Kathleen C. Chavez is a founding partner of Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC.
Ms. Chavez earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1998 from Northwestern University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University in 1995. She was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1998 and is admitted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, the Federal Trial Bar and the Federal Court of Claims. Ms. Chavez has also been admitted pro hac vice in numerous cases nationwide. She has extensive litigation experience in multi-district litigation (“MDL”), federal and state civil litigation, class action litigation, arbitrations (including class and multi-plaintiff) and litigation before administrative tribunals, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Ms. Chavez is an accomplished trial attorney who has extensive experience in all aspects of complex civil litigation including such tasks as: case investigation, pleadings, discovery, e-discovery, document review, motion practice, trial (including class action), appeals and mediation/settlements. Her practice is focused on complex civil cases (including class, multi-plaintiff, mass tort and individual) involving competition, consumer fraud, unfair trade practices, environmental, technology, trademark, qui tam, civil rights, breach of contract, Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), employment, wage and hour, insurance and other state and federal statutory and common law claims. Ms. Chavez is a certified arbitrator, mediator and American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) Employment Panel Arbitrator. Ms. Chavez is involved in numerous professional organizations and is a speaker at conferences and seminars on topics such as alternative dispute resolution, mediation, class arbitration and employment law litigation. She has spent her career advocating for the rights of plaintiffs, including infants, children, individuals, employees and governmental entities, who have been injured or suffered loss due to fraud, deception, unfair competition, discrimination, harassment, illegal pay practices, environmental contamination, breach of contract, defective products, automobile accidents and a host of other injustices.
Ms. Chavez frequently serves in leadership roles, on committees and as a team member in some of the most challenging and transformative complex civil litigation nationwide. Ms. Chavez has utilized her diverse experience and unique background to consistently provide invaluable contributions in cases that require the cooperation and collaboration of multiple plaintiffs’ counsel. Whether as a leader or a team member, Ms. Chavez consistently offers an unparalleled level of advocacy, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to her clients. Recoveries from the cases in which she has been involved (including verdicts, judgments and settlements) exceed $7 billion dollars and involve a diverse range of complex civil claims, for example:
- In Tipsword v. I.F.D.A. Services, Inc., et al., served as lead counsel for the consumer class in resolving a $58 million dollar claim, before Judge G. Patrick Murphy of the Southern District of Illinois, for damages occasioned by the collapse of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association Pre-Need Trust.
- Havlish v. bin Laden, Docket No. 03-MDL- 1570 (S.D. NY): counsel for surviving families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers. Plaintiffs obtained a $6 billion dollar judgment. The Court found the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khameni, the former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and other Iran Agencies and instrumentalities all materially aided and supported al Qaeda before and after 9/11.
- In In Re Managed Care Litigation MDL 1344, before Judge Frederico Moreno of the Southern District of Florida, settlements were obtained consisting of monetary relief and significant changes in business practices valued in excess of $1 billion dollars. The class consisted of physicians and medical associations and the claims (civil conspiracy in violation of RICO were brought against nine of the largest managed care companies in the United States.
- Westgate Ford Truck Sales v. Ford Motor Company, Docket No. 02-CV-483526 (Ohio Cir. Ct.): served as a member of the trial team that resulted in a $2 billion dollar judgment on behalf of class of dealers who purchased medium duty of heavy duty trucks from the defendant. The case was tried as a breach of contract action alleging a systematic breach of the dealers Sales and Service Agreements which required Ford to sell products to every dealer using prices, charges and discounts that are published in advance. The class maintained Ford breached the agreement through the operation of a pricing program known as the Competitive Price Assistance Program. The Ohio Appellate Court reversed the $2 billion judgment and the case is currently awaiting a retrial.
- In Re Lupron Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 1430: served as Class Settlement Counsel in a class action against the manufacturer and marketers of the drug Lupron. The Court approved a $150 million settlement for patients, insurance companies and health and welfare benefit plans that purchased the drug. Plaintiffs successfully claimed the defendants engaged in a scheme to artificially inflate the average wholesale price. Plaintiffs maintained such claims under RICO 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and (d) as well as the consumer protection laws of 34 states.
