Judge Bernthal Explores Importance of Free Press, Independent Judiciary

ADR Systems


Hon. David G. Bernthal, (Ret.), senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems, published a column titled “Importance of Free Press, Independent Judiciary” in the News-Gazette.

In the column, Judge Bernthal discusses the protection of the press and judiciary as two of the most important aspects of democracy. Foreseen as a societal “watchdog,” he explained that the media was originally conceived to guard against government control of information.

“The point is that the government cannot control the media,” Judge Bernthal said. “While those who adopted the First Amendment likely could not have foreseen the development of the press as we know it, they did perceive the need to guard against the government controlling what the people could learn and from whom or what they could access it.”

Often times, this results in tension between the media and those being covered. Similarly, Judge Bernthal also explains the importance of the independent judiciary as a “double-edged sword.”

“Our system is premised on the rule of law,” he said. “Pressure on judges from powerful forces, political or otherwise, undermines the premise.”

He added: “A free press and an independent judiciary are mainstays of our democracy. A person or group seeking to take over our country would likely want to control or neutralize both. We must recognize the importance of each and accept the responsibilities that accompany them.”

To read the full article published April 9th, click here.

Judge Bernthal served 21 years as a federal magistrate judge in the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Those who practiced before him have praised his skills as a jurist, describing him as both a learned scholar and efficient administrator. Judge Bernthal’s proven legal knowledge and keen understanding of negotiation are critical assets in both mediation and arbitration. In addition to Judge Bernthal’s work as a mediator and arbitrator, he also publishes a monthly column in the News-Gazette.

For Judge Bernthal’s full bio, click here.

For Judge Bernthal’s availability, click here.

ADR Systems, It’s Settled.®

My mediation at ADR Systems proved to be extremely successful, thanks to the professionalism of our mediator.  Judge Kelley adeptly settled a very complex case involving serious injuries.  His patience, knowledge of the case, and considerate treatment of the parties involved all contributed to reaching a settlement that both sides found acceptable.  Kudos to Judge Kelley and ADR Systems for an experience I hope soon to repeat.

Thomas P Cernek, Esq.Law Offices of Thomas P. Cernek & Associates