Joel Bertocchi is an experienced civil, criminal and appellate litigator. He has served as the Solicitor General of Illinois and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney investigating and prosecuting federal criminal cases and arguing criminal appeals. He has litigated in courts ranging from the trial level to the United States Supreme Court. He serves as Leader of Hinshaw's Appellate Practice, which is ranked "Tier 1" nationally by U.S. News Best Law Firms, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He also practices in Hinshaw's White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations Group.

Mr. Bertocchi briefs and argues civil and criminal appeals, as well as complex motions (class certification, dismissal, summary judgment, etc.) in trial courts. He also represents individuals, groups and companies in connection with criminal and regulatory investigations and proceedings, counsels them on compliance policies and related issues and conducts internal investigations in all areas, including corporate governance and employee misconduct. Mr. Bertocchi also provides strategic advice to clients, in and outside the litigation context, on the application of complex statutes and regulatory issues, including corruption statutes, RICO and fraud.

Professional Background

Mr. Bertocchi has briefed and argued cases in the United States Supreme Court, as well as in U.S. Court of Appeals and state supreme and appellate courts. In addition to his private practice, he has been a federal prosecutor as well as the top appellate lawyer for the State of Illinois. At Hinshaw, he has handled appeals and trial court briefing on a host of issues, including racketeering, employment discrimination, procurement fraud, environmental, commercial defamation, tax fraud, telemarketing fraud and bankruptcy, as well as debt collection under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, class certification under both Rule 23 and the Class Action Fairness Act and claims brought under the federal False Claims Act and state consumer protection statutes.

Before joining Hinshaw, Mr. Bertocchi was a partner at what is now Mayer Brown LLP, where he handled civil and criminal appeals, drafted and argued complex motions in civil and criminal cases, worked extensively with expert witnesses and provided strategic legal analysis on regulatory, fraud and RICO issues.

From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Bertocchi served as the Solicitor General of the State of Illinois, where he was the chief appellate lawyer for the State and managed a staff of 40 lawyers handling civil and criminal appeals on behalf of the State, its agencies and officials. While Solicitor General, Mr. Bertocchi also served as Vice Chair of the Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite and Reform Commission.

Before serving as Solicitor General, Mr. Bertocchi was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office in Chicago. In that position he handled numerous complex appeals and jury trials on behalf of the government and supervised federal grand jury investigations involving, among other issues, racketeering, private and government-related fraud, environmental crimes, public corruption and tax crimes. He also handled various ancillary proceedings, including extraditions.

In March 2007, Mr. Bertocchi received the Diversity Helping Hand Award from the Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, in recognition of his assistance to the Association in filing amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court in cases dealing with affirmative action in education. Mr. Bertocchi has also received the U.S. Department of Justice Director's Award for Superior Performance, as well as the "Supreme Court Best Brief Award" from the National Association of Attorneys General.

He has taught appellate practice for the U.S. Department of Justice and the National District Attorneys' Association.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, Fellow (2015–Present)

  • Seventh Circuit Pattern Federal Civil Jury Instruction Committee
    • Member (2002–2008)
    • Patent Subcommittee
  • Seventh Circuit Pattern Federal Criminal Jury Instruction Committee
    • Member (1996–1999)
    • Reporter (2009–2013)
    • Member (2013–present)
  • Seventh Circuit Bar Association, Member
  • Chicago Inn of Court, Master of the Bench, President (2016–2017)
  • Illinois Appellate Lawyers' Association, Member
  • Diversity Committee, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP (2006–2011)

Honors & Awards

  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" in the Appellate Practice category for Chicago by Best Lawyers, 2013
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in America®" since 2018 for Appellate Law, Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • Member of the Leading Lawyers Network, where he was selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Civil Appellate Law
  • Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine (2008–2010)


His presentations include:

  • "Handling a Civil Appeal when the Government is a Party," DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 11, 2017.   
  • "Oral Argument from the Inside Out," American Bar Association annual meeting, Chicago, Illinois, July 2015.

  • "Statutory and Government Imposed Sanctions, Bribery and Money Laundering Regimes: Are Law Firms in the Crosshairs?," Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, Illinois, February 2015.
  • "Business-Related Cases in The Supreme Court's October 2012 Term," Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, May 2013.
  • "Business-Related Cases in The Supreme Court’s October 2011 Term," Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, May 2012.
  • "Honest Services Fraud After the Black and Skilling Decisions," Seventh Circuit Judicial Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 2011.
  • "Seventh Circuit Boot Camp," Pincus Professional Education, Chicago, Illinois, September 2010.
  • "Business-Related Cases in The Supreme Court's October 2009 Term," Practising Law Institute, Chicago, Illinois, May 2010.
  • "Investigating Employee Misconduct," Community Bankers Association of Illinois, Naperville, Illinois, June 2008.


Mr. Bertocchi is the primary author of the chapter on "The Record on Appeal and the Appendix," in the treatise Federal Appellate Practice (BNA 2008).


J.D., cum laude, University of Wisconsin Law School, 1983

B.A., with honors, University of Wisconsin, 1979