Kenneth A. Abraham, Retired JudgeOf Counsel
Following 15 years of service as a judge, Retired Judge Kenneth A. Abraham has joined DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle as Of Counsel to head the firm’s arbitration and mediation practice and to serve as a litigation consultant in complex business, class action and consumer cases. With nearly four decades of experience as a lawyer and trial judge, Ken knows his way around the courtroom, and has great skill as a litigator, mediator and arbitrator. Ken believes that litigation should be initiated only after thoroughly exploring all options. Ken assists us in initial client fact reviews helping us flag key issues which will help the case succeed. He also consults with us on many issues throughout a case where his viewpoint as a long time judge can give us a new and different perspective on helping us to hone arguments and present them in the most persuasive manner to court.
With more than 160 hours of dispute resolution training, Ken brings extensive practical experience to the firm’s arbitration practice. Having served as Supervising Judge of the Mandatory Arbitration program in the second-largest court system in the State of Illinois for over 7 1/2 years, Ken trained and supervised more than 400 attorneys who serve as arbitrators. Ken is currently a certified arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Mandatory Arbitration program. Having presided over a large number of arbitrations, he offers a unique perspective in developing a winner strategy in arbitration matters. Ken has assisted our firm in dealing with complex mandatory arbitration issues raised by the adoption of mandatory arbitration for more sophisticated business disputes in the Commercial Calendar of the Circuit Court of Cook County. He has assisted us in preparing pleadings relating to challenging an order assigning a commercial matter to mandatory arbitration even when it involved claims for equitable relief including: an accounting action, removal of manages and appointment of a receiver. Because Ken was at to forefront of adoption of mandatory arbitration proceedings in Illinois he was particularly suited to offer our firm advice and counsel in that matter. As more courts develop mandatory arbitration for matters beyond simple small claims pursuits we anticipate that Ken will continue to offer our clients beneficial advice in arbitration matters.
As Supervising Judge of Mediation, Ken has trained numerous mediators, has been featured on cable television shows discussing the advantages of mediation, and was on the faculty of the International Conference of Conciliation Courts. While a judge, he initiated a Pilot Project mandating mediation of car accident cases with insurance adjusters required to attend. During the first year of the program, Ken resolved in excess of 325 cases through mediation, many of them within two months after suit was filed. The success of that Pilot Project has led the Circuit Court to continue the program with the adoption of a court rule. He now brings that experience to meet your needs before or after the start of litigation.
Our firm has utilized Ken’s long time mediation experience when our clients are involved in significant mediated matters. Ken’s perspective as a long time Circuit Court Judge and mediator helps us develop mediation and settlement strategies that have achieved excellent results for our clients in mediated matters.