FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Joel D. Bertocchi

Joel D. Bertocchi

Hinshaw & Culbertson

Chicago, IL, USA


Practice Focus and Client Representations Joel Bertocchi is an experienced criminal and appellate litigator. His background includes tours with both federal and state government, and he has litigated in courts ranging from the trial level to the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Bertocchi briefs and argues civil and criminal appeals, as well as complex motions (class certification, dismissal, summary judgment, etc.) in trial courts. He also represents individuals, groups and companies in connection with criminal and regulatory investigations, counsels them on compliance policies and related issues and conducts internal investigations in all areas, including corporate governance and employee misconduct. Mr. Bertocchi also provides strategic advice to clients, in and outside the litigation context, on the application of complex statutes and regulatory issues, including RICO and fraud.

Professional Background

Mr. Bertocchi has briefed and argued two cases in the United States Supreme Court and more than two dozen in the U.S. Court of Appeals and state supreme and appellate courts. In addition to his private practice, he has been a federal prosecutor as well as the top appellate lawyer for the State of Illinois.

Mr. Bertocchi is the Leader of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP’s Appellate Practice Group. Before joining Hinshaw, he was a partner at what is now Mayer Brown LLP, where he handled civil and criminal appeals, drafted and argued complex motions in civil and criminal cases, worked extensively with expert witnesses and provided strategic legal analysis on regulatory, fraud and RICO issues.

From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Bertocchi served as the Solicitor General of the State of Illinois, where he was the chief appellate lawyer for the State and managed a staff of 40 lawyers handling civil and criminal appeals on behalf of the State, its agencies and officials. While Solicitor General, Mr. Bertocchi also served as Vice Chair of the Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite and Reform Commission.

Before serving as Solicitor General, Mr. Bertocchi was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago. In that position he handled numerous complex appeals on behalf of the government, as well as jury trials and the supervision of federal grand jury investigations involving racketeering, private and government-related fraud, environmental crimes, public corruption and tax crimes.


Mr. Bertocchi also served as a Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and as law clerk to the Honorable Aaron E. Goodstein, United States Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

In March 2007, Mr. Bertocchi received the Diversity Helping Hand Award from the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, in recognition of his assistance to the Association in filing amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court in cases dealing with affirmative action in education. Mr. Bertocchi has also received the U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance, as well as the “Supreme Court Best Brief Award” from the National Association of Attorneys General.

Mr. Bertocchi is actively involved in a variety of professional organizations. He served on the Committee on Federal Criminal Jury Instructions of the Seventh Circuit from 1996 to 1999 and is now the Reporter for that committee. In addition, he was a member of the Committee on Federal Civil Jury Instructions of the Seventh Circuit and its Patent Subcommittee from 2002 to 2008. Mr. Bertocchi is a member of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association, a Master of the Bench of the Chicago Inn of Court and a member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers’ Association. He was a member of Hinshaw’s Diversity Committee from 2006 to 2011.

He has taught appellate practice for the U.S. Department of Justice and the National District Attorneys’ Association.

In September 2012, Mr. Bertocchi was named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the Appellate Practice category for Chicago by Best Lawyers, and since 2008 he has been selected for inclusion in the “The Best Lawyers in America®” in the area of Appellate Law. He is also a member of the Leading Lawyers Network, where he was selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in Civil Appellate Law.

In 2008 and 2009 Mr. Bertocchi was named to the Super Lawyer list in the area of general litigation, by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine. Since 2010 he has been named in the area of appellate law.
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