Chicago Lawyer 40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty : Page 41

AGE 37 "In each case, he has risen to leadership positions.” JAY EDELSON Jay Edelson, 37, rapidly advanced to the head of the class in class action litigation. Edelson founded a plaintiff's class action firm four years out of law school, after training at several prominent Chicago firms. Edelson’s early successes came at the hands of internet companies and health clubs, culminating in a settlement of Pulcini v. Bally Total Fitness, which provided the class with more than $40 million in benefits. By 2007 he joined forces with a New York firm to become the founder and managing partner of KamberEdelson, which now boasts 18 attorneys and three offices, with a fourth opening soon. Ed Kraus, associate professor of clinical practice at Chicago-Kent College of Law, has followed Edelson's career. The two first crossed paths when Kraus was departing a law firm Edelson was joining. Kraus says Edelson has increasingly taken on more significant and high-profile class actions. "In each case, he has risen to leadership positions – virtually every time being designated the lead negotiator and strategist even among teams of lawyers with decades more experience," says Kraus. Kraus attributes some of Edelson's success to his management. His dynamic firm operates more like a start-up tech company than a traditional law firm, Kraus says, with casual dress and Wii entertainment. Attorneys enjoy tremendous autonomy and can earn substantial bonuses when the firm excels. "Jay spends a disproportionate amount of time training the younger attorneys so they can take large roles in cases as early as possible," Kraus says, thus giving them an incentive to be engaged in cases and in the firm's future. Edelson's past has been filled with success. Just last year, in a case filed in Cook County, Illinois involving the much-publicized lead paint Thomas the Tank toy recalls, Edelson was lead counsel in a $30 million nationwide settlement. He has also reached settlements valued collectively at over $100 million in cases claiming that mobile content charges were passed on to consumers’ cell phone bills without authorization. "He is an exceptional lawyer – one to be emulated – especially in the often rough and tumble class action arena," says Gino L. DiVito of Tabet, DiVito & Rothstein. After stepping down from the bench, the retired judge met Edelson during the Bally class action litigation. DiVito claims Edelson's research, writing and oral argument skills are exceptional, as is his reputation for integrity. Edelson has been asked to weigh in on federal and state legislation involving his cases. He testified to the U.S. Senate about the largest pet food recall in the country's history and is advising state and federal politicians on consumer issues relating to the recent federal bank bailouts and technology and privacy concerns, such as those involving mobile marketing and cellular telephony. Adding to the diversity of his practice, Edelson also advises major labor unions and Hollywood financiers. Recently he was chosen by former Governor Rod Blagojevich to lead his civil litigation efforts and to assist in his upcoming criminal trial. As Blagojevich’s team explained in announcing Edelson’s addition, “when it comes to legal strategy and execution, Jay is simply one of the best in the country.” Edelson has been involved in numerous other prominent class actions, including the Kindle controversy involving two George Orwell books, and lawsuits arising from text message spamming, where he secured the first two such settlements under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"), the first which earned Edelson the nickname of “The Spam Slammer” in a cover article by the Chicago Sun-Times, and the second a $7 million dollar settlement involving the Timberland Company. Another one of this text message cases resulted in the first federal appellate court decision affirming the applicability of text messages to the TCPA. Edelson has guest-lectured at the Northwestern University and John Marshall law schools. He collaborates with the University of Chicago Medical Center and the Pritzker School of Medicine on Internet and legal and medical ethics issues. He has also taken part in CLE panels at the Chicago Bar Association and DePaul University. 40 Under 40 · 2009 41 LAW SCHOOL University of Michigan Law School SPECIALITY Class Actions Technology Litigation KamberEdelson, LLC 350 N. La Salle, Suite 1300 Chicago, IL 60654 T 312.589.6370

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