Hon. Michael J. Powers, (Ret.) - ADR Systems

ADR Systems

Neutrals

Hon. Michael J. Powers, (Ret.)

IllinoisNeutral Availability

Judge Powers is uniquely positioned to excel as a mediator and arbitrator. For 14 of his 18 years on the bench in Will County, Judge Powers served as a pre-trial settlement judge in the Law Division. Further, he exclusively dedicated his last six years as a jurist to settling over 1,000 personal injury and commercial cases at pre-trial, cultivating robust skills as a mediator. Those who have appeared before Judge Powers remark at how quickly he can home in on the issues in a dispute. He is thorough in preparation for each case, good-humored in demeanor and committed to resolution.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • American Disability Act (ADA)
  • Auto Liability
  • Aviation
  • Business Dissolution
  • Construction Accidents
  • Contract
  • Defamation
  • Discrimination
  • Eminent Domain
  • Employment
  • Fee Dispute
  • Fraud
  • Government
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Mechanics Lien
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Qui Tam
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Subrogation
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
  • Trusts
  • Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Claims (UI & UIM)
  • Wrongful Death
  • Wrongful Termination

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining ADR Systems in 2022, Judge Powers has served as a full-time mediator and arbitrator
  • 18-year judicial career in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court including Settlement Judge for Chancery, Law Division and Probate, 2016-2022; Motion and Settlement Judge for Law Division, 2009-2015; Presiding Judge, Misdemeanor Division, 2007-2008; Associate Judge, 2004-2009
  • 20-year legal career including Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, specializing in employment, education law, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, nursing home, premises liability and auto liability, 1991-2004; Assistant State’s Attorney Will County, rising to Chief of the Misdemeanor Division, 1988-1991
  • Mediation Certificate, Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Arbitration Certificate, Circuit Court of Will County Mandatory Arbitration Program

Representative Cases

  • Auto Liability: father and daughter on motorcycle struck by a car; both plaintiffs suffered fractures and underwent surgeries; case settled for $6.25 million to daughter and $750,000 to father
  • Auto Liability: car struck by semi-trailer resulting in multiple fractures to the plaintiff; settled for $3.9 million
  • Auto Liability: injured driver suffered herniations resulting in fusion; settled for $1.5 million
  • Auto Liability: pedestrian struck by car, resulting in fractures; settled for $1.4 million
  • Construction Accident: worker hurt at construction site resulting in low back injury and surgery; settled for $3.35 million
  • Construction Accident: worker injured at construction site resulting in spine fracture and surgery; settled for $1.225 million
  • Construction Accident: worker injured at construction site, resulting in low back injury and surgery; settled for $1.2 million
  • Medical Malpractice: plaintiff suffered a uterine perforation and a thermal bowel injury; settled for $4 million
  • Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death: failure to diagnose resulting in patient death; settled for $1.6 million
  • Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death: settled for $3 million
  • Nursing Home: resident suffered injuries due to alleged neglect; settled for $660,000
  • Personal Injury: gas explosion resulted in burns and disfigurement and post-traumatic stress disorder to the plaintiff; settled for $3.1 million
  • Premises Liability: slip and fall resulting in complex regional pain syndrome; settled for $1.6 million
  • Sexual Abuse: plaintiff suffered psychological injury from sexual abuse; settled for $1.2 million
  • Wrongful Death: worker at plant suffocated to death; settled for $3.35 million
  • Wrongful Death: case involved Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) negligence; settled for $2.2 million
  • Settled numerous commercial cases, including contract, eminent domain, employment, mechanics lien and subrogation

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Former Member, Illinois Council of School Attorneys
  • Former Member, Illinois Judges Association
  • Former Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Former Member, American Bar Association
  • Former Board Member, President and Arbitration Committee Chair, Will County Bar Association
  • Former Will County Judiciary liaison to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
  • Volunteer, Pro Bono Project
  • Excellence in the Judiciary Award, Illinois State Crime Commission
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Illinois Judges Association for presenting “Seven Reasons to Leave the Party” program to high schools
  • Certificate of Appreciation, St. Mary Immaculate Parish for dedicated service

Presentations and Publications

  • Keynote Address, “The Life of a Police Officer,” Exchange Club of Joliet Police Officer of the Year
  • Presenter, “Cross Examination in Civil Cases,” Will County Bar Association Mega Seminar
  • Presenter, “Arbitration,” Will County Bar Association Mega Seminar
  • Presenter, “Tort Reform and Premises Liability,” Hartford Insurance
  • Presenter, “Dos and Don’ts When Practicing in Civil Court,” Swanson Martin & Bell and Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol

Education

  • JD, University of Illinois Chicago School of Law
  • BS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Admissions

  • Illinois State Bar
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Disclosure

I was a sitting judge for over 17 years, have practiced law and have been a mediator and arbitrator since 2022. Many attorneys have tried cases in my courtrooms or mediated or arbitrated a case with me.

I have a son-in-law who is an associate attorney at Block, Klukas, Manzella and Shell, where I am Of Counsel, and a son who works as a commercial underwriter for CNA Insurance.

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

I was very impressed with the quality, ability and professionalism of your retired judges.  ADR Systems and its panel of neutrals got it done.

Michael L. Handley, Esq.Trial Attorney IV, Nationwide Trial Division
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