Hon. Janet Adams Brosnahan, (Ret.) - ADR Systems

ADR Systems


Hon. Janet Adams Brosnahan, (Ret.)

Hon. Janet Adams Brosnahan, (Ret.)

IllinoisNeutral Availability

Hon. Janet Adams Brosnahan, (Ret.) is a senior mediator and arbitrator who is known for the care she takes with every case, thoughtfully preparing and researching to ensure a smooth resolution to the matter. A former trial judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, she has expertise in settling a variety of disputes, particularly those relating to medical negligence, toxic torts and product liability issues. Judge
Brosnahan also has extensive experience in labor, employment and contract matters. Her warmth and in-depth knowledge make her a well-respected and sought-after neutral. Those who have appeared before Judge Brosnahan remark on her quest – with every case – to be thorough and prepared, knowing the facts and the law. She is fair to all sides while conveying patience and empathy.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Auto Liability
  • Aviation
  • Bad Faith
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action
  • Construction
  • Construction Accidents
  • Construction Defect
  • Contract
  • Defamation
  • Discrimination
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
  • Fee Dispute
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Franchise
  • Fraud
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Mass Torts
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Non-Compete
  • Nursing Home
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Subrogation
  • Toxic Tort
  • Whistleblower
  • Wrongful Death
  • Wrongful Termination

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining ADR Systems in 2024, Judge Brosnahan has served as a full-time mediator and arbitrator
  • 21-year judicial career in the Circuit Court of Cook County, including Circuit Judge, Law Division Trial Section, 2016-2024; Law Division Motion Section, 2014-2016; Fifth Municipal District, 2003-2014; First Municipal District, 2002-2003
  • 12-year legal career in civil litigation, business transactions, labor and employment matters and appeals; extensive legal experience includes representing, consulting and negotiating for labor unions and their members; clients included individuals, large and small businesses and multi-million-dollar ERISA trust funds; practiced law in federal and state trial and appellate courts, as well as before various regulatory agencies

Representative Cases

  • Bad Faith: disputes settled involving bad faith claims against an insurance company, claims for breach of insurance contract
  • Construction Accidents: liability of property owners, construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors apportioned in cases involving construction accidents resulting in serious injury and death
  • Contract: resolved cases involving alleged breaches of agreements including construction contracts, employment contracts, contracts for services, contracts to pay legal fees, partnership agreements, indemnification agreements, condominium association rules and bylaws, confidentiality agreements and more
  • Defamation: high-profile case brought against two celebrities seeking millions of dollars in damages as the result of alleged defamation per se as well as false light invasion of privacy
  • Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA): successfully mediated several FELA cases, including a six-figure settlement reached after railroad conductor suffered meniscus tears and possible ACL graft impingement due to allegedly unsafe working environment
  • Government: young woman experienced traumatic brain injury and death, allegedly due to willful and wanton police misconduct; confidential settlement was reached with municipality
  • Government: mediated case alleging malicious prosecution arising out of alleged wrongful arrest and conviction
  • Insurance Coverage: confidential settlement was reached to apportion limited insurance policy proceeds between the family of a person who died in a boating accident and a person who was injured but survived
  • Medical Malpractice: jury awarded $55.5 million for permanent injuries to minor plaintiff as a result of the providers’ alleged failure to timely perform a cesarean section
  • Medical Malpractice: failure to properly monitor psychiatric patient resulted in catastrophic self-harm and a seven-figure confidential settlement
  • Medical Malpractice: failure to timely diagnose and treat a child’s osteomyelitis (bone infection) results in permanent impairment and a
    seven-figure settlement from multiple defendants
  • Nursing Home: dozens of cases settled alleging violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, including several where patients suffered falls, allegedly due to improper transferring or lack of proper supervision; numerous other cases resolved by mediation involving the development and progression of pressure ulcers
  • Personal Injury: resolved more than one hundred cases involving various injuries sustained in automobile, bicycle, motorcycle, bus, truck and boat accidents
  • Premises Liability: dozens of cases resolved involving injuries due to allegedly unreasonably dangerous conditions such as snow and ice, collapsed ceilings, an exploding toilet, debris-strewn walkways, swimming pools, fences, pavement and stair defects, uneven floors, etc.
  • Product Liability: in claims sounding in strict liability, negligence, and willful and wanton conduct against companies for the sale of an unreasonably dangerous product, $7.1 million verdict returned; several other cases were resolved by agreement
  • Product Liability: confidential seven-figure settlement in case involving catastrophic injuries suffered by a worker when he was pulled into and ejected from an asphalt grinder conveyor belt
  • Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse: resolved numerous claims brought on behalf of children, women and disabled persons resulting from abuse and/or harassment perpetrated by employees, clerics, classmates, camp counselors and others
  • Toxic Tort: just before trial commenced, this case and over 800 other cases were resolved by agreement, all involving allegations that defendants’ ethylene oxide emissions from a medical equipment sterilization plant caused cancer to nearby residents; other cases brought by numerous plaintiffs against manufacturers and other emitters of ethylene oxide also resolved after lengthy negotiations
  • Wrongful Death: 36-year-old man died due to undiagnosed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) two weeks after presenting to medical provider complaining of pain; confidential seven figure settlement reached
  • Wrongful Death: young husband dies of undiagnosed cardiac condition, resulting in multi-million-dollar wrongful death recovery for his widow and infant son following mediation with providers
  • Wrongful Death: claims settled after teenager dies of respiratory complications related to cancer
  • Wrongful Termination: case resolved by agreement where employee claimed she was wrongfully terminated in violation of employee handbook and whistleblower policy

