2006 Judge Donald P. O'Connell was selected for his private mediation
success as one of the "LawDragon 500" outstanding public and private
judges in America. Early in his judicial career, Judge Donald P.
O'Connell received his mediation training at the National Judicial
College. Since becoming a judge in 1978 and continuing after his
retirement from the bench, Judge O'Connell has successfully mediated
more than 10,000 complex tort and commercial cases.
Donald P. O’Connell served in the Law Division of the Circuit Court
of Cook County for his entire judicial career. Complex tort and commercial
cases are filed in the Law Division. No other judge in the history of
the court served his entire judicial career in the Law Division. All other judges
commenced their careers in divisions hearing traffic, misdemeanor, criminal,
minor civil, domestic relations or other divisions of the court
before ascending to the Law Division. When Judge O’Connell was asked
to administer the 100 judges in the First Municipal District in 1984, that division
of the court was besieged with problems. O’Connell agreed to assume
administration of the troubled division as its Presiding Judge only
if allowed to maintain his Law Division calendar of complex tort and commercial cases.
bringing respect back to the First Municipal District, Judge O’Connell became the Presiding Judge of the 65 judges in the Law division.
In that capacity he instituted many reforms including dedicated commercial calendars,
court annexed voluntary mediation, local rules to expedite and streamline
case management and many other changes resulting in significant
reductions in the average age of Law Division cases. He administered
the Law Division while continuing to maintain his own calendar of
complex Law Division cases.
Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Judge O’Connell
continued to institute improvements in the court. Again, he did
so while maintaining
his own calendar of complex Law Division cases.
a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, each year O’Connell
successfully conducted over 500 mediations of complex tort and commercial
retirement from the court, Judge O’Connell began his private, independent
mediation practice designated “O’Connell Mediation Services.”
Since his retirement from the court in
2001, O'Connell has successfully mediated in excess of 4500 cases. Donald P. O'Connell achieved special recognition
from Leading Lawyers Network for: "ADR: Commercial". (Click
on Leading Lawyers Network, below).
Recognized in 2012 by
Illinois Super Lawyers magazine as among the top mediators in the
State of Illinois.