Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick &  Pearson LLP
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Joseph E. Tilson
   Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP
Chicago Office
123 North Wacker Drive
Suite 1800
Chicago, Illinois 60606

Tel: 312 474 7880
Fax: 312 474 7898

Joe Tilson is a founding partner and serves as Co-Chair of the law firm of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP in Chicago, Illinois. A recognized authority in the area of labor and employment law, Joe represents employers in large scale employment litigation and labor arbitrations. In the past thirty years, he has tried over one hundred and fifty jury and non-jury cases before the full range of courts, administrative agencies and labor arbitrators. His clients include a number of the country’s largest public and private employers, and Illinois’ most prestigious universities, whom he represents in both traditional labor law matters and employment litigation. Joe is nationally known for his knowledge and success in handling large wage and hour class action cases, but he also has vast experience in collective bargaining involving large and complex bargaining units.

Joe has been recognized as one of the top labor and employment lawyers in Chicago. He was named the 2014 Chicago Employment Law “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for the second time in the last four years; he was named one of the Nation's Most Powerful Employment Attorneys by Human Resource Executive and Lawdragon; and he has consistently achieved a Tier 1 Labor and Employment ranking from Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Joe is a frequent lecturer, author and bar association leader. He regularly speaks on labor and employment issues for the American Bar Association, Practising Law Institute, Northwestern University's Corporate Council Institute, Chicago-Kent College of Law and many other educational institutions and associations. Joe is a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, and is the former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee. He currently serves on the ABA’s Council, the governing body of the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Section. Joe also serves on the Board of Managers of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

Prior to entering private practice, Joe served as Law Clerk for the Honorable Stephanie K. Seymour, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.


Joe's most recent publications include:

Labor and Employment Law 2011: The Year in Review – NU Corporate Counsel Institute
Effective Mediation in Wage and Hour Litigation – ABA Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting
Labor and Employment Law 2010: The Year in Review – NU Corporate Counsel Institute


Joe's most recent presentations include:

“Unique Ethical Issues Raised by Settling Class and Collective Action Lawsuits,” Chicago-Kent College of Law Illinois Public Sector Labor Relations Law Conference
“Ethical and Practical Issues Posed by Settling Wage and Hour Litigation,” 4th Annual ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law Conference



University of Michigan School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1979)
University of Michigan (B.A., 1976 with Highest Distinction)

Admitted to Practice:

U.S. District Courts (Northern and Central Illinois, Colorado, Eastern Wisconsin)
Court of Appeals (Third, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits)
U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Activities:

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers – Fellow and Regional Director
American Bar Association – Council Member of Labor & Employment Section; Past Chair: Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition; Past-Chair: Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee; Fair Labor Standards Act Subcommittee; Age Discrimination Subcommittee; Equal Pay Act Subcommittee.
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago – Board of Managers

Peer Recognitions/Awards:

2011 Chicago Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America
Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Tier 1 Ranking
Most Powerful Employment Attorneys by Human Resource Network and Lawdragon
Top 100 Illinois Super Lawyers
Leading Lawyers Network Illinois
Outstanding Lawyers of America
International Who’s Who of Management Labor and Employment Lawyers
Martindale & Hubbell – AV rated (highest rating for legal ability and ethics)

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