Vedder Price

Cara J. Ottenweller


Cara J. Ottenweller is a Shareholder at Vedder Price and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment group in the Chicago office.

Ms. Ottenweller regularly counsels and partners with clients on a broad range of complex human resources and employment law issues, and offers creative, strategic, and practical solutions that align with her clients’ needs and goals. For example, she advises on topics including complicated employee onboarding, discipline, and termination issues; FMLA, ADA and other leave and accommodation scenarios; minimizing costly wage and hour mishaps and claims; sophisticated workforce restructuring efforts and reductions in force; developing and implementing enforceable restrictive covenant agreements; workplace violence prevention and response; and medical and recreational marijuana in the workplace. As part of her counseling practice, Ms. Ottenweller also regularly develops workplace policies, conducts sensitive workplace investigations, and leads engaging and interactive employment training courses for employers and employees alike.  More recently, she has helped companies navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape, including remote work issues, ensuring a safe and compliant workplace, and strategizing ways to minimize liability risks. 

While Ms. Ottenweller’s primary goal is to keep her clients out of the courtroom, she has also successfully represented and defended employers against a variety of traditional labor and employment law claims when they do arise, including federal and state litigation, administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Department of Labor and other federal, state and local agencies, and various arbitral forums.

In 2002, Ms. Ottenweller earned her Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University. She received her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2007.

Ms. Ottenweller was selected for inclusion as an “Illinois Rising Star” by Super Lawyers from 2014 to 2017. She also was selected as an Emerging Lawyer, an
affiliate of Leading Lawyers, from 2015 to 2021.

Cara J. Ottenweller



  • Valparaiso University School of Law, J.D., 2007, magna cum laude
  • Indiana University, B.A., 2002

Cara J. Ottenweller


Bar Admissions

  • Indiana, 2007
  • Illinois, 2012

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2012


  • Member, American Bar Association