Jorge Cazares

Jorge V. Cazares

Shareholder

Jorge Cazares is a Director and Partner in Pugh, Jones & Johnson's Litigation Practice Group.  His practice includes the representation of clients (in particular, management) in contract and business disputes, products liability, defamation, major personal injury defense, civil rights, employment discrimination, labor disputes and arbitrations, local governmental defense, RICO, bankruptcy, real estate and commercial litigation matters.

Jorge rejoined the Firm after serving as General Counsel for the Chicago Housing Authority.  As the first Latino to serve as General Counsel for the Chicago Housing Authority, he oversaw all of the agency’s legal affairs and provided advice and counsel to the CHA’s Board of Commissioners, senior management and employees.  Jorge also supervised a staff of over 50 employees which included over 20 in-house lawyers who provided legal assistance on the complicated and sophisticated real estate and finance transactions involved in creating mixed income communities.  The Legal Department also represented the CHA in litigation matters, ranging from personal injury lawsuits to decades-old federal court consent decrees to providing advice and counsel on compliance with HUD and other regulatory requirements.

Jorge also served as the Chicago Housing Authority's Ethics Officer in charge of supervising compliance with the agency’s ethics policies as well as other applicable Federal and State ethics policies.  Additionally, he supervised the agency’s Office of the Inspector General, which investigated reports of possible fraud and waste of CHA’s resources by the agency’s employees, residents or contractors.  He also supervised the agency’s ADA compliance department as well as its One-Strike Program.  Jorge currently serves as the CHA's Ethics Officer and EEO Officer.

Prior to his tenure at the Chicago Housing Authority, Jorge practiced at Pugh, Jones & Johnson since 1992.  He has tried various jury and bench trials and has argued before the United Stated Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Court of Appeals.

Experience

  • Representation of transportation company in qui tam complaint asserting various claims under the False Claim Act and the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act. 
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of Fortune 500 manufacturer into allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination by various female employees.
  • Representation of commuter rail line in F.E.L.A. matters before the United States District Court and Illinois state courts.
  • Representation of major petroleum entity in eminent domain matters in Cook and surrounding counties.  As former Special Assistant Attorney General, he also represented the State of Illinois in prosecuting eminent domain matters for various State of Illinois entities including IDOT.
  • Secured summary judgment for client in gender and race discrimination case wherein plaintiff alleged that he was passed over for promotion, disciplined and terminated because he was an African-American male.
  • Defense of major not-for-profit 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 extraordinary relief is rare­ly granted without notice due to the high burden imposed by courts before summary seizure of the property can be justified.
  • Represented global law firm in defense of legal malpractice and related claims arising from the firm’s representation of a hedge fund and its related entities alleging that the firm’s failure to structure, draft and negotiate required loan and security agreements caused it irreparable harm.  Plaintiffs alleged that as a result of the firm’s failures, they never received a legal, valid and enforceable interest in the collateral and consequently suffered losses in excess of $146 million.  The matter settled just prior to impaneling a jury.

Mr. Cazares has participated as a panel member in various professional organizations.  He has received several awards and has been recognized for his work for various charitable organizations.  Mr. Cazares was named a 2011 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. Mr. Cazares has been selected as a Leading Lawyer from 2012-2016 by the Leading Lawyers Network.

Service and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
  • Member, Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois
  • Member, St. Ignatius College Prep. Law Society
  • Arbitrator, Cook County Mandatory Arbitration Program
  • Member, Yale University Alumni School Committee
  • Member, Yale University Latino Alumni Board
  • Member, Loyola University Latino Alumni Board (Past President)
  • Member and President of the Board of Directors, Gads Hill Center (Past President)
  • Member, Loyola University School of Law, Alumni Board of Governors
  • Member and President of the Board, Santa Lucia School Board of Specified Jurisdiction
  • Founding Member, Treasurer, Chicago Police Foundation

Publications

  • Contributor, Seventh Circuit Writer; Newsletter on Pretrial Practice & Discovery, ABA Section of Litigation, Committee on Pretrial Practice & Discovery, 1995-1997
  • Co-contributor, Bankruptcy Case Abstracts, Commercial, Banking & Bankruptcy Law, Illinois State Bar Association, Vol. 35, No. 3, April, 1991
  • Co-contributor, Bankruptcy Case Abstracts, Quarterly Report on Current Developments in Real Estate Law, ABA Section on Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Committee on Decisions, 1990-1991