Carlos Ortiz focuses his practice in the areas of consumer litigation defense, immigration, and commercial and employment litigation. He has litigated cases in federal and state courts across the country, as well as before various administrative bodies. Carlos has successfully tried both jury and bench trials, and has prevailed on a number of dispositive motions. He handles all phases of litigation, from developing a cost-effective and results-oriented case strategy, to resolution at the trial and appellate level, if necessary. Carlos has also negotiated resolutions involving terms favorable to his clients in hundreds of matters that included individual and putative class claims.
In the consumer, commercial, and class action litigation arena, Carlos frequently defends against claims arising from the application of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Illinois Collection Agency Act, Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and the Wisconsin Consumer Act, as well as various state and federal consumer and mortgage-related laws. His clients in this area include businesses, corporate entities, mortgage lenders and servicers, creditors, asset purchases and third-party debt collectors. Additionally, Carlos represents clients regarding investigations by regulatory agencies and attorneys general, and has counseled clients in responding to subpoenas in this context. Carlos also is experienced in handling fraud, trade secret, and breach of contract and warranty cases.
In the area of immigration law, Carlos focuses on both family and employment-based immigration matters. He assists individuals with obtaining permanent residency and citizenship in the United States. Carlos also works with employers and religious entities in obtaining various work visas for their foreign employees. He counsels employers on Form I-9 compliance and Social Security no-match letters. In addition, Carlos works with clients on international migration issues. Carlos' experience in this area includes, but is not limited to: successfully petitioning for visas under B-1, B-2, E-1, E-2, EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 H-1B, H-2B, H-3, J-1, K-1, L, O-1, P, TN, TD, and R. He has also handled matters involving asylum and temporary protected status. Carlos has also litigated matters involving alleged violations of state statutes that govern non-lawyers consulting on immigration matters. He also has handled appeals to the Administrative Appeals Office.
With respect to employment litigation, Carlos often represents employers in lawsuits alleging claims involving harassment and discrimination, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), wrongful discharge, and various other state and federal employment statutes. He also handles claims involving enforcement of restrictive covenants, and has successfully obtained temporary restraining orders and injunctions. Carlos counsels employers on risk management and compliance issues.
Carlos is licensed to practice law in the state courts of Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as in a number of federal courts.
Carlos joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as an associate in August 2004. Previously he was a summer associate with the firm in 2003. He became a partner in 2010.
During law school, Carlos was a law clerk at the firm formerly known as Wickwire Gavin, in Madison, Wisconsin, where he prepared dispositive motions involving negligence, breach of warranty and construction-related claims. In addition, he was a summer associate in the legal department at Edward Kraemer and Sons Construction Company in Plain, Wisconsin, where he prepared summary judgment briefs in defense of ADA, Title VII and wrongful termination claims, as well as managed and developed strategy for defense of workers' compensation claims. Carlos also assisted with employee training and counseling on compliance issues.
In addition to his other law school accomplishments, Carlos was selected to join the Moot Court Board. He was a member of the Dean's List, and was elected president of the Latino Law Students Association. Carlos received the G. Young Excellence in Service Award (2003) and the Bruce F. Beilfuss Memorial Service Award (2004). He achieved the highest grades of his class in equal employment law and constitutional law. He was awarded a full tuition merit scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin Law School. Carlos was and remains active in the law school's LEO Program, which promotes diversity in the law, and hosted the LEO annual banquet in 2003.
In 2001, Carlos was a summer intern with State Farm Mutual Insurance Co., where he worked as a fire claims representative, investigating, analyzing, negotiating and settling complex property claims. Carlos also was a project engineer summer intern with Walsh Construction Company in Chicago from June 1995 to January 2001.
Carlos graduated high school with honors from St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
- Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Past President (2009–2010)
- Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Member of Board of Directors (2006–2010)
- State Bar of Wisconsin, Diversity Task Force, Appointed Member
- Association of Credit and Collection Professional, Member
- American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member
- National Creditors Bar Association, Member
Honors & Awards
- Recognized by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the areas of Creditor's Rights/Commercial Collections Law; Immigration Law: Employment; Immigration Law: Individual; and Personal Injury Defense Law: General, 2019
- Recognized on the Nation's Best list by Lawyers of Color, 2019
- Selected to the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, Class of 2014
- Recognized on the Rising Stars list by Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine, 2010 – 2012
- Selected by the Wisconsin Law Journal as an "Up and Coming Lawyer," 2009
Carlos' representative cases include:
- Rafferty v. Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., No. 5:17-cv-426-Oc-40PRL, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33511 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 4, 2019) – obtained summary judgment in favor of collection agency defendant in a putative class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after successfully arguing that the subject collection letter did not overshadow the plaintiff's written validation rights.
