An accomplished litigator, Cara Hendrickson has extensive experience in the private and public sectors. Cara joined Massey & Gail LLP after serving as the Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Interest Division, a position she held for over five years. In that role, Cara supervised more than 60 attorneys and staff in seven bureaus: antitrust, civil rights, disability rights, public utilities, special litigation, tobacco enforcement, and workplace rights, all of which investigate and litigate cases involving serious or persistent violations of state and federal laws. She also oversaw investigations and cases involving the False Claims Act, consumer fraud, and compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, as well as legislative initiatives, policy, and inter-governmental relations. In addition, Cara led the team of lawyers and staff that litigated and negotiated the consent decree with the Chicago Police Department.
Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Cara was a partner at Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd., where she concentrated on constitutional law and commercial matters. Cara was also a Skadden Fellow for Business and Professional People for the Public Interest and a law clerk to the Honorable Ann Claire Williams, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Cara began her career as an associate at Kirkland & Ellis.
Cara serves on the Board of Advisors for the Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, and on the Board of Directors of the Public Interest Law Initiative. She was a fellow in the 2014 class of Leadership Greater Chicago. Cara graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and received her B.A. from Northwestern University.
- Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2001
- Northwestern University, B.A., cum laude, 1997
- The Honorable Ann C. Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2002-2003
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Awards, Select Presentations, and Publications
- Policing in Chicago Under the Consent Decree, Chicago Bar Association and Union League Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL (April 24, 2019)
- Ruth Goldman Award, Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, 2018
- Role Model Award, Harvard Law Society of Illinois, 2017
- The Role of State Attorneys General in Criminal Justice Reform, panelist, American Constitution Society Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. (June 7, 2018)
- Key Actors in Breaking Barriers to Justice, panelist, American Constitution Society Student Convention, Chicago, IL (March 10, 2018)
- The Rise of Title IX Litigation: Investigation, Adjudication, and Remediation of Sexual Violence on Campus, panelist, Loyola University Chicago School of Law Philip Corboy Lecture in Advocacy, Chicago, IL (October 24, 2017)
- Advancing Fair Housing Practices and Principles, faculty member, National Association of Attorneys General Conference, Kansas City, MO (April 21-22, 2016)
- Litigation in Declined False Claims Cases, panelist, Taxpayers Against Fraud Annual Conference, Washington, DC (September 16, 2016)
- Racial Desegregation and Income Deconcentration in Public Housing, 9 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol’y, 35 (2002), reprinted in Affirmative Action: Issues on Trial (Justin Karr ed. 2008).
- The Death Penalty in Massachusetts, 36 Harv. J. on Legis. 479 (1999) (co-author)
- Member of Board of Directors, Public Interest Law Initiative, 2016-present
- Member of Board of Advisors, American Constitution Society, Chicago Chapter, 2016-present
- Member of Board of Directors, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, 2012-2017
- Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, 2013-2014
- Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow, Harvard Law School, 2007-2008
- Lead team of lawyers, subject matter experts, and staff in ongoing matter related to systemic reform of Chicago Police Department. Involved in all aspects of litigation, negotiation with the City and Police Department, drafting a 229-page consent decree, outreach to dozens of community groups, and selection of independent monitor.
- Supervised and negotiated resolution of investigation of alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act in multi-billion dollar gas main replacement program, resulting in $18.5 million payment for Illinois utility consumers.
- Lead negotiator in the 2015 settlement, which resulted in requirement to provide statewide accommodations or modifications for Illinois students with disabilities in interscholastic activities.
- Represented the bankruptcy trustee of Emerald Casino in suit against former officers and directors in breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims. Following bench trial, the court awarded $272 million to our client.
- Lead attorney in successful civil rights action on behalf of victims of warrantless raid asserting constitutional and Fair Housing Act claims.
- Briefed and argued appeal in Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of 28 alderman seeking to review police records.