Hon. Michael R. Panter, (Ret.) - ADR Systems

ADR Systems


Hon. Michael R. Panter, (Ret.); Reinventing Your Legal Career

Hon. Michael R. Panter, (Ret.)


Hon. Michael R. Panter, (Ret.) is a senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems with more than 40 years of legal experience. On the bench, Judge Panter won acclaim for his settlement abilities. He resolved numerous medical malpractice claims, construction claims, legal malpractice cases, product liability cases, premises cases, fee disputes, nursing home cases, motor vehicle accidents and commercial cases involving contracts, property damage and fire subrogation.

Judge Panter was an active trial lawyer with his own law firm for 30 years. He brings a broad perspective to his practice, having served both as a neutral and as an advocate in thousands of mediations and arbitrations.

Immediately before becoming a judge, he served as a full-time faculty member at DePaul University College of Law and founded DePaul’s Litigation Lab, a hands-on educational program for law students that has been the subject of numerous articles. Judge Panter wrote a popular weekly column on mediation for The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He has written numerous articles and is an often-requested presenter. He also serves as a hearing officer on the Chicago Police Board. Judge Panter is known for his thorough and intelligent approach to settlements and the boundless energy he brings to the dispute resolution process. As a judge and arbitrator, he has written hundreds of reasoned opinions.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Auto Liability
  • Civil Rights
  • Construction Accidents
  • Contract
  • Discrimination
  • Employment
  • Family Law
  • Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
  • Fee Dispute
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Franchise
  • Fraud
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Mass Torts
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Non-Compete
  • Nursing Home
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Subrogation
  • Toxic Tort
  • Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist (UM&UIM)
  • Wrongful Death
  • Wrongful Termination

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining ADR Systems in 2015, Judge Panter has served as a full-time mediator, arbitrator and tri-panel chair
  • 7-year judicial career in the Circuit Court of Cook County, serving in the 1st Municipal District, the Domestic Relations Division, Law Division Motion Call and the Law Division Jury Trial Section
  • 30-year career as a trial lawyer starting with commercial litigation at Panter, Nelson & Bernfield, Ltd., and tort and commercial litigation at Michael R. Panter and Associates.
  • Director of Litigation Lab, DePaul University College of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, DePaul University College of Law
  • Member, AAA Panel of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Certified Effective Facilitator, June 2018, Leadership Strategies
  • Harvard University, Intensive Negotiation Course

Representative Cases

  • Auto Liability: $20 million settlement in a car and truck collision with severe injuries
  • Fee Dispute: $1 million attorney fee dispute case
  • Legal Malpractice: Two then-record legal malpractice verdicts of $1.5 million
  • Medical Malpractice: $2.4 million case involving a delayed cancer diagnosis resulting in the death of an elderly patient
  • Medical Malpractice: $2.5 million case involving a patient who died as a result of an undiagnosed post-operative pulmonary embolism
  • Medical Malpractice: More than 20 medical malpractice cases for more than $1 million, including over ten cases between $7-12 million
  • Personal Injury: $1 million settlement for loss of an infant’s arm due to physician’s failure to recognize vascular compromise and thrombosis after an IV line was inserted
  • Product Liability: $750,000 product liability case involving a child who lost an eye due to a defective spring-launched toy airplane
  • Wrongful Death: $5.3 million case involving a construction worker killed when a construction crane collapsed
  • Wrongful Death: $1 million case involving the suicide of a mentally ill patient following psychiatric admission
  • Wrongful Placement: $20 million case for wrongful placement and monitoring of a foster child by a private agency

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Hearing Officer, Chicago Police Board
  • Board of Advisers, WonderSeed Foundation
  • Featured in articles and profiles in Crain’s, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Chicago Lawyer Magazine, St. John’s College
  • Member, AAA Commercial Panel of National Roster of Arbitration and Panel of Mediators
  • Member, Illinois Judges Association
  • Member, Chicago Bar Association, Tort Litigation Committee and Referral Panels
  • Member, Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Member, Jewish Judges Association
  • Member, Decalogue Society of Lawyers
  • Mentor, Israel Cancer Research Fund
  • Former Faculty, State of Illinois, Judicial Education Conference (“Settlement Strategies”)
  • Former Faculty, New Judge Seminar
  • Former Vice-chair, ABA TIPS
  • Former Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Former Member, Florida State Bar Association
  • Former Member, DuPage County Bar Association
  • Former Member, Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Discovery Procedures
  • Former Member, Illinois Supreme Court Civil Justice Committee
  • Former Member, Cook County Law Division Committee on Mediation of Discovery Disputes
  • Former Member, West Suburban Bar Association
  • Former Member, Young Men’s Jewish Council
  • Former Member, Standard Club of Chicago
  • Former Member, American Bar Association (ABA); Litigation and Judicial Divisions, Tips, Commercial & Business Litigation and ADR Subcommittees
  • Former Member, American Association for Justice
  • Former Member, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • Former Member, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
  • Former Member, American Society of Trial Consultants
  • Former Mentor & Member, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois
  • Former Mentor, Gay and Lesbian Alliance
  • Participant, Women Everywhere: Partners in Service Project
  • Participant, Lend-A-Hand Foundation
  • Jewish United Fund
  • Jewish Community Centers

