Joseph A. Cancila Jr.

Partner

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Direct:  312.471.8750
Fax:  312.471.8701
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Known both as a gifted leader and a consummate team player, Joe Cancila is a highly regarded, experienced and tenacious litigator who has dedicated his career to defending clients in complex commercial class actions. He is a creative strategist and a thorough investigator—two qualities that make him a worthy adversary in and out of the courtroom. And as the leader of many practice teams, he has mastered the art of working collaboratively with co-counsel to untangle, analyze and successfully resolve challenging and complicated legal problems.

Joe has received national and state recognition for his defense practice, having brought dozens of class-action cases to successful resolution in jurisdictions widely dispersed throughout the country. But he’s also equally adept at resolving matters through mediation and negotiated settlement. He has successfully defended antitrust, complex commercial litigation, insurance bad faith, trade secret and fair housing litigation, among others.

While he was born in St. Louis, Joe grew up in Dayton, Ohio and then moved to Chicago, where he has lived for the last 30 years. He is a voracious reader, a huge Bulls fan, eats almost nothing other than Italian food (red sauce please!), and is a doting grandfather to a growing brood of grandkids.


  • Education

      • University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1986, with honors, Member, The University of Chicago Law Review
      • Syracuse University, M.P.A., 1976
      • University of Dayton, B.A., 1974, with high honors

    Bar Admissions

      • Illinois
      • Pennsylvania
      • U.S. Supreme Court
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
      • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
      • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
      • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
      • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
      • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Professional Memberships

    • American Bar Association

    • Chicago Bar Association

    • Illinois State Bar Association

    • International Association of Defense Counsel

    Honors & Awards

    • Best Lawyers in America, U.S. News & World Report (2006-2010, 2012-2016)

    • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin's Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2006-2009, 2012-2015)

    • Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2008-2017)

    • Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners (2008)

    Speeches & Presentations

    • Joe has spoken on class action and fair housing topics.