David Coar

Hon. David H. Coar (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Juliana Wilkin
T: 312-655-9193
F: 312-655-0644
71 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60606

David H. Coar is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. David H. Coar (Ret.) joined JAMS in 2011 after 16 years as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois and 8 years as a United States Bankruptcy Judge.  From 1979 to 1982, he served as the first United States Bankruptcy Trustee in the Northern District of Illinois.


Judge Coar’s mediation practice focuses on complex bankruptcy and commercial disputes.


Representative Matters

  • Selected as the pre-filing mediator in Chapter 9 bankruptcy for the town of Mammoth Lakes, Calif.  Successfully negotiated settlements of claims of vendors, contractors and union and management employees
  • Presided over the first large (and most successful) asbestos bankruptcy case resulting in a consensual plan that has served as a model for subsequent cases.  Claims totaling more than $92 billion were resolved.  More than 90 percent of the stock of the reorganized company was issued to a trust for asbestos injury claimants.  Complicated (and at the time, unresolved) issues of future claims, corporate governance, and liability of the trust were successfully navigated
  • Successfully settled a $30 million avoidance action in a bankruptcy case involving a foreign creditor of a debtor
  • Mediated an adversary action alleging auditing malpractice
  • Successfully settled commercial dispute under shareholder’s agreement involving claims against departing shareholders for alleged breach of the agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets, confidential information and violations of computer fraud and abuse statutes, with counterclaims by departing shareholders for amounts allegedly due for buy-outs and other payments under the agreement
  • Mediated avoidance action wherein the trustee was seeking to avoid and recover approximately $1.85 million in allegedly fraudulent and/or preferential transfers made to a creditor during the year leading up to the debtors’ bankruptcy filing
  • Served as a neutral evaluator in several bankruptcy cases involving novel claims against creditors
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Recipient, The Earl Burrus Dickerson Award of The Chicago Bar Association, 2021
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 2007-2010
  • Member, Information Technology Committee, Judicial Conference of the United States, 1999-2005 (served as chair of the budget subcommittee)
  • Visiting Committee, University of Chicago Law School, 1998-2000
  • Conferee, Emeritus, National Bankruptcy Conference
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Member, American College of Bankruptcy
  • Past board member, Federal Judges Association
  • Past board member, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
  • Served on the editorial board of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal
  • Speaker on topics ranging from bankruptcy, intellectual property, sentencing, employment discrimination, and the use of technology in the courts
  • Law360’s Minority Powerbrokers Q&A series with Judge David Coar, December 3, 2014
    • Judge, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1994-2010
    • Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1986-1994
    • Visiting Professor of Law, Marshall-Wythe Law School, College of William and Mary, 1985
    • Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law, 1974-1979 and 1982-1994
    • United States Trustee, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1979-1982
    • Private law practice, Mobile and Birmingham, AL, 1971-1974
    • Carnegie Foundation Intern, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., 1970-1971
    • LL.M., Harvard Law School, 1970
    • J.D., Loyola University Law School, 1969
    • B.A., Syracuse University, 1964
    • United States Marine Corps Reserves, 1965-1971
    • Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, 1965



    Practice Areas

    • Antitrust
    • Arbitration
    • Bankruptcy
    • Business/Commercial
    • Civil Rights
    • Class Action/Mass Torts
    • Employment
    • Federal Judge
    • Financial Markets
    • Intellectual Property
    • Life Sciences
    • Securities


    Available nationwide


    This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More