ADR Systems

Neutrals

Hon. F. Keith Brown, (Ret.)

Hon. F. Keith Brown, (Ret.)

Illinois

Hon. F. Keith Brown, (Ret.), former Chief Judge of Kane County, has extensive experience in settling personal injury, workers’ compensation and other civil matters.  As a mediator, Judge Brown is known for his keen ability to easily connect with people and promote productive communications between all parties.  In addition to more than 200 jury trials, he settled thousands of cases while on the bench.  Judge Brown is a beloved pillar of the community and has been recognized numerous times for his community service.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Accounting Malpractice
  • American Disability Act (ADA)
  • Auto Liability
  • Bad Faith
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action
  • Condominium Board Dispute
  • Construction
  • Construction Accidents
  • Contract
  • Defamation
  • Discrimination
  • Employment
  • Estates
  • Family Law
  • Fee Dispute
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Government
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Real Estate
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Shareholder Dispute
  • Stockholder Derivative Actions
  • Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist (UM&UIM)
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Wrongful Death

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining ADR Systems in 2014, Judge Brown has served as a full-time mediator, arbitrator, tri-panel chair and special master
  • 23-year judicial career in the 16th Circuit Court including Presiding Judge of the Civil Division, 2012-2014; Chief Judge, 2008-2011; Judge, 1996-2008; Presiding Judge of the Divorce Division, 1997-1998 and 2000-2002; Presiding Judge of the Misdemeanor and Traffic Division, 1993-1997; Associate Judge, 1991-1996
  • 10-year legal career as a litigator at Miller, Feda and Brown and his own private practice, 1983-1990; hearing referee for the Illinois Department of Labor, 1982-1983; staff attorney at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 1981-1982
  • Approved Mediator, Circuit Court of Cook County

Representative Cases

  • Auto Liability: presided over jury trial in which the victim suffered Brown-Sequard Syndrome with $2.4 million verdict
  • Bad Faith and Wrongful Death: commercial case settled for $3.2 million with post-mediation follow-up
  • Civil Rights: presided over bench trial in alleged historical discrimination involving 20,000 claims in the African American Farmer Cases
  • Construction: chaired tri-panel arbitration in defect case regarding the building of a public stadium
  • Contract: business loss due to unacceptable condition of delivered product; developed creative document to consolidate information which assisted in bringing parties to resolution
    Employment: experience mediating and arbitrating a variety of cases concerning the American Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, among others
  • Government: case between a County Board Clerk and a County Board regarding use of so-called “special funds” collected for the Clerk’s office and earmarked for technology upgrades and electronic record-keeping functions
  • Insurance Coverage: complex mediation involving three insurance carriers; case settled for $1 million
  • Medical Malpractice: presided over jury trial involving severe brain injury with $23 million verdict; at the time, the largest in Kane County history
    Medical Malpractice: mediated $1.5 million settlement in death of an infant
  • Personal Injury: teenager involved in an intersection collision with a fire truck resulting in severe brain injury with $6 million verdict; presided over jury trial
  • Personal Injury: case involving scalding water injury at a sports facility; settled with post-mediation follow-up for $1.9 million
  • Wrongful Death: incident occurred at a sports facility during workout supervised by trainer; mediated $600,000 settlement

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Chairman, Kane County Judicial and Public Safety Technology Commission
  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Member, Kane County Bar Association
  • Member, Strategic Planning Committee for the Illinois Courts
  • Member, Presidential Advisory Committee, Judson University
  • Member, Conference of Chief Judges, Elgin Parks and Recreation Foundation
  • Former Member, Elgin Planning Commission
  • Former President, Neighborhood Housing Service of Elgin
  • Former Board Member, Elgin YMCA
  • Former Board Member, Literacy Volunteers of America
  • Former Faculty, Judicial Training Seminar, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
  • Former Chairman, Kane County Domestic Violence Task Force
  • Lasting Impact Award, Elgin Community College
  • Benjamin K. Miller Recognition Award for the Prevention of Family Violence, Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Councils
  • Outstanding African-American of the Year, Aurora’s African-American Heritage Board
  • Person of the Year, National Alliance on Mental Illness, DeKalb, Kane and Kendall Counties
  • Partners in Peace Award, Elgin Community Crisis Center

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “Presumed Defective: The Impact of the Malfunction Theory on Products Cases,” American Bar Association Women of the Section of Litigation Conference
  • Presenter, “What are They Thinking? Secrets Revealed from Industry Professionals,” Claims and Litigation Management Alliance Greater Chicago Chapter
  • Presenter, “Mediation in the Chancery Division: The Year in Review,” Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
  • Presenter, “Motion Practice,” Circuit Court Committee, Chicago Bar Association
  • Presenter, “Update: Spoliation Cases,” Kane County Bar Association (KCBA)
  • Presenter, “Preparation for Settlement of a Case,” ISBA Seminar
  • Presenter, “Jurors,” KCBA Seminar
  • Presenter, “Business Valuation and Tax Issues in Divorce,” Illinois Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys and the Illinois Continuing Law Educations Seminar
  • Presenter, “Trial Practice: Voir Dire and Jury Selection,” ISBA Seminar; KCBA Civil Practice Committee
  • Presenter “Calculation of Child Support and Maintenance in Family Law Cases,” KCBA
  • Presenter, “Mediation Perspectives,” Cassiday Schade
  • Presenter, “Case Management Software Systems and the 16th Circuit,” KCBA Seminar
  • Presenter, numerous Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs for ADR Systems on various topics

Education

  • JD, Drake University Law School
  • BA, Drake University

Admissions

  • Illinois State Bar

My mediation at ADR Systems proved to be extremely successful, thanks to the professionalism of our mediator.  Judge Kelley adeptly settled a very complex case involving serious injuries.  His patience, knowledge of the case, and considerate treatment of the parties involved all contributed to reaching a settlement that both sides found acceptable.  Kudos to Judge Kelley and ADR Systems for an experience I hope soon to repeat.

Thomas P Cernek, Esq.Law Offices of Thomas P. Cernek & Associates