Hon. David G. Bernthal, (Ret.) Bio - ADR Systems

ADR Systems


Hon. David G. Bernthal, (Ret.)


Judge Bernthal is a former federal court judge who is highly regarded for his integrity and his calm – indeed, judicious – temperament.  He served as a magistrate judge for the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois for 21 years and earned universal respect from colleagues. Those who practiced before him have praised his skills as a jurist, describing him as both a learned scholar and efficient administrator. Judge Bernthal’s proven legal knowledge and keen understanding of negotiation are critical assets in both mediation and arbitration.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • American Disability Act (ADA)
  • Auto Liability
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action
  • Condominium Board Dispute
  • Construction
  • Construction Accidents
  • Contract
  • Copyright
  • Discrimination
  • E-Discovery
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Estates
  • Family Business
  • Family Law
  • Fee Dispute
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Finance
  • Franchise
  • Government
  • Harassment
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Mechanics Lien
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Non-Compete
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Patent
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Qui Tam
  • Real Estate
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Securities
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Dispute
  • Storm Damage
  • Subrogation
  • Tax
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
  • Toxic Tort
  • Trademark
  • Trusts
  • Unfair Competition
  • Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist (UM&UIM)
  • Whistleblower
  • Wrongful Termination

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining ADR Systems in 2016, Judge Bernthal has served as a full-time mediator and arbitrator
  • 29-year judicial career including serving as a US Magistrate Judge for the Central District of Illinois and an Associate Judge in the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court
  • 11-year career in private practice

Representative Cases

  • American Disability Act (ADA): various ADA disputes involving performance and conduct standards, and reasonable accommodation
  • Civil Rights: mediated suits against law enforcement officers and employers involving claims of unreasonable force as well as unlawful search and seizure
  • Contract: multifaceted contractual dispute involving a national restaurant company and a franchisee
  • Employment: mediated numerous cases in which employees sued employers claiming that an adverse employment action was a product of discrimination; cases involved race, age, or gender discrimination
  • Employment: mediated numerous cases involving workplace sexual harassment or FMLA
  • Government: individual convicted in a homicide case and later released when case was set aside; following release, individual brought claims against law enforcement officers and the State’s Attorney, including conspiracy and 1983 action
  • Intellectual Property: infringement arising from the branding and marketing of a commonly used kitchen spray product; successfully mediated complex matter
  • Premises Liability: array of claims mediated between retailers and claimants arising from business premise injuries
  • Real Estate: two lenders each claimed to have a mortgage on the same property; mediated who had the priority on the mortgage

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Federal Magistrate Judges Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association, ADR Section Council
  • Magistrate Judges Advisory Group
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois College of Law
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Illinois College of Law
  • Former President, Champaign Rotary Club, Paul Harris Fellow
  • Former President, Danville Rotary Club
  • Former Member, Salvation Army Men’s Advisory Board
  • Former Board Member, Lakeview Hospital Foundation Board
  • Former Member, City of Danville Zoning Commission


  • JD, University of Illinois College of Law
  • BA, University of Illinois
    o High Honors


  • Illinois State Bar
  • US District Court for the Central Disctrict of Illinois

We were very pleased with the efficiency of ADR Systems.

Karen Hale, Esq.Abbott Laboratories Legal Division