Jorge V. Cazares
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, commercial litigation, employment discrimination, local governmental defense, civil rights defense, products liability, defamation, major personal injury defense, labor disputes and arbitrations, RICO, bankruptcy, litigation, and commercial real estate litigation matters. Jorge also oversees the firm's conflicts check department.
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 CHA'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 CHA, 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.
Jorge 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. Jorge was named a 2011 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United. Jorge has been selected as a Leading Lawyer from 2012-2018 by the Leading Lawyers Network.
- Secured summary judgment for national healthcare organization against claims including civil conspiracy, anti-trust and defamation.
- 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 a 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.
Service and Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
- Member, Federal Trial Bar, Northern District of Illinois
- 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 past President of the Board of Directors, Gads Hill Center
- Member, Loyola University School of Law, Alumni Board of Governors
- Member, St. Ignatius College Prep. Law Society
- Member and past President of the Board, Santa Lucia School Board of Specified Jurisdiction
- Founding Member, past Treasurer, Chicago Police Foundation
- 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