and Vice President of the Monroe County Council where he oversaw appropriations for various parts of the criminal justice system, including the expansion of funding for corrections and the creation of a new court. As a member of the council, Michael helped spearhead the creation of a new tax to fund the Youth Services Bureau so fewer children were separated from their families during their time in the juvenile justice system. A deputy prosecutor for nine years, Michael is an experienced trial attorney who has handled thousands of cases ranging from simple traffic tickets to complex homicides. He has tried over 30 cases at jury trial on various charges including drunk driving, drug dealing, robbery, criminal gang activity, and murder. As a deputy prosecutor, Michael secured one of the first successful convictions for the criminal gang sentencing enhancement in Indiana, and implemented new techniques for obtaining, preserving, and admitting evidence from smartphones, Facebook, and Twitter. He has also argued numerous bail, juvenile waiver, and suppression hearings. Michael now brings that experience, knowledge, and skill to Stracci Criminal Defense a law firm designed to make sure their clients are never overwhelmed or overmatched by the State. He understands in detail the evidence traditionally used in criminal trials such as ballistics examinations, DNA, fingerprints, surveillance recordings, breath tests, blood draws, and drug analysis. Additionally, Michael has extensive experience in new and emerging types of evidence such as forensic cell phone and computer examination, cell tower data analysis, mobile location services, and social media accounts. He is well-versed in complex criminal statutes and ever-evolving sentencing enhancements. Michael has presented legal training on topics including the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (2007) and the Digital Presentation of Evidence in Criminal Trials (2014). He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association and Indiana Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in all Indiana courts.

License

Bar Number: 26649 53
Indiana, 2006

Education

Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington
J.D., 2006

Stracci Law Group, PC
J. Michael Woods

Michael Woods is a 2006 graduate of Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington where he served on the Moot Court Board. While in Bloomington, he served as President and Vice President of the Monroe County Council where he oversaw appropriations for various parts of the criminal justice system, including the expansion of funding for corrections and the creation of a new court. As a member of the council, Michael helped spearhead the creation of a new tax to fund the Youth Services Bureau so fewer children were separated from their families during their time in the juvenile justice system. A deputy prosecutor for nine years, Michael is an experienced trial attorney who has handled thousands of cases ranging from simple traffic tickets to complex homicides. He has tried over 30 cases at jury trial on various charges including drunk driving, drug dealing, robbery, criminal gang activity, and murder. As a deputy prosecutor, Michael secured one of the first successful convictions for the criminal gang sentencing enhancement in Indiana, and implemented new techniques for obtaining, preserving, and admitting evidence from smartphones, Facebook, and Twitter. He has also argued numerous bail, juvenile waiver, and suppression hearings. Michael now brings that experience, knowledge, and skill to Stracci Criminal Defense a law firm designed to make sure their clients are never overwhelmed or overmatched by the State. He understands in detail the evidence traditionally used in criminal trials such as ballistics examinations, DNA, fingerprints, surveillance recordings, breath tests, blood draws, and drug analysis. Additionally, Michael has extensive experience in new and emerging types of evidence such as forensic cell phone and computer examination, cell tower data analysis, mobile location services, and social media accounts. He is well-versed in complex criminal statutes and ever-evolving sentencing enhancements. Michael has presented legal training on topics including the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (2007) and the Digital Presentation of Evidence in Criminal Trials (2014). He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Lake County Bar Association and Indiana Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in all Indiana courts.

License

Bar Number: 26649 53
Indiana, 2006

Education

Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington J.D., 2006


Stracci Law Group, PC
Joshua S. Malher

For Attorney Joshua Malher, personal injury is a passion born from his own life experience.

Years ago, as a younger man, Josh was rear-ended by a driver while sitting at a traffic light. Josh escaped without injury, but his then-girlfriend, now-wife suffered substantial injuries to her neck and back. The young couple sought out an attorney to help them with their claim for personal injury. The attorney they hired was curt, dismissive, and ultimately recovered only a fraction of what their case was worth. He also left them with huge medical bills and a very bad taste in their mouths.

So, Josh did what any rational person would do: he went to law school to became a personal injury attorney.

While in law school, Josh clerked for Judge William Boklund in LaPorte Superior Court and Judge Gregg Donat in Tippecanoe County Superior Court. Josh became a published author, having contributed to the Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court (available at Amazon.com and Google Books). Josh was also a member and Associate Justice of the Moot Court Honor Society.

