Pretrial & Motion Call Judge Joins ADR Systems as Senior Mediator & Arbitrator - ADR Systems

ADR Systems


ADR Systems is delighted to welcome Hon. Jack Callahan, (Ret.) to its panel of senior mediators and arbitrators. For the past 10 years, Judge Callahan served in the Circuit Court of Cook County Law Division’s Jury Trial and Motion Call Sections and Probate Division. As a popular and diplomatic jurist, he was often asked by counsel for a pretrial. His reputation grew, and Judge Callahan came to conduct hundreds of successful pretrials during his tenure. Prior to joining the bench, he practiced business and real estate law, served in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office and worked as a tax consultant in private practice.

“Judge Callahan’s in-depth knowledge of the litigation process – from pretrial negotiations to motion practice to jury verdict and the accumulating costs for litigants – is an invaluable asset to our clients,” said Marc Becker, president of ADR Systems. “He has seen the other side of the very disputes we resolve and understands the value of resolving them here and now.”

Judge Callahan firmly believes that parties can often come to a better resolution through settlement negations in pretrials or mediation. He recalled one such case while he was on the bench involving the wrongful death of a minor. Intra-family strife and debates over who was entitled to distributions further complicated the matter. Judge Callahan explained that the parties had to work through the trial issues, the numbers associated with the wrongful death case and the family issues separately, in a three-pronged form, to ultimately achieve a resolution. It required a significant investment of time that, Judge Callahan explained, cannot always be given in the pretrial setting due to the business of the court.

“This is why high-value cases like that one, with significant risk for both sides, and cases that could go one way or another before you hear the evidence at trial, are ripe for mediation or arbitration,” said Judge Callahan. “They benefit from a neutral who can provide a broad perspective and who can invite the parties to assess their positions, examine their interests and ultimately feel that justice flowed to both sides in the end.”

Judge Callahan’s perspective on the importance of settlement negotiations is born out of his own work as an attorney. He represented small- to mid-sized businesses as a private practitioner. Particularly mindful of the financial aspects of a case as a former accountant and tax consultant, he observed that clients sometimes underestimated how difficult and expensive it can be to litigate a dispute.

“Your first job as an attorney is to advocate for your client’s best interests,” said Judge Callahan. “Sometimes, that means leaving your pride at the door, being self-aware about the deficiencies in your case, preserving clients’ assets, and getting the case to a sensible resolution. Alternative dispute resolution can be the solution.”

To learn more about Judge Callahan as a senior mediator and arbitrator, click here.


Hon. Jack Callahan, (Ret.) brings enthusiasm, compassion and a broad base of experience in all aspects of the law to his practice as a senior mediator and arbitrator. His ability to resolve a wide variety of personal injury and commercial cases is supplemented by his time as an accountant and tax consultant. When not helping to resolve cases, Judge Callahan volunteers with adaptive athletic organizations that offer competitive or recreational sports opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

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ADR Systems, It’s Settled.®

Judge Burke is an excellent mediator.  He has one of the best demeanors of any judge I have appeared before in court.  He is also one of the most knowledgeable mediators as well.  His background provides him with an innate ability to spot the issues early on.  He works hard to get it done.  I would not hesitate for a second to use him again.

Mark Bazzanella, Esq.Mark Bazzanella Law Offices