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Former President, Women Everywhere
  • Board Member, Women Everywhere
  • Former Board Member, Illinois Judges Foundation
  • Harold Sullivan Scholarship Committee Chair, Illinois Judges Foundation
  • Member, Illinois Judges Association
  • Member, The Lawyers Club of Chicago
  • Member, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • Former Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Former Member, American Bar Association Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice
  • Former Member, Southwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Former Member, Alliance of Illinois Judges
  • Volunteer Judge, Loyola Law School Appellate Advocacy
  • Volunteer, “Bringing the Courtroom to the Classroom”
  • Volunteer Tutor, Lawyers Lend a Hand to Youth
  • Trained Volunteer, Lawyers’ Assistance Program
  • Recognition, “Ladies Who Lead” by State Senator Hurley and State Representative Burke
  • Recipient, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois Mary Heftel Hooten Award, 2024
  • Community Volunteer: Misericordia Home, PADS Homeless Shelter, Women’s Shelter, Greater Chicagoland Food Depository, former youth sports volunteer and coach

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “Motions to Compel, Motions for Sanctions, Independent Medical Examinations” and “Motion Practice in Cook County Circuit Court’s Law Division,” CBA
  • Presenter, “Court Management of Discovery Issues Under Supreme Court Rules 201, 218 and 219” and “Motion Practice in Cook County Circuit Court’s Law Division,” CLE
  • Panelist, “The Judges Speak: Civil Court Litigation Do’s and Don’ts,” National Business Institute
  • Presenter, “Judicial Perspective,” Update & Review Seminar, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA)
  • Panelist, “Judges Tell All: Practical Advice for Working with the Court,” National Business Institute
  • Presenter, “Perspective from the Bench: Effective Examinations, Motions In Limine, Preserving Issues for Appeal, Offers of Proof,” ITLA
  • Panelist, “Tips for Career Success, Civility, Courtroom Strategies,” CBA Young Lawyers Section “Lunch with a Judge”
  • Panelist, “Civil Court: Pleadings, Motions, Discovery Disputes and Settlement Strategies,” National Business Institute
  • Panelist, “Ethical Communications with Witnesses and Parties,” Law Bulletin Media’s Annual Symposium with the Judges
  • Panelist, “Pretrial Negotiations and Closing Arguments,” Trial & Practice Tips, ITLA
  • Panelist, Trial Practice & Tips Judicial Panel, ITLA Women’s Caucus
  • Panelist, “Judicial Forum: Jury Selection, Presenting Evidence, Hearsay Exceptions, Expert Witnesses,” Working with the Court, National Business Institute
  • Panelist, “Objections, Jury Instructions, Using Technology and Demonstrative Exhibits,” Law Bulletin Media’s Annual Symposium with the Judges
  • Panelist, “Civil Court Judicial Forum,” National Business Institute
  • Panelist, “Calling Balls and Strikes—What Really Makes a Strike for Cause,” American Association for Justice
  • Panelist, “Is ADR Essential for our Legal System? How ADR is Used in the US and Ireland,” CBA
  • Panelist, “Cross-Examinations, Jury Instructions, Arguing Damages to the Jury,” Law Bulletin Media’s Annual Symposium with the Judges
  • Panelist, “Is ADR Essential for our Legal System? How ADR is Used in the US and Ireland,” CBA
  • Author, “Recovering Medical Expenses from a Child’s Lawsuit,” Illinois Bar Journal
  • Author, “The Proper Use and Application of the Sole Proximate Cause Defense,” CBA Record
  • Author, “Stagnant case orders show confounding spike in Law Division” and “As DWPs escalate in Law Division, no perfect remedy exists,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin


  • JD, DePaul University College of Law
  • BA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Illinois State Bar
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • US District Court for the Central District of Illinois


I was a sitting judge for over 21 years, have practiced law and have been a mediator and arbitrator since 2024. Many attorneys have tried cases in my courtrooms or mediated or arbitrated a case with me.

I also serve the community in various volunteer roles.

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

ADR Systems is a perfect fit for commercial disputes that would otherwise find themselves in state court. Though they may no longer have the ability to formally wield the gavel, the former judges at ADR Systems still demand the respect necessary to get parties to the table.

Sang-yul Lee, Esq.Partner, Locke Lord Edwards, LLP