ADR Systems


Hon. Cheryl A. Starks, (Ret.)


Hon. Cheryl A. Starks, (Ret.) is a skilled mediator and arbitrator with extensive experience in the resolution of cases involving medical and professional malpractice claims, construction cases and insurance disputes.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Construction
  • Environmental
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Malpractice

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • 14-year judicial career, including serving in the Law Division, 1999-2010 and Juvenile Court, 1996-1999
  • 9-year legal career, including serving as Senior Trial Attorney for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 1992-1996; Supervising Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, 1990-1992; Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Torts Division for the City of Chicago, 1989-1990; Administrative Hearing Officer for the Illinois Department of Public Aid

Representative Cases

  • Recinto: $2.5 million verdict; medical malpractice case brought against hospital for failure to control deceased’s diabetic condition and failure to recognize complications of asthma and diabetes, leading to his death
  • Rosolowski: $120 million verdict; class action lawsuit against a refinery by local residents who said their health and homes were harmed by heavy-metal pollution from the refinery
  • White: $3 million verdict; scholarship foundation found partially liable for the death of student living in its sponsored housing at Northern Illinois University
  • Rooney: $10 million settlement;  personal injury case brought by women who lost her lower leg after being hit by a tour boat in Lake Michigan
  • Joyce: General contractor determined not to be liable for injury of employee of subcontractor; affirmed by appeals court
  • Kuchinska: Personal injury case brought by former Olympic gymnast who sustained knee injury in a car accident
  • Davis: Medical malpractice where plaintiff alleged doctor was negligent which resulted in delayed diagnosis of breast cancer
  • Garvin: Medical malpractice case where plaintiff alleged defendants’ negligence during patient’s recovery from an aneurysm surgery caused her death
  • Karas: $900,000 verdict; medical malpractice case involving doctor’s negligence in the delivery of a large newborn resulting in the child having Erb’s palsy
  • Kazimierz Plaza: Construction company not liable for contractor’s injury stemming from fall from tree when attempting to access roof
  • Bliss: Personal injury case where plaintiff alleged limousine driver was liable for injuries plaintiff sustained when retrieving luggage in roadway
  • Diaz: Premises liability case where Schaumburg Park District was determine to not be liable for injuries sustained when senior suffered a seizure in a pool
  • Peterson: Medical malpractice case where the plaintiff alleged that the doctor’s technique used during hip replacement caused fracture and pulmonary embolism
  • ChemCentral Corp.: Determination of percentage of fault between two defendants in an asbestos removal fire case
  • Casas: Medical malpractice case where plaintiff alleged that a vaguely written prescription caused her to take more than the recommended dose of a medication resulting in Steven-Johns syndrome
  • Davies: $615,000 verdict; premises liability case brought by plaintiff who slipped and fell in a restaurant

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Chair, Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission
  • Board Member, Judicial Inquiry Board
  • Faculty Member, Judicial Education Committee
  • Member, Illinois Judicial Council
  • Member, National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association
  • Member, Cook County Bar Association
  • Member, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  • Member, Black Women Lawyers Association
  • Member, National Bar Association
  • Guest Speaker and Panelist, numerous bar groups, nonprofit organizations, schools and churches


  • J.D., John Marshall Law School
  • B.S., University of Illinois at Chicago


  • Illinois State Bar

I was extremely pleased with a recent mediation at ADR Systems. The mediators constitute a veritable "who's who" of top-notch practitioners and former jurists with a wealth of experience across the legal spectrum.  I strongly recommend ADR Systems for even the most complex and contentious of cases.

Hillard M. Sterling, Esq.Sterling Tech Law | Waveland Law Group, LLC