Carl R. Draper

Carl Draper’s courtroom knowledge of state, municipal, and federal governmental bodies runs deep

Carl R. Draper

Judges and attorneys throughout Illinois recognize Carl Draper as a leader in administrative law. “I usually know more about an agency’s rules than the agency’s own lawyers know,” he admits. Carl led Feldman Wasser’s prosecution of the highly publicized IDOT lawsuit, successfully representing 16 Illinois Department of Transportation Employees who were fired for their political affiliation.

“That case tugged at the things that attracted me to law in the first place — civil rights matters,” says Carl. His courtroom knowledge of state, municipal, and federal governmental bodies runs deep, thanks in part to his years as an Assistant Attorney General and Legal Counsel to the Governor of Illinois.

He has become “the guy” for state employment issues, with judges, fellow attorneys, and clients referring cases to him regularly. “I really enjoy it. I’m helping a lot of people in a tough economic period.”

Because Carl is sensitive to his clients’ financial concerns, he gives upfront fixed fee quotes on standard employment, administrative, and benefits cases so that clients know exactly how much his legal services will cost. He also provides legal consultations for a small charge to individuals from the private and public sectors who want advice on employment issues.

In addition to his work in administrative, employment, and benefits law, Carl has won significant civil rights cases. Recently, he expanded his benefits practice, helping citizens to obtain unemployment compensation and other government benefits when they have been denied.

Professionalism has been an important issue for Carl. He has actively represented attorneys on ethics issues including investigations and hearings before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. He has spoken at seminars on issues that attempt to give real life guidance on the practice of law in compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct.

ISBAThe Bar Assoc. of the Central and Southern Federal Districts of ILAIC - American Inns of CourtSCBALeading LawyersRated by Super Lawyers

Phone: 217-544-3403
Fax: 217-544-1593
Email Carl Draper

Areas of Practice
Administrative Law
Civil Rights
Employment Discrimination
Litigation & Appeals

75% of Practice

Bar Admissions
Illinois, 1981

U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1982

U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1999

University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois, J.D., 1981

Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, B.S., 1976

Professional Membership
Illinois State Bar Association:
• Board of Governors 2006–12
• Administrative Law Section Council, 1988–Present, Chair 2014–15
• Law Office Economics Section Council, 1994–2006, Chair 2002–03
• Committee on Legal Technology, 2013–Present
• Standing Committee on Strategic Marketing 2006–12, Co-Chair 2006–09
• Various special committees and task force projects

Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2012–Present

Appellate Lawyers Association, 2012–Present

Lincoln-Douglas Inns of Court, 2009–Present

Bar Association of the Central and Southern Districts, Board of Directors 2006–Present

Sangamon County Bar Association, 1987–Present

Government Bar Association. 1988–Present

Central Illinois Women’s Bar Association, 2000–Present


Whitlow vs. The Illinois Department of Transportation:
Carl Draper led the FeldmanWasser team in a high profile lawsuit on behalf of 16 Department of Transportation employees fired for their Republican party affiliation. Carl gave the opening and closing arguments of the trial and examined most of the key witnesses. His work helped secure the clients compensation for their lost time and distress, reemployment with IDOT, and full payment of all their legal fees.

Carl is preeminent in the field of administrative law. He has helped numerous professionals, including attorneys, physicians, nurses, CAN’s, insurance agents and others to maintain their professional licenses from government agencies.

In a benefits discrimination case, Carl successfully pursued a class action against an insurance company that tried to cancel the life insurance policies of a group of gay customers. The life insurance company was forced to maintain the customers’ policies and offered a financial settlement that was split amongst the parties.

Carl has helped numerous families with legal disputes, including those involving child support, child custody, and divorce.

Carl successfully sued the Illinois Department of Agriculture in the widely publicized “Mongo the Steer” case. His client had raised Mongo the Steer for the Junior Grand Livestock competition at the Illinois State Fair, winning first prize. However, the client’s prize was revoked when it was found that she had administered an anti-inflammatory drug to Mongo prior to the competition. Carl argued that the Department of Agriculture had not taken adequate steps to legally adopt the rules of competition and to inform participants and the public about the rules. The Sangamon County Circuit Court and the Appellate Court agreed.

Carl has served as both Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General Neil Hartigan and Legal Counsel to Governor James R. Thompson. In these roles he acquired priceless experience defending the state’s regulatory actions against challenges from some of the best attorneys in Illinois.

Carl is considered the “go-to guy” in Illinois for state employment matters and lectures regularly on employment law to the Illinois State Bar Association, the Sangamon County Bar Association, the Bar Association of the Central and Southern Districts, and other professional groups.
Honors and Awards
Leading Lawyers
Super Lawyers

Past Employment Positions
FeldmanWasser, 1987–Present

Governor of Illinois, James R. Thompson, Counsel, 1984–1987

Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, 1982–1984

McConnell, Kennedy, Quinn & Johnston, Associate, 1981–1982