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Morton Denlow

Hon. Morton Denlow (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Deborah Stewart
T: 312-655-9192
F: 312-655-0644
71 S. Wacker Drive , Suite 3090 , Chicago , IL 60606

Hon. Morton Denlow (Ret.) joined JAMS following 16 1/2 years of distinguished service as a Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. During his time on the bench, Judge Denlow presided over thousands of matters in both the pretrial and trial stages. He has conducted over 2,000 settlement conferences.

A nationally recognized expert in settling cases, Judge Denlow has continued to prove invaluable to parties involved in intractable disputes at JAMS.  His breath of experience as an advocate, attorney neutral, and a settlement-focused judge makes him an ideal choice to mediate the complex business/commercial case.

Since coming to JAMS in October 2012, Judge Denlow has had success in mediating business/commercial matters, including:

Representative Matters

  • Breach of Contract:  Settled multiple pre-suit disputes and lawsuits for breach of contract, including:
    • Breach of contract suit against a university alleging failure to issue Psy. D.
    • Breach of contract suits brought by fourteen counties for failure to pay for copying of public documents
    • Breach of consulting agreement lawsuit in food industry
    • Breach of contract suit for failure to pay for new circuits installed in regional data centers
    • Breach of contract suit regarding the scope of defendant's payment obligations under tax consulting agreements
    • Breach of contract for exchange of design services for consignment services to sell furniture and art
    • Accounting dispute between two partners in the fashion industry
    • Breach of a marketing analytics agreement
    • Suit alleging breach of contract arising out of the sale of a dental practice
    • Breach of contract of consulting agreement to improve performance of a paper mill
    • Claim by providers of dialysis services
    • Breach of software maintenance agreement
    • Claim for failure to accept delivery of uranium concentrate
    • Breach of contract arising out of asset purchase agreement and dispute over the amount of earn out due
    • Breach of wheel assembly equipment purchase
    • Breach of contract regarding escrow from sale of stores
    • Breach of contract arising out of sale of advertising services
    • Breach of contract suit for sale of 400,000 barrels of ethanol
    • Breach of contract suit alleging failure to pay for delivery, rental and cleaning of oil tanks
  • Breach of Purchase and License Agreement:  Settled claim arising out of purchase of major medical equipment pending in arbitration
  • Breach of Warranty:  Settled suit for breach of warranty brought by telecommunications company against component supplier
  • Distribution Agreements
    • Settled a dispute between a manufacturer and distributor arising out of alleged breach of a distributorship agreement
    • $3,000,000 settlement of claim pending in arbitration alleging wrongful termination of distributor agreement
    • $65,000,000 pre-suit settlement arising out of a product supply and distribution agreement in the drug industry
  • Family Business Dispute
    • Settled multiple lawsuits between siblings involving closely held business with $50M in annual sales
    • Settled family business dispute between two brothers including the auction of three jointly owned real estate properties
  • Fraud and Kickbacks:  Multimillion dollar settlement of lawsuit by two shippers for alleged overpayment of shipping charges due to kickback and bribery scheme between company executive and two shipping companies
  • Joint Venture Dispute
    • $1,200,000 settlement of claim for breach of fiduciary duty and dissolution of LLC
    • Pre-suit settlement of dispute between two travel companies terminating their joint venture
    • Settlement of four lawsuits involving the dissolution of a joint venture manufacturing and sales venture
  • Law Firm Dissolution:  Settled pre-suit dispute involving the breakup of small law firm by means of a med-arb process
  • Manufacturing
    • $600K settlement of pre-suit claim for breach of warranty of manufactured products
    • Settlement of case in arbitration involving a claim for breach of contract in the manufacture and performance of an integrated packaging line
    • Settled a breach of contract and breach of warranty suit that had been pending for four years between a municipality and a bus manufacturer involving 227 buses
    • $9.7 million settlement of breach of contract suit to manufacture two train sets
    • $4.85 million settlement of breach of contract suit alleging non-conforming cheese ingredients resulting in recall
  • Minority Shareholder Oppression Claims
    • Settled pre-suit claim for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract brought by minority shareholder in anesthesia medical practice
    • $2.6 million pre-suit settlement of claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty and improper valuation of minority interest in tax redemption business
    • Settlement of suit by minority shareholder in multi-state pizza business
  • Partnership Dispute
    • Multimillion dollar settlement of lawsuit between partners alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty
    • Pre-suit claim by former law firm partner against firm alleging he was wrongfully forced out
    • Settled five year old suits between 50/50 partners arising out of $600,000,000 real estate business
    • Settled suit separating 50/50 partners in resin business pending in USDC ND ILL
    • Settled suit by partner alleging failure to share partnership profits pending in Cook County Circuit Court
  • RICO:  Multimillion dollar settlement of civil RICO lawsuit brought by more than 10 plaintiffs alleging fraudulent business practices
  • Service Agreement:  Pre-suit settlement of dispute involving long-term maintenance and repair service agreement to a steam turbine generator
  • Software Contract
    • Settled suit for breach of software contract in automobile industry
    • Breach of contract suit arising out of contract to develop a computer software controlled system to coordinate the dispatch of police, fire and ambulance
    • Breach of contract pre-suit claim regarding reimbursements arising out of operation of waste reprocessing facility
  • Supply Agreement:  Settled suit for breach of a supply contract to produce, bottle and package beverages
  • Theft of Trade Secrets:  Settled a number of suits alleging former employee breached contractual and fiduciary duties and stole trade secrets
  • Tortious Interference with Contract:  Settled suit between two trucking companies alleging wrongful recruitment of truck drivers under contract


  • Recipient, Edwin A. Rothschild Award for Lifetime Achievement in Civil Rights, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 2015
  • Member, Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System of the Judicial Conference, 2005-2012 
  • Immediate Past President and Board of Directors, Resolution Systems Institute
  • Vice President, Jewish Judges Association of Illinois
  • Board of Directors, Federal Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation, 2006-2012 
  • Member of Advisory Committee, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management Dispute Resolution Research Center 
  • Adjunct Professor in Trial Advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law, 1990-1991 
  • Senior Lecturer in Law, Loyola University School of Law, 1983-1995
  • Faculty, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 1988-1998
  • Lecturer, American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Northwestern University Corporation Counsel Institute, National Employment Lawyers Association, American Intellectual Property Association, International Claim Association, Association of Attorney Mediators, Employers Counsel Network, and PLI Consumer Financial Services Institute
  • Judicial Profile published in the Federal Lawyer, December 2012
  • Recipient, Seymour Simon Justice Award, Jewish Judges Association of Illinois, 2010

Author of numerous articles including the following publications:

  • Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1996-2012 (Presiding Magistrate Judge, 2004-2008)
  • Partner, Dardick & Denlow, 1984-1993
  • Partner, Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd., 1979-1984 (Of Counsel, 1993-1996)
  • Director of Professional Services for Chicago Regional Office, JAMS/Endispute, 1995-1996
  • Associate, Rosenthal & Schanfield, 1977-1979
  • Law Clerk and Associate, D’Ancona & Pflaum, 1971-1977
  • J.D., cum laude, Northwestern University School of Law, 1972 (Order of the Coif)
  • A.B., Economics, cum laude, Washington University, 1969

Counsel Comments

    “Based on the positive feedback received by the Council, Judge Denlow is clearly held in very high esteem by the active federal bar. Regarding settlement conferences, attorneys had extremely positive views of his ability to settle cases and similarly praised him for the amount of time and effort he puts into settlement conferences.”

    -An Evaluation of the United States Magistrate Judges in Chicago, by The Chicago Council of Lawyers, April 2008





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