Hon. Thomas P. Durkin, (Ret.) - ADR Systems

ADR Systems



Hon. Thomas P. Durkin, (Ret.)

IllinoisNeutral Availability

Hon. Thomas P. Durkin, (Ret.) is a highly-skilled mediator and arbitrator known for his keen intellect and ability to resolve even the most complicated matters.  Judge Durkin has extensive experience in complex, multi-party commercial matters, contract disputes, insurance, class action, construction, real estate, family law and personal injury.  He has earned praise for his comprehensive knowledge of the law and unsurpassed settlement abilities.  Judge Durkin is ADR Systems’ longest serving neutral. Parties appreciate his thoughtful and detail-oriented approach to the dispute resolution process.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Accounting Malpractice
  • Auto Liability
  • Business Dissolution
  • Class Action
  • Condominium Board Dispute
  • Construction
  • Contract
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Estates
  • Family Law
  • Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Multidistrict Litigation
  • Non-Compete
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Property Damage
  • Qui Tam
  • Real Estate
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Securities
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Dispute
  • Subrogation
  • Toxic Tort
  • Trusts
  • Whistleblower
  • Wrongful Termination

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining ADR Systems in 2001, Judge Durkin has served as a full-time mediator, arbitrator, tri-panel chair, discovery master, special master and independent neutral evaluator
  • 22-year judicial career focused on civil and criminal litigation and case resolution, including seven years in Chancery, nine years in Criminal and six years in the Sixth Municipal District; while in Chancery, Judge Durkin conducted thousands of settlement conferences
  • 12-year legal career including the successful resolution of thousands of mediations and arbitrations; Partner at Ackerman, Durkin & Egan, general litigation and appellate practice, 1969-1979; Assistant State’s Attorney, Cook County, 1967-1969
  • Approved Mediator, Circuit Court of Cook County

Representative Cases

  • Class Action: high-profile case involving allegations that a major auto manufacturer’s truck model was designed in a way that was too noisy; disposed of thousands of claims
  • Contract: arbitration involving misuse of dedicated grant funds to a 501(c)(3) organization; plaintiff disputed her entitlement to dedicated funds
  • Contract: dispute involving real estate owner of a race track and horse owners and trainers with a long history of antagonism; mediation resulted in an amicable settlement agreement two weeks before the start of the racing season
  • Contract: mediated settlement using a creative installment agreement that allowed one party to stay in business
  • Contract, Construction and Construction Defect: various cases involving public works project
  • Environmental: multi-million dollar claims resulting from trichloroethylene (TCE) water contamination
  • Family Law: high stakes divorce and post-decree matters involving complicated financials, including stock allocations; one party was a well known professional football player; mediated settlement of all issues
  • Government: “home rule” case challenging the application of home rule coverage
  • Insurance Coverage: dispute involving global farm equipment manufacturer and “toxic sites;” complicated matter with multi-million dollar claims and multi-jurisdictional coverage
  • Insurance Coverage: McMansion dispute with multiple issues for arbitration including mechanic lien, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and construction defect
  • Intellectual Property: issues regarding ownership of company name and use on website
  • MDL and Insurance Coverage: in one day, successfully mediated the insurance aspects of class actions involving tens of thousands of claimants; mediation focused on which of the insurance carriers had to pay for the class action suits; previous mediations had failed and the parties were skeptical that settlement could be reached
  • Toxic Tort and Wrongful Death: dispute involving contaminated soil at a commercial site that allegedly caused the cancer and death of an employee; settled for $1.4 million

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Faculty, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Faculty, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE)
  • Lecturer, The John Marshall School
  • Five-Year Faculty Award, National Judicial College
  • Certificate of Appreciation, North Dakota Bar Association
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Chicago Bar Association (CBA)
  • Certificate of Performance, American Bar Association
  • Service Award, Illinois Supreme Court, Chairmanship – Pattern Jury Instruction Committee
  • Named in Leading Lawyers’ Top 10 for ADR

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, Trial Advocacy Program, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Presenter, North Dakota Bench/Bar Conference
  • Presenter, Trial Techniques Seminar, CBA
  • Presenter, Federal Trial Skills Program, IICLE
  • Presenter, Regional Seminars, Illinois Supreme Court
  • Presenter, numerous Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs for ADR Systems on various topics


  • JD, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law
  • BS, Loyola University of Chicago


  • California State Bar
  • Florida State Bar
  • Illinois State Bar
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


I was a sitting judge for over 22 years, have practiced law and have been a mediator and arbitrator since 2001. Many attorneys have tried cases in my courtrooms or mediated or arbitrated a case with me.

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

With Judge Ward's assistance, we were able to obtain an amicable resolution of the case.  Just as when he was sitting on the bench, Judge Ward showed understanding, temperance and intelligence in addressing the issues.  Settlement was fair and adequate the nature and extent of injury.  I would not hesitate to use ADR Systems’ assistance in the future.

Ronald J. Gold, Esq.Law Office of Baltazar Mendoza