- In Nash et al v. CVS Corporation, in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island served as Co-Lead Settlement Counsel on behalf of current and former assistant managers and assistant store managers claiming they were not properly paid overtime because they were misclassified by the company as “exempt” from federal and state overtime pay requirements. The case was brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., and similar state wage and overtime laws. The case was settled and the defendant agreed to pay up to $34 million into a fund for class member claims.
- In Re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1663: served as counsel to a class of plaintiff policyholders who alleged the insurance brokerage firms and companies conspired with one another to allocate customers and markets resulting in artificially inflated premiums paid by policyholders. Plaintiffs brought claims under the RICO Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and (d), Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and similar state laws. To date settlements have accumulated in excess of $400 million.
- Barnes v. Canadian National Railway Company, et al.: served as Lead Class Counsel in the Northern District of Illinois and recovered $3 million and important nonmonetary relief (i.e., training, monitoring, reporting, etc.) on behalf of a class of African American railroad workers subjected to racial discrimination in the workplace. The complaint maintained the defendants’ conduct was unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 & § 1981(A).
Ms. Chavez has acted as counsel to governmental entities in the following actions:
- Representing a group of 24 states against Major Oil Companies in Qui Tam Litigation across the country.
- State of Colorado, et al, v. ConocoPhillips Company, Docket No. 12-CV-0451 (CO Cir. Ct.)
- State of Montana, et al, v. BP plc, et al., Docket No. DDV-2011-193 (MT Cir. Ct.)
- State of South Dakota, et al, v. BP plc, et al., Docket No. 10-257(S.D. Cir. Ct.)
- DeKalb County, et al. v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al, Docket No. 3:12-cv-50227 (N.D. Ill.)
Ms. Chavez has served as counsel in many complex, class action and MDL matters, including but not limited to:
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences v. GoDaddy.com, Inc., Docket No. 10-CV-3738 (C.D. CA)
- Amft v. United States Dep’t of Transp., EEOC Case No. 210-2004-00139X (2004)
- Barnes v. Canadian National, Docket No. 04 C 1249 (N.D. Ill.)
- Bolden v. Walsh Construction Company, Docket No. 06-cv-4104 (N.D. IL)
- Byas, et al. v. Union Pacific Railroad, Docket No. 06-CV-475 (S.D. IL)
- Carter v. Allstate, Docket No. 02 L 717 (Ill. Cir. Ct.)
- Douglas Powers and Suzan McCarthy, et al., v. U.S. Department of Transportation, Agency, EEOC Case Nos. 210-2002-6091X
- Dremak, et al. v. Groupon, Inc., Docket No. 11-CH-876 (Ill. Cir. Ct.)
- Dunkle, et al. v. IFDA Services Inc., et al., Docket No.: 08-L-682 (Ill. Cir. Ct.)
- Gennusa, et al. v. Lakewood Homes, Inc., Docket No. 08-L-46 (Ill. Cir. Ct.)
- Havlish v. bin Laden, Docket No. 03-MDL- 1570 (S.D. NY)
- In Re Google AdWords Litigation, Docket No. 08-CV-03369 (N.D. CA)
- In Re Sears Roebuck & Co. ERISA Litigation, Docket No. 1:02-cv-08324 (N.D. Ill.)
- Lincoln Adventures, LLC v. Those Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, Docket No. 2:08-cv-00235-CCC-PS
- Love, et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, et al., Docket No.: 03-CV-21296 (S.D. FL)
- McManus, et al. v Countrywide Financial Corp., et al., Docket No. 09-CV-1705 (N.D. Ill.)
- Potts, v. United Parcel Service, Inc., Docket No. 07-cv-3949 (N.D. Ill.)
- Tipsword v. Merrill Lynch, et al., Docket No. 3:09-CV-00390 (S.D. Ill.)
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., v. Gonnella Baking Co., No. 08-CV-5240 (N.D. Ill.)
