Jay Edelson

Managing Partner jedelson@edelson.com (312) 589-6375

I graduated cum laude with a degree in philosophy from Brandeis University and received my J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. I handle consumer class actions, general commercial litigation matters, and consult with start-ups.

  • On My iPod:

    Rebecca Black: Saturday

  • TV Character: Ari Gold
  • Site I Frequent: www.hoopshype.com
  • Pre-Court Ritual: Remind myself to keep it short.

Mobile Tool:


Daily Cups of Coffee:



Chicago Office

I work best during:

The Day

JAY EDELSON is the founder and managing partner of Edelson PC. He has been recognized as one of the nation's leading class action lawyers, especially in the areas of privacy, technology, and consumer advocacy. His notable cases include ones involving the national banks' suspensions of home equity lines of credit in the aftermath of the housing collapse, which resulted in the restoration of billions of dollars of consumer credit lines. He has developed much of the positive law under the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act, especially in the area of text message spam, resulting in settlements collectively worth over a hundred millions of dollars and earning him the moniker, "the Spam Slammer". Jay has been recognized as a "pioneer" in the emerging field of electronic privacy, having established key precedent in cases throughout the country and reaching some of the most important settlements in this space. In addition to complex defense-side litigation, which he handles only in select cases, Jay also offers strategic support to start-ups, including several that have become national brands.

Jay is a frequent speaker and writer on class action issues, the practice of law more generally, and training and law firm management -- the latter earning him recognition by the ABA as one of "the most creative minds in the legal industry". He is an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent School of Law, where he has taught seminars on class actions and negotiation. He writes a blog for Thomson Reuters, called Pardon the Disruption, where he focuses on ideas necessary to reform and reinvent the legal industry.

Representative Plaintiff’s Class Actions:

  • Lead counsel in over a half-dozen nationwide class action settlements collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars involving claims of unauthorized charges on cellular telephones.
  • Recognized as one of the "pioneers" of privacy class action litigation, having successfully litigated cases involving claims of privacy breaches or intrusive behavior against companies such as Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, and Sears.
  • Lead counsel on behalf of the largest adversarially certified privacy class action in the nation.
  • Lead counsel in "crptocurrency" class action case against Mt. Gox -- a virtual currency exchange that lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins.  
  • Lead counsel in numerous text message spam class actions, including a $35 million settlement involving Jiffy Lube, a $20 million settlement involving a for-profit college, a $16 million settlement involving 20th Century Fox, a $10 million settlement involving Simon & Schuster and a $7 million settlement involving the Timberland Co.
  • Successfully prosecuted class actions against the major banks for suspending home credit lines in the wake of the financial crash. Settlements restored billions of dollars in credit lines.
  • Lead counsel in $30 million class action settlement involving lead-infused Thomas the Tank Engine children’s toys.
  • Part of a U.S. and Canadian class action mediation team obtaining a $24 million settlement involving the 2008 contaminated pet food recalls.
  • Part of a team successfully representing personal injury claimants suffering from effects of second hand smoke while working at a riverboat casino.
  • Obtained an injunction preventing an insurance company from canceling the health insurance of thousands of self-employed individuals, later reaching settlement guaranteeing them insurance for the future.

Representative Commercial Litigation Matters:

  • Represented one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders in multiple putative employment class actions, resolving them at a fraction of the normal budgets established simply to defend such cases .
  • Represented leading advertising company in defense of consumer class action.
  • Successfully resolved threatened multi-million dollar class action against technology company pre-suit for nuisance value.
  • Successfully negotiated the abandonment of threatened mulit-million class action against advertising company involving digital rights.
  • In a 2-1 split decision before the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, won the dismissal of all charges against former Governor Rod Blagojevich in 9-figure civil racketeering claims on the basis of legislative immunity.
  • Successfully won multi-million dollar pre-suit settlement on behalf of technology company and its officers claiming professional negligence.
  • Successfully defended several “bet the company” cases involving commercial disputes against marketing company, all resulting in “nuisance value” type settlements.

Representative Corporate Consulting:

  • Advised start-up on host of legal issues, including reformulating their business plan to ensure compliance with myriad state regulatory schemes. Company later became recognized as one of the fastest growing businesses in Chicago.
  • Consulted with successful mid-west technology company, also recognized as one of the fastest growing in the area.
  • Consulted with health care company, including help with product launch and negotiation of licensing agreement.
  • Consultant on several tech start-ups, providing legal and strategic advice, including helping to secure VC funds.

Awards and Honors:

  • Named to Top 100 Trial Lawyers, by the National Trial Lawyers, 2013
  • Selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Benchmark Litigation: Top Illinois Plaintiff class action lawyer, 2013, 2014
  • Named one of the top 40 Illinois attorneys under 40 by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin's 2009. In that award, Jay was heralded for his history of bringing and winning landmark cases and for his “reputation for integrity” in the “rough and tumble class action arena.” In the same award, he was called “one of the best in the country” when it “comes to legal strategy and execution.”
  • Included in the American Bar Association’s “24 hours of Legal Rebels” program, where he was dubbed one of “the most creative minds in the legal profession” for his views of associate training and firm management.
  • Presented with the Annual Humanitarian Award for his “personal integrity, professional achievements, and charitable contributions” by the Hope Presbyterian Church.


  • Adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Class Action Litigation and Negotiation Seminar.
  • Guest lecturer at Northwestern University Law School and The John Marshall Law School on consumer and class action issues.
  • Faculty for The Sedona Conference Cooperation Training Program (Feb. 21-22, 2014) (clinical training on negotiation and cooperation techniques) .


  • Appeared on dozens of local, national, and international television and radio programs, including ABC World News, CNN, Your World With Neil Cavuto, Big Story with John Gibson, CBS Radio and NPR.
  • Appeared in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and other publications.
  • Nicknamed the “Spam Slammer” in Chicago Sun-Times’ front- page cover article after reaching the first ever class action settlement for text message spam.

Public Speaking:

  • Panelist for National Association of Attorneys General 2014 Spring Consumer Protection Seminar; "Data Breach and Privacy Panel" (May 19, 2014)
  • Panelist for Perrin Webinar:  "Sports Concussion Litigation- Latest NCAA and High School Research, Developments and Findings" (May 14, 2014)
  • Panelist for Law Seminar International's Conference on Technology Law: "Plaintiff's Perspective on the Use of Big Data Class Actions as a Privacy and Security Enforcement Tool" (Dec. 12, 2013).
  • Panelist for Law Seminar International's Conference on Litigating Class Actions: "Evolving Issues in Privacy Class Actions" (Dec. 10, 2013).
  • Panelist for Pennsylvania Bar Institute seminar: "The FCC Cracks Down on Telemarking Again. The Regulatory and Litigation Climate of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act" (Dec. 10, 2013).
  • Panelist for the NCLC Class Action Symposium: "Data Privacy Class Action Session" (Nov. 10, 2013).
  • Panelist for The Sedona Conference on Cyber Liability (participated in three panels:"Private Data Breach Incidents," "Telecommunications & The Internet," and "Pushing the Boundaries of Cyber Liability") (Oct. 24-25, 2013).
  • Panelist for NetDiligence 2013 Cyber Risk & Privacy Liability Forum - West Coast: "Data Breach Litigation Update." (Oct. 10, 2013).
  • Panelist for ABA Dispute Resolution Conference: "Getting Arbitration Back on Track." (April 5, 2013).
  • Panelist for PLI's conference: "Defending Privacy and Behavioral Advertising Class Action Suits 2013: What Every Litigator and In-House Lawyer Needs to Know." (January 22, 2013).
  • Panelist discussing privacy class actions during for American Bar Association's 16th Annual National Institute on Class Actions (October 25, 2012).
  • Panelist for ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law's "Conference on Internet Privacy, Social Networks and Data Aggregation" (March 23, 2012).
  • Panelist for Chicago-Kent College of Law’s “Class Dismissed? How the Supreme Court's Recent Decisions Have Shifted the Balance Between Individuals and Corporations” (November 2, 2011).
  • Panelist for Daily Deal Media Conference 2011, Roundtable on Legal Landscape of the Daily Deal Industry (September 8, 2011).
  • Panelist for Chicago Bar Association’s Committee on Cyber Law and Data Privacy, Seminar on Consumer Privacy (June 10, 2011).
  • Co-chair of CLE International’s 2011 national multi-day conference on consumer class actions (May 12-13, 2011).
  • Co-chair of CLE International’s 2010 national multi-day conferences on consumer class actions (June 14-15, 2010).
  • Panelist for Law Seminar International’s “Trends in Federal Circuit Class Certification Rulings” (Nov. 4, 2010).
  • Panelist at Decalogue Society of Lawyers’ Symposium on “Representing Celebrity Clients” (Jan. 28, 2010).
  • Panelist at DePaul University College of Law & The International Institute for Animal Law’s symposium, “How Much is Fido/Fluffy Worth? Animal Valuation Issues Raised by the Pet Food Recall and Other Litigation” (Oct. 25, 2007).


  • "What's Past is Prologue: Snowden Leaks, New Domains, Global Jockeying For Internet Governance Role Still Dominate Cyberlaw Hot Topics in 2014," Bloomberg/BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report, Feb. 3, 2014 (contributor).
  • "Pardon the Disruption," Thomson Reuters Legal Blog, Nov. 7, 2013 through present.
  • "The ATL Interrogatories: 10 Questions with Jay Edelson from Edelson PC," Above the Law, Oct. 16, 2013.
  • "Beyond the Ping Pong Table: Lessons for Lawyers From Startup Companies," National Law Journal, Sept. 30, 2013.
  • "End the Summer Associate Sideshow (and Start Treating Them Like the Almost-Lawyers They Are)," Bloomberg Law, Aug. 21, 2013.
  • "Cbyerlaw Predictions:  Privacy Litigation in the United States," Bloomberg/BNA, Jan. 2, 2013 (contributor).
  • Preventing Your Daily Deals From Becoming Permanent Targets, Daily Deal Media, 2012 Daily Deal Industry Report.
  • "Nine Mistakes Companies Make In Defending Themselves Against Consumer Class Action Lawsuits," Law360 (Jan. 2011).
  • "Trust Young Lawyers and They Won’t Let You Down," ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels – Remaking the Profession (Oct. 15, 2009).
  • "The YouTube Generation: Implications for Medical Professionalism," Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 51, No. 4 (2008), pp. 517-524 (Contributor).