After graduation, Josh was fortunate enough to work with one of Lake County's preeminent civil attorneys, Michael Back. When Mr. Back passed away, Josh would spend the next five years honing his skills as a personal injury and civil attorney and focusing on recovering substantial settlements and judgements for his clients. Then, seeking to broaden his experience and sharpen his trial acumen, Josh joined the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, where he would successfully try misdemeanors and felony cases, including acting as the sole prosecutor in a murder trial, a first in the county in almost fifteen years. While working for the Prosecutor, one of his most challenging cases was against Paul Stracci and his team at Stracci Law Group. Shortly after the trial, Mr. Stracci approached Josh and asked him to join the firm to develop a personal injury practice offering the same kind of relentless advocacy it offered to their criminal clients. Josh happily accepted, anxious to return to working with injured and aggrieved parties in the civil courts, and joined the Stracci Law Group in 2018.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys river-panning for rare earth metals, ice cream sculpting, collecting Faberge toiletries, marinating things, translating the collected works of Marcel Proust into Dothraki, and making up hobbies he doesn't actually do to sound more interesting.

Education:

Valparaiso School of Law, Juris Doctorate Purdue University, West Lafayette, Bachelor of Arts; graduated with Highest Distinction

License

Bar Number: 2900864
Indiana, 2010

Education

Purdue University
B.A.,

Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D.,

Stracci Law Group, PC
Joshua S. Malher

For Attorney Joshua Malher, personal injury is a passion born from his own life experience.

Years ago, as a younger man, Josh was rear-ended by a driver while sitting at a traffic light. Josh escaped without injury, but his then-girlfriend, now-wife suffered substantial injuries to her neck and back. The young couple sought out an attorney to help them with their claim for personal injury. The attorney they hired was curt, dismissive, and ultimately recovered only a fraction of what their case was worth. He also left them with huge medical bills and a very bad taste in their mouths.

So, Josh did what any rational person would do: he went to law school to became a personal injury attorney.

While in law school, Josh clerked for Judge William Boklund in LaPorte Superior Court and Judge Gregg Donat in Tippecanoe County Superior Court. Josh became a published author, having contributed to the Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court (available at Amazon.com and Google Books). Josh was also a member and Associate Justice of the Moot Court Honor Society.

After graduation, Josh was fortunate enough to work with one of Lake County's preeminent civil attorneys, Michael Back. When Mr. Back passed away, Josh would spend the next five years honing his skills as a personal injury and civil attorney and focusing on recovering substantial settlements and judgements for his clients. Then, seeking to broaden his experience and sharpen his trial acumen, Josh joined the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, where he would successfully try misdemeanors and felony cases, including acting as the sole prosecutor in a murder trial, a first in the county in almost fifteen years. While working for the Prosecutor, one of his most challenging cases was against Paul Stracci and his team at Stracci Law Group. Shortly after the trial, Mr. Stracci approached Josh and asked him to join the firm to develop a personal injury practice offering the same kind of relentless advocacy it offered to their criminal clients. Josh happily accepted, anxious to return to working with injured and aggrieved parties in the civil courts, and joined the Stracci Law Group in 2018.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys river-panning for rare earth metals, ice cream sculpting, collecting Faberge toiletries, marinating things, translating the collected works of Marcel Proust into Dothraki, and making up hobbies he doesn't actually do to sound more interesting.

Education:

Valparaiso School of Law, Juris Doctorate Purdue University, West Lafayette, Bachelor of Arts; graduated with Highest Distinction

License

Bar Number: 2900864
Indiana, 2010

Education

Purdue University B.A.,


Valparaiso University School of Law J.D.,


Stracci Law Group, PC
Maryam Afshar-Stewart

Maryam A. Afshar-Stewart's rapid rise through the legal field is the result of a deeply-rooted work ethic, singleness of purpose, and the lifelong pursuit of one goal..to win. Even as a child, Maryam always knew she was going to be an attorney. The first-generation daughter of an immigrant mother and father, Maryam learned early in life that success comes to those willing to put in the work. As a result, while still completing her bachelor's degree at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, Maryam's persistence and academic achievement helped her secure a position at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Kirkland and Ellis, LLP where she assisted attorneys in preparing major cases for complex litigation as well as other sophisticated transactional matters.

After gaining valuable experience in private practice and obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Psychology, Maryam attended Valparaiso University Law School, in Valparaiso, Indiana where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2016. During her time in law school, Maryam gained valuable insight as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., presiding judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois as well as the Honorable Judge Samuel L. Cappas in the Lake Superior Court Criminal Division, Indiana. Maryam also gained practical experience as a part of Valparaiso University Law School's Criminal Clinic where she defended indigent clients charged with a range of misdemeanors and felonies. In addition, Maryam was a member of the Valparaiso University Law Review Executive Board where she authored and published the article Wrongfully Incarcerated Never Fully Compensated: An Examination of Indiana's Failure to Indemnify Exonerated Inmates, a discussion of the pervasive problem of wrongful incarceration and the lack of just compensation for those later found to be innocent. Maryam also worked directly with the metro homicide unit in the Lake County Prosecutor's Office. Maryam was President of the Women Law Student's Association and Vice-President of the Muslim Students Association.

