Profile
Representative Matters
Presentations
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Jorge Cazares has a diverse litigation practice counseling clients on a wide range of matters, including contract and business disputes, employment discrimination, local governmental defense, civil rights defense, product liability, defamation, personal injury defense, as well as labor disputes and arbitrations.

Leveraging his extensive litigation experience, Jorge works with his clients to find simple solutions for the legal issues they are facing. Keeping their business needs and goals in mind, Jorge is committed to getting the best outcome for his clients.

Having worked in the public and private sectors for large, established firms and start-ups, Jorge's career has provided him with a number of diverse experiences and insights. He spent the majority of his private sector career with a Chicago-based firm and briefly worked in-house during a secondment for a Fortune 100 energy company.

After more than a decade in private practice, Jorge was approached to take on the role of general counsel for the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), the third-largest public housing agency in the country. As the first Latino to serve in the role, Jorge oversaw the agency's legal affairs and counseled CHA's Board of Commissioners, senior management, and employees. During his tenure, Jorge held a number of leadership positions and supervised the Office of the Inspector General, the ADA Compliance Department, and its One-Strike Program.

Following his return to private practice, Jorge was appointed Chief Ethics Officer and Chief EEO Officer for the CHA. In that capacity, he issued advisory opinions and handled dozens of investigations involving potential violations of the agency's policies. He also conducted agency-wide training concerning various ethics, EEO, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policies.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program, Arbitrator; Chairperson, 1995 – 2002
  • Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
  • Decalogue Society of Lawyers
  • Illinois State Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Instituto Spirit Award, Instituto Del Progesso Latino, 2017
  • Outstanding Volunteer Service, Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, 2012
  • Business Leader of Color, Chicago United, 2011
  • Recognition of Outstanding Leadership, Commitment, and Service as President, Loyola University Chicago School of Law Alumni Board, 2005 
  • Recognition of Extraordinary Service, Loyola University Chicago School of Law Minority Mentorship Program, 1997
  • Recognized by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the categories of Civil Rights/Constitutional Law; Commercial Litigation; Employment Law: Management; Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law; and Real Estate Law: Commercial

Representative Matters

  • Secured summary judgment for national healthcare organization facing claims of civil conspiracy, anti-trust, and defamation. Plaintiffs claimed in a 258-count complaint that the national healthcare organization and its licensees conspired to destroy their national specialty pharmacy business. Plaintiffs claimed damages in excess of $600 million in the destruction of their business.
  • Representation of transportation company in qui tam complaint asserting various claims under the False Claim Act and the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act where whistleblower alleged in excess of $600 million separate false claims over a four year period.
  • Conducted internal investigation in English and Spanish on behalf of Fortune 100 manufacturer into allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination by various female employees.
  • Represented a global insurance producer against a claim that it secured inadequate insurance for a corporation that owns multiple residential communities. The corporation claimed losses exceeding $18 million as a result of four hurricanes, and its insurers denied coverage for over $13 million. After prevailing on multiple motions to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaints for failure to state a claim, the plaintiff filed a fourth complaint. The producer joined in its insured’s successful motion for summary judgment in which the court held that coverage existed for the vast majority of the $13,000,000 in losses, thus avoiding liability for the client as to those losses.
  • Successfully defended a global law firm in a dispute with one of its equity partners who alleged that the law firm had improperly caused him to lose his equity interest in the firm. The plaintiff's claims included breach of contract and rescission. The global law firm’s initial motion to dismiss the complaint was granted. On appeal, the ruling was reversed. The firm was then required to try the case twice, first before a jury in the law division and then in chancery. After trial victories in both cases, the plaintiff appealed. The Illinois Appellate Court found that the plaintiff was barred from pursuing his equitable rescission claim.
  • Represented a municipality and seven of its employees in a 26-count lawsuit filed by four aviation police officers who alleged various claims of discrimination under Title VII, the state’s Human Rights Act, its Civil Rights Act, and the 14th Amendment; interference and retaliation under the Family Medical Leave Act; and discrimination and denial of accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and its state-law equivalent. After the municipality's motion for summary judgment was partially granted, the case was settled on favorable terms.
  • Received a favorable verdict for insurance producer in a case brought by a defendant/third-party plaintiff insured alleging professional negligence in providing notice to the carrier and in the handling of an insurance claim with insurer. After all sides rested and before closing arguments, the judge dismissed the jury and granted our client and the insurer’s motions for judgment as a matter of law against the insured.
  • Successfully represented commuter rail line in various claims brought under F.E.L.A. before state and federal courts in Illinois.
  • Secured summary judgment for client in gender and race discrimination case. The plaintiff alleged he was passed over for promotion, disciplined, and terminated because he was an African-American male.
  • Defense of national nonprofit entity of an employee's claim of defamation after being accused of removing computers from the employer's premises without authorization.
  • Secured summary judgment for major telephone company in a telecommunications toll fraud case.
  • Obtained an Order of Replevin without notice in state court within hours of filing the complaint. Such relief is rarely granted without notice due to the high burden imposed by courts before summary seizure of the property can be justified.

Presentations

  • Panelist, "Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act," State Farm, Bloomington, Illinois, June 2019

News

Personal

Born and raised in the Pilsen neighborhood, Jorge attended St. Ignatius College Prep. An avid sports fan, he enjoys cheering on the Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears, and the Fire. His idea of the perfect day is being in his backyard on a summer day, grilling and listening to sports or 80s dance music with his family and friends.

Community/Civic Activities

  • Chicago Police Foundation, Founding Member; Treasurer, Secretary, 2015 – 2022
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago
    • Lawyer in the Classroom, 2004 – 2016
  • Chicago Public Schools
    • Principal for a Day, 2000 – 2012
  • Gads Hill Center
    • Executive Committee, 2008 – 2014
    • Board of Directors; President, 2010 – 2013; Vice President, 2007 – 2010
    • Development Committee, Chairman, 2002 – 2005
  • Loyola University Chicago
    • Latino Alumni Board, Board of Directors, 2001 – 2008; President, 2003 – 2005 
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
    • Alumni Board of Governors, 2004 – 2013
    • Appellate Advocacy Competition – Oral Arguments, Judge
    • Dean's Diversity Council
  • Santa Lucia Elementary School
    • School Board, 2003 – 2013
    • Board of Specified Jurisdiction, Vice President, 2010 – 2012
  • St. Ignatius College Prep Law Society
  • Yale University
    • Latino Alumni Board of Directors, 2015 – 2019
    • Alumni School Committee, 2000 – 2016

Industries

J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1990

B.S., Yale University, 1985