- St. Pierre v. Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., 898 F.3d 351 (3d Cir. 2018), aff'g Civ. Action No.: 15-2596 (FLW)(DEA), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42875 (D. NJ Mar. 24, 2017) – affirmed dismissal on a motion to dismiss in favor of collection agency defendant in a putative class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after successfully arguing that a contract the plaintiff alleged he entered into for the E-Z Pass of payment for highway tolls did not establish a "debt" for purposes of the FDCPA.
- Cooper v. Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., 338 F. Supp. 3d 729 (N.D. Ill 2018) – obtained a reduction of $58,512.14 in plaintiff's attorney's fees in a FDCPA action after successfully arguing that plaintiff's rejection of a substantial settlement offer and proceeding to trial was unreasonable.
- Carter v. Monarch Recovery Mgmt., Case No. 16 C 6376, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44882 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 20, 2018) – as part of defense team, obtained summary judgment in favor of collection agency defendant in an action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after successfully arguing that collection letter was not misleading when it stated that interest and/or fees could be added to the outstanding balance because the creditor, from time to time, would add interest and/or fees.
- Cooper v. Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., No. 17 CV 773, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166984 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 10, 2017) - obtained dismissal on a motion to dismiss in favor of collection agency defendant in a putative class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act where the plaintiff engaged in impermissible claims splitting.
- O'Neill v. Northland Grp., Inc. et al., Civ No. 16-4266 (KM) (MAH), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67982 (D. NJ May 3, 2017) – obtained dismissal on a motion to dismiss in favor of collection agency defendant in a putative class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act where the plaintiff alleged that a letter that included a settlement offer was misleading because it allegedly was misleading as to the defendant's authority.
- St. Pierre v. Retrieval-Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., Civ. Action No.: 15-2596 (FLW)(DEA), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42875 (D. NJ Mar. 24, 2017) – obtained dismissal on a motion to dismiss in favor or collection agency defendant in a putative class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after successfully arguing that a contract the plaintiff alleged he entered into for the E-Z Pass of payment for highway tolls did not establish a "debt" for purposes of the FDCPA.
- In re Byung-Woun Seo, BK No.: 10-30673, 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 4677 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. Nov. 3, 2016) – successfully opposed debtor's pursuit of sanctions for alleged violation of the bankruptcy discharged, and obtained sanctions against the debtor's counsel resulting from the debtor's improper pursuit of sanctions against the guaranty agency for the subject student loan.
- Seo v. Educ. Credit Mgmt. Corp., Case No. 15-cv-3703, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16235 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 9, 2016) – obtained judgment on the pleadings in favor of student loan guaranty agency in an action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after successfully arguing that the defendant was not a "debt collector" for purposes of the FDCPA.
Alvarado v. Northland Group, Inc., Case No. 5–00645–CV–W-GAF, 2015 WL 7567091 (W.D. MO. Nov. 19, 2015) and McShann v. Northland Group, Inc., Case No. 15–00314–CV–W–GAF, 2015 WL 8097650 (W.D. MO. Dec. 1, 2015) – obtained dismissal and judgment on the pleadings in favor of collection agency defendant based on alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after certain information was allegedly visible through the glassine window of envelopes that contained collection letters.
Pereira, Jr. v. The Royal Group, Charge No. 2013 CF 0173 (State of Illinois Department of Human Rights) – obtained dismissal for lack of substantial evidence of charge of discrimination under the Family and Medical Leave Act after Fact-Finding Conference.
- AmTrust Bank v. Love, 5-10-0483 (Ct. App. 5th Dist. Ill.) – successfully obtained Order from appellate court affirming summary judgment decision in favor of client-creditor in mortgage-related litigation case.
- Mendoza v. Cellusuede Products, Inc. 2014 WL 929219 (N.D. Ill,)., 2011 WL 4684357 (N.D. Ill.) – obtained dismissal by way of motion on behalf of the defendant employer involving claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- McWright v. Williams, et al., 09 L 007141 (Cook County Circuit Court) – obtained dismissal by way of motion on behalf of third-party defendant contractor involving negligence-related claims.
- Felde v. Town of Brookfield et al., 570 F.Supp.2d 1070 (E.D. Wis. 2008) – obtained summary judgment on behalf of municipality and municipal employees involving wrongful discharge and constitutional related claims.
- Aaron, et al. v. Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, 04-CV-9012 (Milwaukee County Circuit Court) – successfully obtained defense verdict after jury trial involving medical malpractice claim.
- Killian v. Arby Construction, Inc., 06-012386 (Worker's Compensation Division, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development) – obtained dismissal of workers' compensation claim.
- Dudley v. Erin East, Inc., 06-028119 (Worker's Compensation Division, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development) – obtained decision in favor of respondent-employer following arbitration of unreasonable refusal to rehire claim.
- Williams v. Asset Acceptance, 06-20316 (Milwaukee County Circuit Court) – successfully obtained defense verdict after bench trial involving consumer related claims.
