Carmen D. Caruso

Principal Attorney

Carmen D. Caruso

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Carmen D. Caruso practices law because he likes to try cases, and in so doing advance his clients’ causes in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

In more than thirty years of practice, Carmen has tried nearly forty civil and criminal cases to conclusion and has won decisive, cutting edge victories and obtained multi-million dollar recoveries for plaintiffs and comparable savings for defendants.

Carmen is nationally known for his representation of franchisees and dealers, and some franchisors too. But at heart, Carmen is a trial lawyer first and a franchise lawyer second.  

Carmen’s clients appreciate his ability to align legal strategy with business goals, to “see around the corner” before issues become problems, and to think creatively to solve client concerns. He is dedicated to maximizing efficiency through the use of technology.

Most of all, Carmen is dedicated to the idea, which he learned from his mentor, a former U.S. Attorney in Chicago and one of the all-time great trial lawyers anywhere, that as lawyers we are here to make things right.

Bar Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

Illinois Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar) and multiple other federal districts.

U.S. Court of Military Appeals

Bar Associations

American Bar Association (Section of Litigation; Forum on Franchising; Forum on Communications Law)

Illinois State Bar Association

American Association for Justice


Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (J.D. 1983)

Marquette University (B.A. Psychology, cum laude, 1980); Member, Alpha Sigma Nu (National Jesuit Honor Society)

Brother Rice High School (Chicago)

Notable Affiliations

From 1985 to 1997, Carmen was an associate, and then a partner in Foran & Schultz (previously Foran, Wiss & Schultz), a nationally recognized litigation boutique that was founded by the former United States attorneys who prosecuted the Chicago Seven Conspiracy case.

From 2001 to 2008, Carmen 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.

During law school, Carmen interned for the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

“Giving Back”

Carmen gives back to the profession through his extensive contributions of time to the American Bar Association and other bar associations, and by serving as an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

In addition, Carmen is a member of the Board of Advisors for Catholic Charities of Chicago. He recently served as an officer of the Fathers Club for Mount Carmel High School, where he helped implement the father/son service project program.