Charlie Wysong has been practicing law for a relatively short time. That hasn't stopped him from earning several major victories for his clients. And some of these victories have advanced the law that fights fraud and discrimination.
Some examples? He earned a $13 million settlement litigating for a physician whistleblower in a False Claims Act in which the government declined to intervene. Wysong also won a unanimous victory for a whistleblower in a case that reached the Illinois Supreme Court and upheld a key Illinois statute against insurance fraud.
Wysong advocated for five women who were excluded from working as paramedics for the City of Chicago Fire Department because of discriminatory physical tests. The City changed the tests and he recovered more than $10 million for his clients.
While these results are impressive, they aren't surprising to Wysong's peers. They say that no one works harder than Wysong, is more committed to his clients or is more passionate about fighting injustices.
"Charlie is a highly creative lawyer using whistleblower, anti-discrimination and other laws to achieve results for clients," said Chirag Badlani, executive director of the Alphawood Foundation, a Chicago non-profit that awards grants to organizations in and around Chicago.
Badlani pointed to Wysong's work representing a youth hockey player who was expelled by her hockey team because of a mental health condition. Wysong secured the student's return to hockey and recently an appellate court ruling that sports teams cannot discriminate against their players in the first club-sports case under Illinois discrimination laws.
Wysong has also represented and counseled hundreds of students from early childhood programs through higher education in disability accommodation, discrimination, and discipline cases without having a single client expelled.
Steve Levin, founder and senior partner at Chicago law firm Levin & Perconti, is working with Wysong now on a class-action lawsuit to improve the care of residents in nursing homes. He said he has been impressed by Wysong's legal skills, work ethic and ability to draft creative solutions.
"Charlie has been an instrumental part in this case and is very organized and thorough," Levin said. "He has a track record of using a creative lawyering approach to paint a story when advocating for his clients. He has exhibited a maturity way beyond his years and I look forward to seeing him continue to grow as an attorney."
Juliet Berger-White, former deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer for the Office of Governor J.B. Pritzker, has also been impressed with Wysong's work. She pointed to a case in which Wysong represented a Nevada whistleblower who was fighting hospice fraud. Wysong earned a successful Fair Claims Act settlement for this client as part of a $54 million global settlement with a healthcare provider.
"Charlie has many unique and exceptional lawyering skills, all of which make him a perfect candidate for this award," Berger-White said.
When not fighting for his clients as a partner at HSPRD, Wysong doesn't hesitate to volunteer his time for his profession and community. He is a board member and co-chair of the Professional Development committee for the National Employment Lawyers Association of Illinois.