Carmen D. Caruso

Principal Attorney

Carmen D. Caruso

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Carmen Caruso is a nationally recognized trial and appellate lawyer who has been named to Best Lawyers, Illinois Leading Lawyers and Illinois Super Lawyers, among other honors.

He is nationally known as an advocate for franchisees and dealers in addition to maintaining a general commercial litigation and arbitration practice. His cases have frequently attracted media attention, and he is often asked to speak before bar associations and trade associations on litigation and alternative dispute resolution topics.

Caruso earned his reputation by taking tough cases and getting good results. For nearly thirty years, he has litigated difficult and complex cases on behalf of clients that have included some of America’s largest companies as well as franchisees and dealers, other small and mid-size businesses, and numerous individuals. He has tried numerous cases to verdict and has recovered millions of dollars for his clients in plaintiff cases, as well as saved hundreds of millions of dollars for defense clients.

Prior to establishing his own firm, Caruso was a litigation partner in the mid-size Chicago law firm Schwartz Cooper Chartered where he established and served as the chair of the firm’s franchise and distribution practice group.

Caruso was also a partner in Foran & Schultz, a nationally recognized litigation boutique that was founded by the former United States attorneys who prosecuted the Chicago Seven Conspiracy case. While at Foran & Schultz, Caruso gained valuable trial experience in both civil and criminal cases. He worked on numerous high-profile matters, including the defense of a former Illinois governor, and many high-stakes civil cases, including the defense of the world’s largest franchisor in a trade secrets case in which the plaintiff was seeking damages exceeding $200 million.

Caruso also serves as an arbitrator and mediator. In 2012 he was named by the American Arbitration Association to its roster of neutrals for complex, commercial and franchise arbitration.


Caruso, a Chicago native, graduated with honors and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marquette University in 1980, and in 1983 received his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago. While at Loyola, Caruso won the American Jurisprudence Award in antitrust law, was featured in the Law Review, served as a street law/mock trial instructor in a Chicago public high school, argued and won a federal court appeal, and served as an extern for the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He later obtained a master’s advocate certificate from the prestigious National Institute of Trial Advocacy (N.I.T.A.)

Bar Admissions

Carmen D. Caruso is admitted to the Illinois Bar, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Military Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and numerous federal district courts, including the Northern District of Illinois, where he has been a member of the Trial Bar for nearly twenty years.

Caruso has also been admitted pro hac vice for single case appearances in state and federal courts across the country.

Bar Associations

Caruso is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. He is also a member of the National Jesuit Honor Society Alpha Sigma Nu, the Board of Advisors for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and member of the Union League Club of Chicago. Caruso is active in the Chicago Chapter of Marquette University Alumni and recently served as an officer of the Mount Carmel High School Fathers Club.