Who We Are
Karmel Law Firm is a national, full-service, 24/7 union-side labor law litigation firm with vast experience in this ever-changing and difficult area of the law. For more than 50 years we have represented international and local labor unions and working men and women in Chicago, the Midwest before the DOL, NLRB, federal and state courts and in class actions and arbitrations.
Jon Karmel began his career in 1982, one year after Ronald Reagan terminated the PATCO strikers. This decision unmistakably signaled the end of an era of cooperative labor-management relations that propelled American business and, in turn, created the American middle class. War was declared on unions and workers, and that war continues today. This new era defined Jon's career and forced him to think of new and creative ways to represent his clients successfully.
Jon graduated with Honors from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1978 and where he got his first taste of public employee collective bargaining as a member and activist with the Memorial Union Labor Organization (MULO), a union of University workers. Jon also studied political science at Yale University and was on law review at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
When he's not working, Jon spends his free time with his three children, travelling, writing, running and keeping up on politics.
Alex Barney joined Karmel Law Firm at as momentous a time for labor unions and workers as there has ever been. But finding a challenge to be passionate about is what makes Alex tick.
After graduating from Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, Alex attended law school at the University of Southern California. He took a year off from law school to teach civics and human rights to the Armed Forces of Liberia as part of a State Department - funded project. After law school, he became a Fellow at the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at Emory University School of Law. In addition to teaching trial advocacy skills to law students, Alex taught these skills to lawyers and judges in Liberia and Mexico, as the latter prepared for Constitutional reforms to its judicial system that required adversarial oral trials in criminal matters. Alex also worked as an election observer in Lebanon for The Carter Center. All of these experiences have prepared Alex for representing unions and workers in the United States.
When not at work, Alex does most of the things Jon does (minus the kids, plus martial arts).