Academy Member Inducted 2016

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Hon. Daniel J. Kelley (Ret.), Mediator & Arbitrator, Chicago, Illinois.

Hon. Daniel J. Kelley (Ret.)

ADR Systems Inc
20 North Clark Street, Floor 29
Chicago, IL 60602
Tel: (312) 960-2260
Fax: (312) 960-2268
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Recognized to Illinois Chapter for Mediation & Arbitration Other ADR Services: Court-Appointed Neutral (Special Master), Discovery Referee, Insurance Umpire, Med-Arb, Mini-Trial Judge
Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced2005
  • # of MEDS (as of 23/6/24) 
  • # of ARBS (as of 23/6/24) 
Current Practice
Online / In-Person


Judge Daniel J. Kelley (Ret) served as a judge of the Circuit Court of Illinois – Cook County for 24 years and brings a combined 42 years of experience as a judge and attorney to his ADR practice. During his years on the bench, Judge Kelley was assigned to the Criminal and Law Divisions of the Court, and while assigned to the Law Division he presided over cases pending in the law- jury and complex commercial litigation sections of that division. Since his retirement from the bench in 2008, he has been actively involved as a senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems of America where he has helped parties resolve disputes in a wide array of matters from cases involving negligence (motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, professional negligence, extensive property/contractor caused damage) to those involving complex commercial litigation issues. Judge Kelley received his formal mediation training at the National Judicial College and conducted numerous pre-trial settlement conferences employing the methods he learned there while on the job. He is a veteran mediator who enjoys engaging with the parties and is well known for his calm, intelligent and common-sense approach to the mediation process. Judge Kelley employs multiple methods in his pursuit to settle cases. Generally starting with a facilitative approach (in hopes that the parties, with his assistance, will reach their own settlement) he will easily shift to an evaluative approach when the circumstances call for it. It is well known that when a case doesn’t settle, he will follow-up, keep the parties engaged and continue to pursue a settlement. Judge Kelley is also an experienced arbitrator both as a sole arbitrator and as the neutral arbitrator in tri-panel hearings.  He has presided over hearings that have lasted anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. He is known for his knowledge and understanding of the law as well as his fairness, diligence and ability to put the litigants at ease. Since 2010 Judge Kelley has been recognized by his peers for his skills as a mediator and arbitrator in Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury cases by being named to the Leading Lawyers Network. Additionally, Judge Kelley is a certified judicial mentor and maintains a limited law practice at the Law Offices of Daniel J. Kelley. 

Case Experience

  • Admiralty
  • Automotive
  • Commercial/Business
  • Community Associations
  • Condominiums
  • Construction
  • Contract Disputes
  • Elder Abuse
  • Employment
  • Family Businesses
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Homes
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Railroad & Trucking
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Torts
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Wrongful Death


  • Mediator Certification, The National Judicial College, University of Nevada at Reno, 2005
  • JD., The University of Illinois at Chicago -  John Marshall School of Law, 1980
  • MS., University of Akron, Technical (Law Enforcement) Education, 1976
  • BA., John Carroll University, Sociology, 1975

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Named Leading Lawyer in Illinois 2010 – present
  • Charter Member, American College of Business Court Judges
  • Member, Illinois Judges Association
  • Member, Association of Attorney Mediators
  • American Legion Award
  • American Enterprise Institute (AEI) - Brookings Joint Center for Regulator 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, 2007
  • Advanced Science and Technology Resource Judge Program (ASTAR) “Neuroscience and Bio-Behavior Technologies”, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2007

Rates Information

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