ADR Systems


Garrison, James

Hon. James E. Garrison, (Ret.)


Hon. James E. Garrison, (Ret.) is a skilled mediator and arbitrator with extensive experience in wrongful death, personal injury, commercial and construction disputes.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Auto Liability
  • Construction
  • Contract
  • Eminent Domain
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • 10-year judicial career including serving as an Associate Circuit Judge, Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Will County, 2001-2010; Supervising Judge, Will County Arbitration Program; Civil Jury Call, 2003-2010
  • 34-year legal career in private litigation practice in Will County, Illinois, 1966-2001
  • Experienced in conducting numerous trials and pretrial settlement conferences, resolving numerous personal injury and other civil cases

Representative Cases

  • Successfully resolved insurance company agent dispute regarding compensation on severance
  • Smith v. Marvin: $2 million verdict upheld in medical negligence and informed consent case
  • Sperl v. C.H.Robinson: Verdicts of $23 million upheld for wrongful death personal injury case
  • C.H.Robinson based on agency/vicarious liability; evidence sufficient to establish agency relationship
  • Softcheck, John Doe et al v. Bishop Joseph Imesch Upheld regarding complaint alleging sexual abuse by catholic priests
  • Shore Development v. City of Joliet: Upheld city’s ordinance regarding road improvement costs was valid exercise of police power

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Adjunct Faculty, Joint Commission Accreditation Health Care Organizations
  • Adjunct  Faculty, Masters Program Hospital and Health Care Administration, University of St Francis Joliet Il
  • President, Will County Bar Association
  • Illinois Supreme Court appointee alternate faculty for experts seminar
  • Chair, Will County branch Chapter Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Chair, Foundation St. Joseph College of Nursing
  • Board Member, McKenna Woods Home Owners Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Will County Bar Association
  • Illinois Judges Association
  • American Judges Association


  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law
  • B.A., Northern Illinois University


  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Judge Burke successfully mediated a complicated case with little chance of being resolved.  He read every word of the parties' submissions, asked astute questions, and worked hard to find a path to resolution.  Judge Burke communicated with the parties themselves - so that they felt they were important participants in working toward resolution. The case I thought was never going to settle, settled.

Robert W. Smyth, Jr., Esq.Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth