Cardelle Spangler

Chicago Office Managing Partner

Winston & Strawn LLP

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Cardelle is the managing partner of Winston’s Chicago office. Over her 20-year career as an employment litigator and advisor, Cardelle has concentrated her practice on employment relations litigation and counseling matters. She has significant experience representing clients in the medical device, pharmaceutical, food service, financial service, and transportation industries. Services Labor, Employment, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Employment Law Advice, Counseling & Training, Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation & Wrongful Termination Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Unfair Competition, Restrictive Covenants & Trade Secrets, Wage & Hour Compliance & Litigation, Government Program Fraud, False Claims Act, and Qui Tam Litigation Sectors Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices, Financial Services & Banking, Professional Services, Consumer Products, Sports Admissions Illinois Court Admissions Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Michigan, USCA – 5th Circuit, USCA – 6th Circuit, USCA – 7th Circuit Education Washington University – Saint Louis, JD, 1997 Washington University – Saint Louis, BA, 1991 Cardelle Spangler is the managing partner of Winston’s Chicago office. She has represented clients in complex class action, collective action, multi-plaintiff, and single plaintiff employment litigation. Cardelle has substantial trial experience before state and federal courts, as well as arbitrators. She has successfully defended collective action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act; class action lawsuits brought under ERISA alleging breaches of fiduciary duties against corporate and individual defendants; claims brought under ERISA for denial of benefits and discrimination; claims brought under various state and federal statutes for age, race, sex, color, religion, and disability discrimination and/or harassment; and common law and/or statutory claims for unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, and various torts. Cardelle has also conducted harassment and other investigations, drafted employment and independent contractor agreements, and conducted labor and employment training. Major Appointments In 2010, Cardelle was appointed by a federal judge to serve as compliance administrator for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Her responsibilities include(d), among other things, adjudicating employee claims of unlawful political discrimination, including awarding damages where appropriate; training the Recorder, supervisors and employees on unlawful political discrimination; monitoring and reporting on employment actions of the office; drafting an employment plan for approval by the parties and the court to ensure proper policies and procedures are established and followed to help prevent unlawful political discrimination in the office; and filing periodic public reports with the court on the office’s progress toward substantially complying with the terms of the court’s order. Experience Cardelle’s recent significant litigation matters include: Representing five members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) in a landmark action before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the U.S. Soccer Federation of wage discrimination on the basis of gender. The matter helped garner the firm the designation of ‘Law Firm of the Year’ for Sports Law in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms. Successfully prosecuting motions for temporary injunctive relief on behalf of major pharmaceutical and medical device company. Achieving substantial victory for a medical device company in a jury trial in federal court against claims of sex and pregnancy discrimination. Successfully defending a major restaurant chain against allegations of minimum wage, overtime and pay stub violations under the FLSA and Illinois state law. Prevailing on a motion to dismiss all claims against the independent fiduciary to a major airline’s ERISA-covered plans in a class action lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA. Successfully defending a major airline in a two-week jury and bench trial in federal court against claims of retaliatory discharge. Achieving substantial victory for consulting firm in a three-week jury trial in state court against tort and discrimination claims. Honors & Awards Cardelle was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® as the 2021 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in Litigation-Labor and Employment. She has also been recognized in the 2022 and 2023 editions of The Best Lawyers in America®. She has been selected as a 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 Illinois ‘Super Lawyer.’ She was recognized as a “Labor & Employment Star” in the 2020 edition of Benchmark Litigation. She was also selected as a 2016 ‘Leading Woman Lawyer’ by Law Bulletin. Cardelle was selected as a 2015 Illinois Super Lawyer and an Illinois ‘Rising Star.’ In addition, Cardelle was selected as a 2015 ‘Leading Lawyer’ by Law Bulletin. In February 2022, Cardelle was among the team of lawyers named as runners-up for ‘Litigator of the Week’ by The American Lawyer for their representation of current and former members of the U.S. Women’s National Team in their landmark settlement of the equal pay portion of their lawsuit seeking to equalize pay and working conditions between the men’s and women’s U.S. national soccer teams. Most recently, Cardelle was honored as a Top Woman in Law by The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine, and named to the 2022 list of Notable Women in Law by Crain’s Chicago Business. Activities Cardelle is a member of the firm’s Associate Evaluation Committee. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Academy of Urban Schools Leadership. Credentials Cardelle received a B.A. in Psychology from Washington University in 1991 and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law in 1997, where she was a member of the Washington University Law Quarterly.

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