​Experienced ILLINOIS Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
& CHICAGO Injury Lawyers

Deborah Weiss Fertel

Practice Areas

  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Social Security Disability
  • Workers' Compensation


Deborah Fertel has been with Katz, Friedman since 1985. Her practice focuses primarily on representing injured workers in their workers' compensation claims. She is one of the attorneys in our office who specialize in handling airline claims. Debbie has been active in promoting education on workers' compensation issues by speaking to client groups and giving seminars. Debbie is also the recent past Chair of the Workers' Compensation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and a member of several other bar associations, including the Workers' Compensation Lawyers' Association, the Women's Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Debbie also handles claims for Social Security disability benefits and has been an arbitrator for the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration system since 1990. Prior to joining Katz, Friedman, she practiced in the area of personal injury litigation where she conducted bench and jury trials.

Debbie earned her Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law. There she was a member of one of the law reviews. Debbie is admitted to practice in Illinois and before the Northern District of Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Outside of Katz, Friedman, Debbie has volunteered for many organizations including the Anti-Defamation League and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She is an avid reader and is a member of a book group. Debbie also loves spending time with her husband and her twins.


  • Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri
    • Juris Doctorate
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
    • Bachelor of Arts
    • Honors: Volunteered at an out-patient facility for chronically mentally ill adults during her senior year
    • Major: Sociology

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 1984

Professional Associations

  • Chicago Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Committee, Past Legislative Liaison
  • Chicago Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Committee, Past Chair
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association, Member
  • Cook County Mandatory Arbitration System, Arbitrator, 1990 to Present

Published Works

Representative Cases


Classes & Seminars

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Make- a -Wish foundation (serving as a wish granter), Volunteer
  • Anti-Defamation League, Volunteer
  • Feed My Starving Children, Volunteer
  • Will County Humane Society, Volunteer

Representative Clients


Past Positions

  • Missouri Department of Children and Family, Intern


Ancillary Businesses

Fraternities or Sororities

Certified Legal Specialties