Presentations and Publications

  • Author, “Ethics in Arbitration and Mediation,” Resolving Insurance Claim Disputes Before Trial, American Bar Association Textbook, Chapter 3, 2018
  • Author, “Why Shareholders Have the Right to Accept Tender Offers,” CBA Record
  • Author, “Voir Dire” and “Motions in Limine,” Circuit Court of Cook County Law Division Benchbook
  • Author, “Discovery,” ITLA Civil Practice Update
  • Author, “Thirty Years in 1,600 Bankers Boxes,” CBA Record
  • Co-author, State of Illinois Judicial Bench Book on Civil Law and Procedure
  • Keynote Address, Commencement Exercises, Bradwell School of Excellence
  • Keynote Address, “Streamlining the Litigation Process,” CLM 2015 Professional Liability & Municipal Law Conference
  • Moderating Judge, Willis Retail Litigation Symposium
  • Panelist, “The Mechanics of Jury Selection,” Circuit Court of Cook County panel discussion and seminar
  • Panelist, “Creative Solutions: How to Reduce Litigation Costs and Expedite Resolution,” Circuit Court of Cook County Lunchtime Seminar Series
  • Panelist, Chicago Bar Association, ADR Committee
  • Panelist, “Damages: What, When and How,” Circuit Court of Cook County Lunchtime Seminar Series
  • Presenter, “Overview of Damages in Commercial Litigation,” Chicago Bar Association Seminar
  • Presenter, “Streamlining Litigation,” Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
  • Presenter, “ADR in the United States,” for officials from China’s Ministry of Justice, through the University of Illinois Office of Global Education & Training, and hosted by the University’s China Executive Leadership Program
  • Presenter, DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute
  • Presenter, Consortium of Representatives from Major Illinois Insurers
  • Presenter, Adjusters Group of Hanover Insurance
  • Presenter, Auto Management Claims Group of State Farm Insurance Company
  • Presenter, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Spring Symposium
  • Presenter, “Getting the Judge on Your Side,” Law Division & Municipal Joint Seminar
  • Presenter, “Litigation Issues,” Tort Litigation Committee
  • Presenter, “Arbitration,” Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association
  • Presenter, Circuit Court of Cook County Mandatory Arbitration and Mediation
  • Presenter, “Defendant’s Store Clerk – Direct Examination and Cross- Examination,” Anatomy of a Trial, ISBA Tort Law Section
  • Presenter, “Perspective from the Bench,” ITLA Medical Malpractice Seminar
  • Presenter, Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section
  • Presenter, Judge James P. Flannery Meeting of New Judges
  • Presenter, Chicago Bar Association Tort Litigation Committee
  • Presenter, PINCUS CLE Seminars
  • Presenter, Chicago Bar Association Judges’ Annual Symposium
  • Presenter, Fred Lane, ISBA Trial Techniques Course
  • Presenter at numerous law firms and insurers
  • Weekly columnist on mediation in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin


  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD (“The Great Books School”)


  • Illinois State Bar
  • Florida State Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Trial Bar for the Northern District of Illinois
  • US Supreme Court

I want to thank you on behalf of my client and me, and especially thank Judge Casciato, who did such an excellent job getting our case settled during a remote Zoom mediation. I always recommend ADR Systems and your great mediators to attorneys who ask me. In fact, in my judgment, your firm put alternative dispute resolution (ADR) on the map in Illinois. ADR Systems provides a cost-effective means of resolving lawsuits in a mutually satisfactory manner. Keep up the excellent work!  

Mark P. Standa, Esq.Mark P. Standa, P.C.