KATHLEEN CARLSON is a litigation partner in the Chicago office, primarily practicing in the areas of class action defense and commercial litigation and disputes with a focus on False Claims Act cases. Kathleen has handled a diverse range of civil litigation matters, representing business entities and individuals, at the trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts around the country.
Kathleen’s class action practice focuses on both consumer class actions and ERISA class actions. In the consumer class action space, Kathleen has defended large financial institutions, telecommunications companies, diagnostic companies and pharmaceutical companies in a wide array of class actions, including actions brought pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), as well as numerous M&A litigation matters, federal securities class actions and derivative actions. In the ERISA space, Kathleen has litigated a wide array of class action claims, including challenges to cash balance plan features, retiree medical coverage, recordkeeping claims, claims arising from fees charged by healthcare providers, breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction claims and other challenges to changes made or fees charged by health and welfare plans. Kathleen also has counseled clients in connection with investigations and inquiries brought by the Department of Labor stemming from alleged or possible ERISA violations.
Kathleen also has extensive experience at both the trial and appellate court level defending against False Claims Act matters brought pursuant to both the Federal False Claims Act and the False Claims Acts of states throughout the country. In the recent past, she has successfully defended large financial institutions, retailers, major telecommunications companies, medical supply companies and insurance companies against alleged False Claims Act violations. In connection with such defense, she has extensive experience working with regulators investigating False Claims Act violations.
In addition, Kathleen has significant experience representing clients in particularly high-profile and high-stakes litigation, including:
- Representing Elaine Wynn in litigation against Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts
- Defending a large national university at both the trial and appellate court level against religious discrimination claims; obtaining summary judgment in the university’s favor and successfully defending that judgment on appeal to the Seventh Circuit
- Defending a Fortune 50 company in an employment-related dispute brought by the company’s former CFO
Finally, Kathleen has also represented insurance companies, telecommunication companies, banks and manufacturing companies in unclaimed property (escheatment) audits and litigation.
Kathleen previously served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Wayne R. Andersen in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She earned her law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude, served as the Administrative Editor of the Elder Law Journal, President of the Women’s Law Society, Program Coordinator for the Student Bar Association and a Peer Advisor. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was captain of the Women’s Varsity Swim Team.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
- U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois - General
- U.S. District Court, E.D. of Michigan
- University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2007 (magna cum laude)
- University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2004 (cum laude)
- Wayne R Andersen, U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois (2008 - 2009)