After graduating law school in 2016, Maryam accepted a position as a deputy prosecuting attorney with the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she has prosecuted hundreds of felonies and misdemeanors. Maryam has conducted twenty trials and has secured convictions in complex murders, domestic violence, kidnapping, and sexual assault cases at trial. She was also selected to assist in the prosecution of a death penalty case.

Maryam's reputation as a tough, aggressive trial attorney earned her an appointment by elected Lake County Prosecutor, Bernard Carter, to the newly-formed Lake County Prosecutor's Office Special Victim's Unit, which specializes in prosecuting cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and domestic violence related homicides. Maryam has extensive experience and has received training from experts throughout the country on the particular and unique issues involved in the prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence. Maryam has also served as keynote speaker at forums to discuss the prosecution and defense of cases involving domestic violence and sex crimes.

She has also conducted various trainings for law enforcement officers and nurses on topics that include investigation, prosecution, and courtroom testimony. Maryam was also a member of the Lake County Sexual Assault Response Team.

Outside the Prosecutor's Office, Maryam worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, Valparaiso University Law School, educating the next generation of attorneys in trial practice.

Having mastered the intricacies of prosecution work, Maryam now joins Stracci Law Group and brings with her that same belief that success comes to those willing to put in the work and continues the pursuit of what has always been her goal... and ours...to win!

Education

DePaul University
B.S.B.A., 2012

Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D.,

Stracci Law Group, PC
Maryam Afshar-Stewart

Maryam A. Afshar-Stewart's rapid rise through the legal field is the result of a deeply-rooted work ethic, singleness of purpose, and the lifelong pursuit of one goal..to win. Even as a child, Maryam always knew she was going to be an attorney. The first-generation daughter of an immigrant mother and father, Maryam learned early in life that success comes to those willing to put in the work. As a result, while still completing her bachelor's degree at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, Maryam's persistence and academic achievement helped her secure a position at the prestigious Chicago law firm of Kirkland and Ellis, LLP where she assisted attorneys in preparing major cases for complex litigation as well as other sophisticated transactional matters.

After gaining valuable experience in private practice and obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Psychology, Maryam attended Valparaiso University Law School, in Valparaiso, Indiana where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2016. During her time in law school, Maryam gained valuable insight as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., presiding judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois as well as the Honorable Judge Samuel L. Cappas in the Lake Superior Court Criminal Division, Indiana. Maryam also gained practical experience as a part of Valparaiso University Law School's Criminal Clinic where she defended indigent clients charged with a range of misdemeanors and felonies. In addition, Maryam was a member of the Valparaiso University Law Review Executive Board where she authored and published the article Wrongfully Incarcerated Never Fully Compensated: An Examination of Indiana's Failure to Indemnify Exonerated Inmates, a discussion of the pervasive problem of wrongful incarceration and the lack of just compensation for those later found to be innocent. Maryam also worked directly with the metro homicide unit in the Lake County Prosecutor's Office. Maryam was President of the Women Law Student's Association and Vice-President of the Muslim Students Association.

After graduating law school in 2016, Maryam accepted a position as a deputy prosecuting attorney with the Lake County Prosecutor's Office where she has prosecuted hundreds of felonies and misdemeanors. Maryam has conducted twenty trials and has secured convictions in complex murders, domestic violence, kidnapping, and sexual assault cases at trial. She was also selected to assist in the prosecution of a death penalty case.

Maryam's reputation as a tough, aggressive trial attorney earned her an appointment by elected Lake County Prosecutor, Bernard Carter, to the newly-formed Lake County Prosecutor's Office Special Victim's Unit, which specializes in prosecuting cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and domestic violence related homicides. Maryam has extensive experience and has received training from experts throughout the country on the particular and unique issues involved in the prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence. Maryam has also served as keynote speaker at forums to discuss the prosecution and defense of cases involving domestic violence and sex crimes.

She has also conducted various trainings for law enforcement officers and nurses on topics that include investigation, prosecution, and courtroom testimony. Maryam was also a member of the Lake County Sexual Assault Response Team.

Outside the Prosecutor's Office, Maryam worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at her alma mater, Valparaiso University Law School, educating the next generation of attorneys in trial practice.

Having mastered the intricacies of prosecution work, Maryam now joins Stracci Law Group and brings with her that same belief that success comes to those willing to put in the work and continues the pursuit of what has always been her goal... and ours...to win!

Education

DePaul University B.S.B.A., 2012


Valparaiso University School of Law J.D.,


Stracci Law Group, PC
Peter Fouts

Education

Wabash College
B.A., 2015

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
J.D., 2018

Stracci Law Group, PC
Peter Fouts

Education

Wabash College B.A., 2015


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law J.D., 2018


This lawyer is licensed to practice in Indiana and has no record of discipline from the Indiana bar association. *

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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This lawyer is licensed to practice in Indiana and has no record of discipline from the Indiana bar association. *

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.