20 South Clark Street
Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60603

Communication Center
Phone: 312-739-4200
Contact: Contact Me
Fax: 312-419-0379

Cathleen M. Combs joined the law firm of Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC in early 1991 and became a named partner in 1993.  She formerly supervised the Northwest office of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, where she was lead or co-counsel in class actions in the areas of unemployment compensation, prison law, social security law, and consumer law.  Ms. Combs has argued over fifteen cases in the 1st, 3rd and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Appellate Court.  She is a member of the Northern District of Illinois trial bar.  Ms. Combs received an Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service from the Judges of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association on May 18, 2012.  She has a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago Law School.

Cathleen is a frequent speaker on consumer law topics at various legal organizations including the Chicago Bar Association and the National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Rights Litigation Conferences. Ms. Combs is coauthor of The Bankruptcy Practitioner’s Guide to Consumer Financial Services Actions After the Subprime Mortgage Crisis (LRP Publications 2010).

Areas of Practice:

  • 25% Consumer Law
  • 75% Class Actions
  • Deceptive Trade Practices
  • RICO Act
  • Trade Regulation
  • Unfair Competition
  • Mortgages & Foreclosures
  • Foreclosures
  • Garnishment
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Secured Transactions
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Warranties
  • Race Discrimination
  • Sex Discrimination
  • Wage & Hour Laws — Employee
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act — Employee
  • Wrongful Termination — Employee
  • Wage & Hour Laws
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Complex Litigation
  • Federal Appellate Practice
  • Federal Trial Practice
  • Multidistrict Litigation
  • State Appellate Practice
  • State Trial Practice
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Residential Real Estate
  • Title Insurance
  • Collections & Repossessions

Litigation Percentage:

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:

  • Illinois, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1988


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, 1976
    • J.D.
  • University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
    • B.S.
    • Major:  Mathematics

Representative Cases:

  • Nielsen v. Dickerson, 307 F. 3d 623 (7th Circuit  2002)
  • Chandler v. American General Finance, Inc., 329 Ill. App.3d 729, 768 N.E.2d 60 (1st District 2002)
  • Miller v. McCalla Raymer, 214 F. 3d 872 (7th Circuit 2000)
  • Bessette v. Avco Financial Services, 230 F. 3d 439 (1st Circuit 2000)
  • Emery v. American Gen. Fin., Inc., 71 F. 3d 1343 (7th Circuit 1995)
  • Siwulec v. J.M. Adjustment Servs., LLC, 465 Fed. Appx. 200 (3rd Circuit 2012)

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
    • Member
    • Chicago Bar Association
    • National Association of Consumer Advocates

Past Employment Positions:

  • Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, Supervisor, 1982 – 1991
  • Balbach & Fehr, Associate, 1979 – 1981