Joseph B. Carini, III

Joseph B. Carini, III: Attorney with Johnson & Bell, Ltd. AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


Joseph B. Carini, III is co-chair for the Construction group, concentrating in construction litigation and general negligence.

A seasoned litigator, Mr. Carini defends owners, project managers, general contractors and subcontractors in litigation involving personal injury accidents and construction-defect and design disputes. He also defends contractors and municipalities in litigation involving accidents arising out of highway construction, signage and signal maintenance.

In the case of catastrophic injuries and accident investigations, Mr. Carini serves as an emergency on-site presence. He also conducts risk-management seminars for management and workers, handles construction-related insurance coverage issues and provides contract review services.

Mr. Carini holds numerous high accolades, including being honored by Super Lawyers in 2007, an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, as well as being admitted to the Society of Trial Lawyers.

Mr. Carini is also involved with many law associations: He’s vice-chair of the ALFA Construction Law Practice Group, and belongs to the Builders Association of Greater Chicago, the International Risk Management Institute and the Construction Management Association of America. He’s also a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance and the Chicago, Illinois and American Bar Associations.


• Named to Super Lawyers in 2007, 2019

• An AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell

• Admitted to the Society of Trial Lawyers

• Leading Lawyer 2017-2019

Presentations & Publications


Modifications to Form Contract and Construction Manager’s Conduct Collapses Defense
United States Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit Affirms OSHA Citation Based on Evidence That While Considered Substantial Was Neither Precise, Actual, Nor Considerable, Johnson & Bell Construction Newsletter, Winter 2013
Important Insurance Coverage Cases for Contractors
Construction Law in Illinois - A Primer
Targeted Tenders and Horizontal Exhaustion
OSHA Increases Penalties, Johnson & Bell, Ltd. Construction Law Alert, Fall 2010
•Co-Author ALFA Construction Law Compendium


•Panelist, ALFA International Construction Seminar, Is Your Job Site Hazard Analysis Putting the Company at Risk? , July 25-27, 2018 Alberta, Canada
•Moderator, ALFA International Construction Practice Group Seminar, Undocumented Workers in the Workforce , July 27-28, 2016, Racho Palos Verdes, California
•Moderator, ALFA Construction Practice Group Seminar, Lee’ding the Way to a Greener Tomorrow: Leed V4 and its Impact On Building Design , July 30-August 1, 2015, Asheville, North Carolina
•Speaker, Pinch Hitting: Choosing the Best Expert for Your Construction Case, Spring Symposium hosted by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel and Illinois Insurance Association, Chicago, IL, April 4, 2014
•Speaker, ALFA Construction Law Practice Group Seminar, “Product Failure Claims in Construction”, July 25-27, 2012
•Speaker, “Accident Investigation Techniques Helpful to Defending Litigation”, Builders Association of Greater Chicago, Contractor Safety Forum, November 2011
•Speaker, “Selection Use and Management of Expert Witnesses”, Council on Litigation Management, July 2011
•Speaker, “Avoiding and Resolving Construction Disputes”, The International Association of Claims Professionals, June 2011
•Program Chair and Speaker, Anatomy of a Case, Chicago ALFA Seminar
•Speaker, Jury Selection from the Defense Perspective, Chicago Law Bulletin
•Speaker, “Techniques to Minimize Exposure,” ALFA Seminar on Accident & OSHA Investigation

Areas of Practice (4)

  • Complex / Catastrophic
  • Construction
  • General Negligence
  • Insurance

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(312) 984-6668  Phone
Year of First Admission:
1988, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana; U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois; 1988, Illinois; 2005, U.S. Supreme Court


•ALFA Construction Law Practice Group, vice chair

•The American Bar Association

•Midwest Regional Editor, ALFA Construction Law Compendium, 2007 and 2009

•Council on Litigation Management

•Member of the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance

•American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

•Midwest Regional Editor, ALFA Construction Law Compendium, 2007 and 2009

•Member, Council on Litigation Management

•ALFA Construction Group Steering Committee

Birth Information:
Chicago, Illinois, February 18, 1963
Reported Cases:
Representative Cases: Secured a defense verdict for an inspecting architect in breach of contract case wherein plaintiffs sought $1.7 million in damages. In this case, the plaintiffs, who were first-time developers, were converting a three-flat building into condominiums. The gut rehab was nearing completion in 2009 when the contractor left the job, and the project was never finished. Shortly thereafter, the development was foreclosed upon by the bank financing the project. The plaintiffs filed lawsuits against the general contractor and the inspecting architect, among others. The lawsuit against Mr. Carini's client alleged that the inspecting architect approved payment for work that wasn't done or was done defectively and that these approved payments led to the failure of the development project. Mr. Carini argued that the inspections were not performed for the plaintiffs' benefit and that there was no breach of contract. In addition, Mr. Carini argued that the foreclosure was caused solely by plaintiffs' conduct. After a three-week trial, the plaintiffs' counsel asked the jury for $1.7 million from Mr. Carini's client. The jury deliberated for 4 hours before returning a defense verdict.; Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a traffic signal maintenance contractor in a wrongful death case wherein the estate of the plaintiff sought $11 million in damages. The plaintiff, a 21-year-old father of a 15-month-old child, was killed in an auto collision with a semi-tractor truck that entered an intersection against a red light. One of the two red lights at the intersection was not illuminated. The lawsuit alleged that the defendant's failure to properly maintain the traffic signals contributed to causing the accident. The plaintiff also contended that the other red light was obscured by a telephone pole. The plaintiff charged that the light malfunction made the signals impossible to see which contributed to the crash, and contended that the condition existed for a lengthy period of time in violation of the defendant's maintenance contract with the State of Illinois. The plaintiff survived the crash for eight days and sought in excess of $11 million for the benefit of the child. Mr. Carini successfully argued that the sole proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the truck driver, who was not a party in the lawsuit. The jury reached a defense verdict.; Obtained a defense verdict in favor of an electric company and its contractor in a personal injury case wherein plaintiff, an electrical contractor, sought $6.4 million in damages. The plaintiff was employed as a hoisting engineer and was operating a combo front-end loader and backhoe at an excavation site for a sewer project, when he struck an object in the street, causing the vehicle to come to a sudden and violent stop. The plaintiff was ejected from his seat and catapulted into the windshield, striking his head, and his left foot went through another window. Plaintiff contended that the object the backhoe struck was an I-beam that had been installed by the defendants to brace a power vault for the electric company's underground cables at the site. The plaintiff sustained a closed head injury, post-concussion syndrome, left shoulder SLAP tear requiring surgery, and lower back injuries ultimately resulting in fusion surgery four years after the accident. The defense contended that the beam was properly installed below grade, and that the plaintiff struck another object, not that installed by the defense. The defense also argued that the plaintiff was at fault for traveling too fast for conditions, such that he was catapulted from the operator's position of his vehicle upon impact with the unknown object. Also, the defense contended that the lower back surgery was not related to the incident. The jury returned a defense verdict finding the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for causing the accident and injury.; Secured a defense verdict for a traffic signal maintenance contractor in suit brought by estate of deceased person killed crossing a street. The plaintiff contended that the timing of the pedestrian walk light was too short in violation of applicable codes. The defense contended the light was properly timed and that the accident was caused by plaintiff and driver conduct. The jury returned defense verdict.

Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

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Chicago, Illinois

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