- Cordell v. State Central Credit Union, 2005 WL 3536094 (E.D. Wis. 2005) – obtained summary judgment on behalf of employer involving FLSA and wrongful discharge claims.
- Jones v. Zeuger, et al., 04-5037 (Milwaukee County Circuit Court) – successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of individual insured based on issue preclusion.
- Wollor v. Placon Corp., 04-03402 (Equal Rights Division, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development) (Affirmed, Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission, July 27, 2007) – obtained decision in favor of employer after arbitration of discrimination and wrongful discharge claims.
- Bocskor v. Mazda Motor of America Inc., 04-0316 (Outagamie County Circuit Court) – obtained summary judgment on behalf of manufacturer involving product liability/lemon law claim.
- Snapp v. Rivera MD, et al., 03-6612 (Milwaukee County Circuit Court) – obtained summary judgment on behalf of physician involving medical malpractice claim.
- "Coming to America: The Trump Administration's Impact on U.S. Immigration," Hinshaw U, September 2017
- "Hot Topics In The FDCPA," American Conference Institute's 23rd National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, July 2015
- "Update on Debt Collection and Credit Reporting Litigation and Enforcement Actions: Effective Defense Strategies for New and Emerging Claims and Government Enforcement Actions Arising From the FDCPA and FCRA," American Conference Institute's 22nd National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, Los Angeles, California, April 2015
- "Coming to America: Immigration Law Update," Hinshaw U, January 2015
- "When the Lawyer Is a Creditor and the Client Is the Debtor — The ethical and legal considerations of collecting fees," Sixth Annual Saint Ignatius Law Society Continuing Legal Education Course, Chicago, Illinois, November 2014
- "The Evolving Focus on Consumer Debt, Debt Collection (Creditors that Originate and Collect Debt and Third-Party Debt Collectors) and the Credit Reporting Markets: Effective Defense Strategies for New and Emerging Claims and Government Enforcement Actions Arising From TCPA, FDCPA, and FCRA," American Conference Institute's 18th National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, Los Angeles, California, April, 2014
- "Ethical Considerations in Settlement Negotiations," Fifth Annual Saint Ignatius Law Society Continuing Legal Education Course, Chicago, Illinois, November 2013
- "Other Pivotal Residential Mortgage Class Action Issues Currently in Play and Coming Down the Pike from the U.S. Supreme Court: Class Certification, CAFA, Settlement Considerations and More," American Conference Institute's 12th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement, Dallas, Texas, September 2013
- "Debt Collection and Credit Reporting Litigation: Effective Defense Strategies for New and Emerging Claims Arising From TCPA, FDCPA, and FCRA," American Conference Institute's 16th National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, July 2013
- "Lessons Learned From Sandusky: Internal Law Firm Investigations and Hiring Practices," Saint Ignatius Law Society's 4th Annual CLE Course, November 2012
- "Arbitration of Consumer Finance Disputes in the Wake of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion," American Conference Institute's 14th National Conference, Chicago, Illinois, July 2012
- "When Words Get in the Way: FDCPA Claims Based on Collection Letters," Lorman Education Services, live audio conference, November 2011
- "Emerging Legal and Ethical Issues in Law Firm Management," Saint Ignatius Law Society's 3rd Annual CLE Course, Chicago, Illinois, November 2011
- "Business Immigration Compliance Tips: Anticipating Workplace Enforcement Actions," Hinshaw's 2010 Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2010
- "Ethical Considerations for Attorneys Presented by Insurance Guidelines that Govern Representation of an Insured," co-authored with Hinshaw partner, Russell A. Klingaman, "Insurer’s Duty to Defend: A Compendium of State Law – 2005," Defense Research Institute, 2005
- "The United Nations and its Double Standard," 22 WIILJ 393 (2004), Wisconsin International Law Journal, Spring 2004
- "Limits in Medical Malpractice: Defending Against Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Life Claims," co-authored with Hinshaw attorney Michael P. Malone, For the Defense, Defense Research Institute, October 2003
Employment Law Observer
- April 18, 2016
- July 20, 2015
- October 22, 2014
- September 18, 2014
- September 16, 2013
- April 7, 2011
- September 1, 2010
- July 1, 2010
Carlos is the son of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador. He grew up on the Southwest side of Chicago. He was the first in his family to attend college and graduate school. Carlos earned academic-based scholarships that covered his full tuition to attend post-secondary schooling. He is an avid Chicago sports fan cheering for the Cubs, Bears and Bulls. He is a devoted father to seven and loves coaching sports.
- Northern Illinois University Political Science Department, Advisory Board, Invited Member
- Mexican Fiesta Organization, Contributor
- Worked with community high school mock trial programs throughout Southeastern Wisconsin
J.D., University of Wisconsin, 2004
- Articles Editor, Wisconsin International Law Journal
- Moot Court Board
B.A., summa cum laude, Political Science and Economics, Northern Illinois University, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin