JKarshJoshua Karsh

T. 312.604.2630
F. 312.604.2631
jkarsh@hsplegal.com
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Joshua Karsh is a Shareholder of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. He practices in the areas of labor and employment, civil rights, general commercial litigation, consumer protection, whistleblower litigation, appeals, insurance coverage and all manner of statutory and common law fraud litigation, with a substantial focus on class action and multi-party complex cases. Mr. Karsh joined the firm in 1999.

Before joining HSPRD, Mr. Karsh worked at Plotkin, Jacobs & Orlofsky and at the Law Offices of Robert D. Allison & Associates, primarily in the areas of consumer protection, securities fraud, and ERISA litigation.

EDUCATION

  • University of Chicago Law School (J.D. 1989)

  • Yale College (B.A. 1986)

JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS

  • Clerkship with the Honorable Hubert L. Will, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1989-1991)

ADMISSIONS

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Illinois (1990)

COURT ADMISSIONS

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

  • U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois – Trial Bar

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

  • Elected Member, American Law Institute

  • AV® Preeminent™ Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®

  • Leading Lawyer — Illinois Leading Lawyers Network

  • Included on the Illinois Super Lawyers® list (2014 -2017)

MEMBERSHIPS / ASSOCIATIONS

  • Member, Board of Directors, Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.

  • Member, Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program Committee

  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association

  • Member, Taxpayers Against Fraud

SPEECHES AND PRESENTATIONS

  • The False Claims Act: Combating Fraud on the Government, presentation in collaboration with the American Constitution Society (Nov. 11, 2014).

  • Trial Practice Series: The Trial of A Retaliation Case, presented by the ISBA Labor & Employment Section (Sept. 12, 2013).

  • Leveraging the Rule 26(f) Conference, presentation at the NELA Illinois Annual Conference, held at Chicago-Kent Law School (Feb. 18, 2013).


EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION

Jones v. Walgreen Co. Represented a nationwide class of women retail store management employees in a Title VII class action lawsuit against the nation’s largest drugstore chain. The settlement provided for monetary relief of $17 million, as well as an injunction requiring both objective criteria for pay and promotions decisions involving female managerial employees and outside review of gender equity compliance efforts.

Lewis v. City of Chicago. In this class action, HSPRD represented more than 6,000 African Americans who took and passed a hiring exam for entry-level firefighter positions in the Chicago Fire Department and then were wrongfully denied the opportunity to be considered for employment by the City. The trial court ruled that the City’s method of hiring bore no demonstrable relationship to the relative skills or abilities of candidates for the position and that it disproportionately excluded African Americans, making it more than 5 times more likely that a white candidate rather than an African American would be hired. The City’s practice was, as the trial court called it, “a manifest violation of Title VII,” our nation’s core federal guarantee of equal employment opportunity. We have prevailed not only at trial but also in the federal Court of Appeals and before the US Supreme Court, which issued a unanimous opinion in favor of our clients. In May 2011, the Court of Appeals directed the trial court to enter a remedial order, which will result in the hiring of 111 class members as Chicago Firefighters and payment of $78.5 million in back pay and pension contributions.

Bell v. Woodward Governor Co. Represented minority employees in a Title VII class action alleging race and national origin discrimination by a large manufacturing employer, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement. The settlement also provided comprehensive injunctive relief, including appointment of a third-party monitor and retention of workplace industrial organizational experts to create and implement non-discriminatory, job-related best practices for compensation and promotional decisions going forward.

Represented a school district employee fired after exercising his First Amendment right to support the candidate of his choice in local school board elections. The verdict in this case was one of the highest ever in a single plaintiff civil rights action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

FIRST AMENDMENT

Personal PAC v. McGuffage. In a First Amendment challenge filed on behalf of Personal PAC and two of its supporters, HSPRD obtained a permanent injunction, barring the enforcement of portions of Illinois’s campaign finance law.

PROTECTION OF OTHER WORKER RIGHTS

Ramirez-Cruz v. United States. This was a class action filed by HSPRD against the Mexican government and three Mexican national banks on behalf of thousands of Mexican workers (braceros), who worked in the U.S. as contract laborers during World War II, pursuant to diplomatic agreements between the U.S. and Mexico. HSPRD led a team of lawyers from law firms in 5 cities seeking to recover unpaid wages withheld between 1942-1946. The historic settlement not only provided compensation to our clients, but was also the catalyst for reparations programs that made additional compensation available to many more thousands of braceros who worked in the program between 1947-1962. The presiding federal judge commended HSPRD for their persistence and accomplishment, stating: “I want to tell you I’ve never seen such litigation in 11 years on the bench that was more difficult than this one. It was enormously challenging…I actually expected, to tell you the truth, at some point that the plaintiffs would just give up because it was so hard, but they never did….And, in fact, they achieved a settlement of the case, which I find remarkable under all of these circumstances.”

Chicago Teachers Union v. IELRB. Represented the Chicago Teachers Union. Obtained a reversal of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board’s position with respect to the scope of arbitrable grievances.

SCHOOL DESEGREGATION

Represented in litigation several predominately African-American school districts challenging the decision made by eleven predominately white high school districts to secede from and form a new, predominantly white high school interscholastic conference. The separation of the conferences would have effectively ended regular season competition between majority-white and majority-African-American high schools in this area. This case, one of the first to use the “effects test” provisions of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003, settled on terms that assured integrated conferences and continued regular season competition and meetings between majority-white and majority-African-American high schools.

VOTING RIGHTS

del Valle v. McGuffage. Represented Latino and African-American voters in Illinois in a class action against seven local election jurisdictions and the Illinois State Board of Election Commissioners in which HSPRD challenged the use of flawed systems of recording and counting votes. The use of these voting systems had consistently resulted in disproportionately high error rates and undercounting of votes, particularly in predominantly minority voting districts. The settlement in the case led to elimination of punch-card ballots and optical-scan voting systems, which had failed to provide error notification throughout Illinois.

ELECTION LAW

Goodman v. Ward. This was an election-law case, presenting a novel question of Illinois constitutional law regarding the contours of the constitutional requirement of residency for judicial office. The issue was whether residency is a prerequisite to running for judicial office or, instead, only to holding judicial office. The case began before a local electoral board and finished before the Illinois Supreme Court, culminating in a unanimous Supreme Court decision in favor of our client, ruling that all candidates for judicial office, and not merely eventual office holders, must satisfy the residency requirement imposed by the judicial article of the Illinois Constitution. Read case details.

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

Representing a major insurer in complex, non-Wellington asbestos coverage litigation.

Successfully defended a large, national office-supply retailer against nationwide, class action allegations of consumer fraud, obtaining resolution before discovery.

Representing a trustee in bankruptcy and seeking to recover approximately $500 million in losses incurred by a debtor corporation, through claims against the corporation’s former officers and directors for breach of fiduciary duties and the terms of a shareholder agreement.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

In re Mexico Money Transfer Litigation. This was consolidated litigation in which nationwide classes, represented by HSPRD, brought claims against the three largest money transfer companies in the United States. The suits alleged fraud by each company through their concealment of the spread between the currency-conversion fees they charged customers and their much lower actual transaction costs. The cases settled on terms that mandated transparency and facilitated price competition in exchange rates used by the money transfer industry and provided benefits worth more than $400 million to the classes of most Mexican immigrant workers, as well as $4.5 million in grants to non-governmental organizations all over the United States to serve the needs of the Mexican migrant community.

Martin v. Heinold Commodities, Inc. Represented a plaintiff investor class in a suit against a commodities brokerage firm for breach of fiduciary duty and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act; $3.5 million settlement.