Caitlyn R. Culbertson

Attorney, Elrod Friedman LLP

Caitlyn R. Culbertson

Attorney, Elrod Friedman LLP


About Caitlyn Culbertson

Caitlyn Culbertson focuses her practice on zoning, land use and municipal law. She counsels local governments on a wide range of topics including zoning, governance, and statutory compliance related to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, Illinois Open Meetings Act, Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, and Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. Caitlyn has extensive experience drafting legislation, zoning and other development approvals, as well as drafting and negotiating intergovernmental and professional service agreements. She regularly attends board and commission meetings for local government clients.

Caitlyn also works with private developers and property owners to obtain municipal approvals for real estate development projects including zoning changes, special uses, variations, annexation and development agreements, and subdivisions and planned developments. She counsels business and property owners when building, zoning, licensing, or other municipal code violations have been alleged.

In addition to her transactional work, Caitlyn has extensive litigation experience including appellate practice. She has represented both public and private sector clients in a wide range of matters including constitutional claims, breach of contract, discrimination and retaliation claims, employment disputes, ordinance violations and personal injury defense. Caitlyn has also successfully defended numerous lawsuits challenging local zoning and land use controls. Caitlyn previously served as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division.

Caitlyn is passionate about public service. After graduating from Davidson College, she spent a year working with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic. During law school, Caitlyn continued this work as a case representative for the UNC Innocence Project.


  • University of North Carolina School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • Davidson College, Bachelor of Arts
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Chicago Bar Association


  • An Inquiry Into Why Deposition Witnesses Often Talk Too Much Despite The Efforts Of Attorneys To Prevent Them From Doing So, Illinois Bar Journal, March 2020
  • A New Obstacle in Government Takings: A Look at the U.S. Supreme Court’s Recent Opinion in Knick v. Twp. of Scott, Pennsylvania, Journal of Illinois Local Government Lawyers, August 2019
  • Judicial Notice and the Rules of Evidence in the Age of Google-Based Photographs, Illinois Bar Journal, August 2018
  • Co-Authored Willis v. Jolliffe: Love and Slavery on the South Carolina-Ohio Borderlands in Freedom’s Conditions in the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands in the Age of Emancipation (Tony Freyer and Lyndsay Campbell ed., 2011)

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