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300 S. Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago IL 60606
TEL: 312.786.6510
FAX: 312.986.9192
Practice Areas
Education
  • J.D., Duke University School of Law, 2005
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2000 (international relations, economics)
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court of the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Mississippi
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Abizer Zanzi

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Abizer is committed to helping employers find practical solutions to workplace challenges.  An experienced trial and appellate advocate, a heavy portion of Abizer’s practice is devoted to defending companies, higher education institutions and public entities in disputes concerning employment discrimination, reasonable accommodation, retaliatory discharge, unfair labor practices, labor-management relations, employee mobility and other issues concerning the employment relationship.  He also regularly provides preventative counseling and advice to employers on personnel matters and compliance with federal and state employment laws. 

Abizer started his career at Latham & Watkins LLP in Chicago and then served as a law clerk for the Honorable Philip P. Simon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, before joining the Firm.  In law school, Abizer was the editor-in-chief of the Alaska Law Review and was on the Duke Moot Court Board.

Abizer speaks regularly on a variety of emerging labor and employment issues, and has recently given presentations on FMLA, retaliation, trade secrets, electronic discovery and USERRA.  Since 2007, Abizer has been co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section’s Labor and Employment Committee.  He also serves on the Executive Committee of the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of North America as the Vice President of the 2014 National Convention, and is active in SABA’s local chapter, the Indian American Bar Association of Chicago.

Abizer is committed to public service.  He has represented pro bono clients in wrongful conviction, fair housing and asylum cases.  In 2001, Abizer spent a summer volunteering for a human rights organization in Delhi, India.  He also volunteers in the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago’s “Lawyers in the Classroom” program.

In addition to practicing law, Abizer enjoys playing tennis and traveling.  Prior to graduating from law school, he spent time studying abroad in Shanghai, China and working as a summer associate for a U.S. law firm in Tokyo, Japan.

Representative Experience  click to view

  • Successfully defended Chicago Board of Education against motions to enjoin plans to close 49 underutilized elementary schools (Swan/McDaniel v. Chicago Board of Education, Aug. 2013).
  • Obtained summary judgment of race and gender, retaliation and state law claims filed by university’s former director of human resources (Feb. 2013).
  • Achieved favorable settlement of claims by current and former employees of university asserting a variety of race and disability discrimination and retaliation allegations including harassment, failure to train and promote, unlawful reduction-in-force and failure to rehire (Jan. 2013).
  • Defended college in a trial before the National Labor Relations Board involving a allegations of failure to effects bargain and bargain in good faith, retaliation and disparate enforcement of policies (Nov. 2012).
  • Obtained early dismissal of public sector entity from lawsuit alleging breaches and tortious interference with collective bargaining agreement (Healey v. Local No. 134 of IBEW, et al., Sept. 2012).
  • Obtained summary judgment of gender discrimination and retaliation claims where court ruled that plaintiffs did not file good faith EEOC charges that amounted to protected activity (Scholl, et al. v. Education Management Corporation, et al., Sept. 2012).
  • Obtained early dismissal of reverse race discrimination claim where federal court ruled that plaintiff did not allege facts amounting to an actionable discrimination claim, and state court ruled on remand that plaintiff's state law claims were barred by statute of limitations (Pazur v. Target Corporation, June 2012).
  • Obtained favorable decisions from federal court of appeals and state supreme court holding that public school board did not violate due process rights of tenured teachers during economic layoffs (Chicago Teachers Union v. Chicago Board of Education, Apr. 2012).
  • Obtained summary judgment, and affirmation on appeal, of race discrimination and retaliation claims by current employee (Keeton v. Morningstar, Jan. 2012).
  • Defended company and employees against claims of trade secret misappropriation and tortious interference with business expectancy involving extensive discovery relating to allegations of lost business and profits.  Favorable settlement achieved during discovery (Jan. 2012).

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