Hon. John A. Ward, (Ret.) - ADR Systems

ADR Systems


Hon. John A. Ward, (Ret.)

Hon. John A. Ward, (Ret.)

IllinoisNeutral Availability

Hon. John A. Ward, (Ret.) is a senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems with extensive experience in the resolution of personal injury cases arising from vehicular accidents, construction negligence, premises liability, medical negligence, nursing home, workers’ compensation and product liability. He is also experienced in the resolution of commercial matters arising from professional malpractice, insurance coverage and contract matters. Judge Ward’s ability to quickly understand the issue at hand and gain the respect and trust of all parties is well known throughout the legal community.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Accounting Malpractice
  • Auto Liability
  • Aviation
  • Class Action
  • Condominium Board Dispute
  • Construction
  • Contract
  • Environmental
  • Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Qui Tam
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Securities
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Subrogation
  • Whistleblower
  • Workers' Compensation

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • 22-year judicial career including serving in the Law Division, 1991-2010; General Individual Calendar, 2004-2010; Administrative/Assignment Judge (Room 2005), 2002-2004, 1991-1992; Tax and Miscellaneous Remedies Section, 1992-2002; First Municipal District, 1988-1991
  • Legal career including serving as Assistant Attorney General for Illinois Attorney General’s Office litigating  environmental, securities, tort and civil rights actions, 1983-1988; Assistant State’s Attorney in Criminal Trial Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, 1980-1983; Associate at Boodell, Sears, Sugrue, Giambalvo & Crowley, securities and civil practice, 1979-1980
  • Mediated many significant multi-party workers’ compensation cases with complicated issues
  • For 10 years while assigned to the Cook County Circuit Court’s Law Division Tax and Miscellaneous Section, Judge Ward heard hundreds of reviews from decisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Board (formerly the Illinois Industrial Commission)
  • While on the bench from 2009-2010, Judge Ward settled more than 250 cases with a total value exceeding $40 million

Representative Cases

  • Waugh v. Morgan Stanley:  Consolidated aviation wrongful death cases presenting issues of pilot error, product liability and corporate policies
  • Kil v. Decker:  Wrongful death and brain injury case involving issues of driver negligence, agency, insurance coverage and ICC
  • Am2pat litigation:  Consolidated wrongful death and injury claims arising from allegedly tainted medical product
  • Wood v. Advocate:  Wrongful termination case involving department head physician
  • Murphy-Smith v. City of Chicago:  Consolidated wrongful death and injury cases involving issues of statutory liability, tort immunity and premises
  • Wilson v. Hinsdale Hospital:  Allegations of negligently administered epidural injection leading to spine injury
  • Settled several dozen medical malpractice cases as a mediator

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Illinois Courts Commission, a seven-member panel  responsible for rendering final decisions on matters of judicial discipline
  • Mentoring Judge, Circuit Court Mentoring Program
  • Recipient, Celtic Man of the Year Award, Celtic Legal Society


  • J.D., Northwestern University Law School, Dean’s List
  • B.A., Marquette University, magna cum laude
    •  Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate in Economics


  • Illinois State Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for theNorthern District of Illinois


I was a sitting judge for 22 years, have practiced law and have been a mediator and arbitrator since 2010. Many attorneys have litigated matters in my courtrooms or mediated or arbitrated a case with me.

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

I recently engaged Judge Gomolinski to mediate a case that was not factually or legally complicated, but other factors — including the amount of the lien and the position of the lienholder — made the case a challenge to resolve. This case would not have settled but for the efforts of Judge Gomolinski. He was prepared, knew all the relevant facts, had a command of the pertinent law and demonstrated a level of competence and experience that deeply resonated. I believe I can speak for opposing counsel in saying that we believe we reached a fair, reasonable agreement thanks to Judge Gomolinski.

Juan M. AndersonBryce Downey & Lenkov, LLC