- United States of America ex. rel. Mark Eugene Duxbury et al., v. Ortho Biotech Products, L.P., Docket No. 03-CV-12189-RWZ (D. Mass.)
- UBID, Inc. v. The GoDaddy Group, Inc., and GoDaddy.com, Inc., Docket No. 1:09-CV-02123 (N.D. Ill.)
- Vennett, et al. v. American Intercontinental University, et al., Docket No. 05-CV-4889 (N.D. Ill.)
- Vulcan Golf, LLC, et al. v. Google Inc., Docket No. 07-CV-3371 (N.D. Ill.)
- Westgate Ford Truck Sales v. Ford Motor Company, Docket No. 02-CV-483526 (Ohio Cir. Ct.)
- Whitworth, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Docket No. 00CVH-08-6980 (Oh. Ct. Com. Pl.)
- In Re Air Cargo Shipping Service Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1775
- In Re Bayer Corp. Products Litigation, MDL 2023
- In Re Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation, MDL 2406
- In Re Comcast Set-Top Box Litigation, MDL 2034
- In Re Household Goods Movers Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1865
- In Re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1663, Civ. No. 04-518(FSH) (D.N.J.)
- In Re Lupron Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 1430
- In Re Managed Care Litigation, MDL 1334, 04-CV-21589 (M.D. Fla.)
- In Re Neurontin Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 1629
- In Re OxyContin Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1603
- In Re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1720
- In Re Pharmacy Benefits Manager Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1782
- In Re Pre-Filled Propane Tank Litigation, MDL 2086
- In Re RC2 Corp. Toy Lead Paint Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1893
- In Re Sulzer Hip Prosthesis And Knee Prosthesis Liability Litigation, MDL 1401
- In Re Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1997
- In Re U.S. Foodservice, Inc., Price Litigation, MDL 1894
- In Re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation, MDL 2090
Kathleen Chavez and her family were featured in an article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Areas of Practice
- Complex Civil Cases
- Consumer Fraud
- Unfair Trade Practices
- Qui Tam
- Civil Rights
- Breach of Contract
- Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Rico)
- Wage and Hour
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
- Certified Arbitrator
- Illinois, 1998
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois
- Federal Claims Court
- Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
- Juris Doctor – 1998
- Northern Illinois University, Illinois
- B.S. – 1995
- Major: Finance
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), Mediator and Employment Panel Arbitrator
Speaking Engagements and Publications
- Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine, LawPracticeCLE (January 2021)
- Advanced Employee Handbook Drafting, LawPracticeCLE (September 2020)
- Social Media & the Law: Intellectual Property, Employment and the Duty of Professionals, LawPracticeCLE (January 2020)
- Understand and Effectively Maximize Job-Protected Leave Entitlement Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended (“FMLA”); LawPracticeCLE (January 2020)
- Workplace Changes and Challenges: Hot Topics and Emerging Employment Law Issues; LawPracticeCLE (March 2019)
- Hasta La Vista v. I’ll Be Back: empowering employees to Understand and Effectively Maximize Job-Protected Leave Entitlement Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended (“FMLA”); LawPracticeCLE (March 2019)
- Drafting Employee Handbooks: Navigating the Complicated Practicality of the Employee Handbook; LawPracticeCLE (December 2018)
- Keep This Between Us: The Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine; LawPracticeCLE (December 2018)
- A Lawyer’s Guide to the Employee Handbooks; mylawCLE and Wolters Kluwer CLE Broadcast (October 2017)
- HIPAA Law for Lawyers: A Must-Know Guide to New Compliance Requirements; mylawCLE and Wolters Kluwer CLE Broadcast (September 2017)
- Understanding the Basics and Not-So-Basics of the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine; mylawCLE and Wolters Kluwer CLE Broadcast (September 2017)
- International Trademark Registration: Advantages and Disadvantages of International Registration (IR) Through the Madrid Protocol; mylawCLE and Wolters Kluwer CLE Broadcast (September 2017)
- Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environments; Kane County Bar Association CLE Presentation (May 2017)