Senior Mediator and Arbitrator

Hon. Daniel J. Kelley (Ret.) is a skilled mediator and settlement judge with 24 years experience that includes ruling on complex multi-party pre-trial motions and adjudicating or settling complex civil cases.  He is a certified mediator and arbitrator; as well as a certified judicial mentor.
Expertise: Commercial Disputes, Condominium Disputes, Construction Disputes, Employment Disputes, Insurance Coverage Disputes, Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Claims, Product Liability, Real Estate.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • 24 year judicial career focused on commercial, civil and criminal litigation and case resolution (2 years in Commercial/Business Calendar; 4 years in Law Jury; 14 years in Criminal; 3 years in Municipal District).  While in the Law Division, Judge Kelley conducted over 300 settlement conferences with a 90% settlement rate.
  • 7 year career in the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office in the following divisions:  Felony Trial Division, Preliminary Hearing Division, Misdemeanor Division, Traffic Division, Drug Abuse Program (clerk).
  • Successful resolution of the following types of cases:
    •  Business / Commercial: Contracts, LLC’s; partnerships; trusts; non-compete clauses; shareholder actions and fraud.
    • Insurance:  First and third party insurance coverage, reinsurance, excess, bad faith matters, and reimbursement agreements between a self insured and its carrier.
    • Construction: Matters involving all types of structures (residential, commercial, industrial, schools, hospitals, community centers) and parties (developers, general contractors, design professionals, insurers, public and private owners).  Issues involving defective work, design, and claims for delay damages and extras, allocation and insurance coverage disputes. 
    • Personal Injury: Catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, auto, slip and fall, products liability cases, and toxic tort litigation.
    • Medical Malpractice: Infant brain damage cases; wrongful death and various injuries.
    • Products Liability: Matters involving negligence and faulty design.
    • Real Estate: Construction, development disputes; condominium disputes.
    • Professional Liability: Attorney and accountant malpractice.
    • Employment: Non-competition and non-solicitation covenants; wrongful termination.

Representative Cases

Trial judge in notable cases including:


  • $4,600,000 - case involving complex insurance issues.
  • $ 3,500,000 -  medical malpractice case.
  • $ 3,000,000 - personal injury case.
  • Multi million dollar settlement in industrial accident case.

Jury Trials:

  • $ 15,000,000 verdict in serious personal injury matter.
  • $ 2,245,000 (including punitive damages) verdict in wrongful discharge and defamation case.
  • $ 3,300,000 verdict in products liability case.
  • Verdict in favor of defendant in breach of contract for purchase of stock case where plaintiff was seeking $ 10,000,000.
  • $1,000,000 verdict in insurance subrogation case where plaintiff was seeking $14,000,000.

Honors, Memberships and Professional Activities  

  • Member, American College of Business Court Judges.
  • Member, Illinois Judges Association.
  • Adjunct Professor, Kaplan University, Criminal Justice Department, 2003-present.
  • Attended, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, Continuing Judicial Education Programs:  “Economic Institute for Judges”, “Critical Issues in Toxic Tort Litigation”, “Second Annual Symposium on Critical Issues in Construction Defects Litigation”, “Insurance and Risk Allocation in America - Law and Regulation”, 2005 – 2007.
  • Advanced Science and Technology Resource Judge Program (ASTAR) “Language of Life Sciences Boot Camp”, The Ohio State University, ASTAR, 2007.
  • Advanced Science and Technology Resource Judge Program (ASTAR) “Neuroscience and Bio-Behavior Technologies”, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, ASTAR, 2007.

Bar Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1980.
  • United States District Court- Northern District of Illinois, 1980.
  • Illinois Supreme Court, 1980.

Background and Education

  • Completed 40-hour Civil Mediation Certification, Reno, Nevada, 2004.
  • John Marshall Law School, Juris Doctor, 1980.
  • University of Akron, Master of Science, 1976.
  • John Carroll University, Bachelors of Arts, 1975.
  • Fenwick High School, 1971

To schedule a case with Judge Kelley, or to discuss rates, please call ADR Systems of America, LLC at 312-960-2260 or email

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| Phone: 312-909-1457
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| Phone: 312-909-1457

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Services | DUI and Traffic Defense | Criminal Defense | Personal Injury | Medical Malpractice | Wrongful Death | Residential Real Estate | Commercial/Business Litigation