Hon. Brigid M. McGrath, (Ret.) - ADR Systems

ADR Systems


Hon. Brigid M. McGrath, (Ret.)

Hon. Brigid M. McGrath, (Ret.)

IllinoisNeutral Availability

Judge McGrath has served the legal community with passion and dignity for 34 years. She spent more than 20 years as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge, serving 17 years in Law Jury and on a Commercial Calendar. She has handled complex commercial cases, including legal, architectural and accountants’ negligence, construction defect, employment, insurance coverage, partnership and intellectual property cases. Judge McGrath is also experienced in personal injury cases such as medical malpractice, toxic tort and product liability. Known for her diplomatic and observant style, she masters the facts of each case before her to identify the root causes of disputes, deconstruct conflict between divergent parties and guide them toward settlement.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Accounting Malpractice
  • Bad Faith
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Condominium Board Disputes
  • Construction
  • Construction Defect
  • Contract
  • Defamation
  • Directors & Officers (D&O)
  • Discrimination
  • Employment
  • Engineering
  • Estates
  • Family Business
  • Fee Dispute
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Finance
  • Franchise
  • Fraud
  • Harassment
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Lender Liability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Non-Compete
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Real Estate
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Securities
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Dispute
  • Stockholder Derivative Actions
  • Storm Damage
  • Toxic Tort
  • Trade Secrets
  • Unfair Competition
  • Whistleblower
  • Wrongful Death
  • Wrongful Termination

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining ADR Systems in 2019, Judge McGrath has served as a full-time mediator and arbitrator
  • 20-year judicial career in the Circuit Court of Cook County, serving 17 years in Law Jury on a Commercial Calendar, 2003-2019; and 3 years in the Child Protection, Domestic Relations and Traffic Divisions, 1999-2002
  • 15-year legal career, including equity partner at Bell, Boyd & Lloyd (nka K&L Gates), 1989-1999; associate at Lord, Bissell & Brook (nka Locke Lord), 1985-1989; law clerk to US. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Martin, Western District of Wisconsin, 1984-1985
  • Mediation Certificate, Northwestern University

Representative Cases

  • Construction Defect and Contract: extensive experience interpreting AIA contracts and ascertaining duties among general contractors, sub-contractors and sub-sub-contractors
  • Construction and Architectural Malpractice: settled suit between defendant developer, architect and various contractors and neighboring property owner who alleged that defendants’ negligent construction of a townhome complex caused the collapse of property owner’s eight-story commercial building
  • Construction: suit between condominium association and developer alleging improper construction resulted in water intrusion into condominiums and common areas of a 26-floor building; settled case after lengthy negotiations
  • Contract: experience with written, oral and quasi-contract cases in a variety of contexts, including asset purchase agreements, operating agreements, entertainment performance contracts, promissory notes, guarantees, private loans, partnership agreements, insurance policies and employment agreements
  • Contract: settled case involving defendant hospital and plaintiff medical practice group that alleged improper termination of medical services contract and tortious interference with its contracts and business expectancies with patients and other hospitals
  • Contract: settled case alleging fraudulent inducement to enter into an asset purchase agreement by inflating past sales figures
  • Estates: handled interference with contract, business expectancies or testamentary behests in the employment, banking, creditor and trust and estate contexts
  • Employment, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination: settled case filed by woman against her former law firm employer for alleged sexual harassment and racial discrimination
  • Employment: settled case filed by former college professor claiming university fired him in retaliation for criticizing administration
  • Fiduciary Duty: settled case brought by beneficiaries against trustee alleging she converted trust assets for personal use
  • Fiduciary Duty and Legal Malpractice: suit against successor trustees, with plaintiff claiming breach of fiduciary duty in administering five related trusts and malpractice by attorney for trusts in drafting improper in terrorem clause
  • Fraud: presided over case involving fraudulent life insurance premium financing scheme between bank executive and client that resulted in loss of millions by investors
  • Fraud and Defamation: settled case involving computer software designer who created highly profitable arbitrage program but alleged he was fraudulently squeezed out of his business by former partner
  • Insurance Coverage: numerous cases involving claims under various types of policies, such as commercial general liability, property and title insurance
  • Insurance Coverage: settled policyholder’s case for coverage of extensive damage to roof of manufacturing facility
  • Legal Malpractice: successfully settled case in which client alleged malpractice relating to structuring of a complex joint venture for licensing and sale of medical products overseas
  • Legal Malpractice: settled suit alleging malpractice in litigating enforcement of notes, confession of judgments and guarantees
    Medical Malpractice: “bad baby” suit alleging catastrophic injuries at birth due to HIE; case settled after lengthy settlement negotiations.
  • Medical Malpractice: delay in diagnosing compartment syndrome, leading to full loss of function of affected extremity; successfully settled
  • Partnership Dispute: partner accused long-time partners of self-dealing and misappropriation of partnership assets and opportunities; settled case
  • Professional Malpractice: cases relating to accounting and architectural malpractice
  • Trade Secrets: defendant manufacturer accused of misappropriating trade secrets relating to the design of a machine used for tooling sheet metal

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Member, Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Civil Jury Instructions
  • Member, Illinois Judges Association
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • Member, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  • Board Member, Women’s Board of Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Board Member, University of Minnesota Law School Board of Visitors
  • Member, Parent’s Council, Tulane University
  • Awarded Leading Illinois Attorney in Commercial Litigation, American Research Corporation
  • Judge of the Year, 2019, Construction Defects & Dispute Conference

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “Complex Construction Defect Litigation,” Construction Defect & Dispute Conference
  • Presenter, “Developments in Commercial Law,” CBA Robert Clifford Series for Lawyers
  • Presenter, “Limitations Applying to Sales Disputes Under the UCC,” CBA Robert Clifford Series for Lawyers
  • Presenter, “The Illinois Human Rights Act,” Employment Lawyers Association, Illinois Chapter
  • Presenter for various seminars on evidence, discovery and damage awards in wrongful death and survival actions, Illinois Judicial Education Conference
  • Presenter, “Self-insurance and Liability,” First Choice-Comfort Care Home Healthcare, Inc.
  • Presenter, “Broker Liability in the Sale of Derivative Investments,” Chicago Board Options Exchange
  • Author, “Practical Guidelines for Determining Awards from Decisions under Section 12(a)(30) of the Uniform Arbitration Act,” CBA Seminar, “A Guide to Arbitrations”
  • Author, “Recent Developments of Interest to Corporate Counsel: Attorney Client Privilege,” ABA Tort & Insurance Law Journal


  • JD, University of Minnesota Law School
    • Cum Laude
  • BA, Creighton University
    • Cum Laude


  • Illinois State Bar
  • Minnesota State Bar
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois


I was a sitting judge for over 20 years, have practiced law and have been a mediator and arbitrator since 2019. Many attorneys have tried cases in my courtrooms or mediated or arbitrated a case with me.

The disclosures listed above will not affect my neutrality in this dispute.

My thanks to ADR Systems and their mediators for all of the successes that we have experienced in mediations.

Louis C. Cairo, Esq.Senior Partner, Goldberg Weisman Cairo