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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 breadth of experience as an advocate, a settlement-focused judge and successful mediator makes him an ideal choice to mediate the complex case.

Since joining JAMS in October 2012, Judge Denlow has mediated or arbitrated real property disputes in a variety of contexts:

Representative Matters

  • Settled five year old lawsuits between 50/50 partners arising out of $600,000,000 real estate business
  • $2,300,000 pre-suit settlement of construction contract dispute arising out of currency fluctuation in South America
  • $257,000 settlement of landlord suit against tenant alleging property and environmental damage
  • Settlement of lawsuit brought by adjoining home owner alleging multi-million dollars in damages arising out of the construction of a new school building
  • Settled two lawsuits between 50/50 partners involving 27 apartment complexes and creation of plan of separation between partners
  • $325,000 settlement of suit alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with purchase of shopping center
  • Settled a breach of contract and fraud suit against builder arising out of the construction of a $2.3 million home
  • Multimillion dollar settlement of suit alleging breach of real estate remarketing agreement and counterclaim for fraud
  • Settled two suits by real estate developer against municipality alleging breach of contract and fraud for failure to pay for his real estate marketing activities
  • Settlement of lawsuit to recover attorney’s fees for property tax reduction services performed for major corporation
  • Conducted a med-arb to resolve claim by landlord for breach of a commercial lease by a grocery store chain
  • Settled suit for specific performance and breach of contract brought by university against adjoining property owner
  • Settled suit for foreclosure and claim against guarantors involving Indiana shopping center
  • Arbitrated claim to determine amount of retail parcel square footage
  • Settled dissolution of real estate partnership between two brothers by conducting auction between them
  • Settled suit for diminution in value to real estate due to environmental contamination
  • Conducted a baseball stlye arbitration to determine value of a parking garage
  • 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
    • "The settlement agreement in this dispute has now been signed. Thanks very much for your help. It’s always a pleasure to work with you."
    • "We appreciate all of your fine efforts, diligence, and creativity – all of which were needed to arrive at a settlement. It was great working with you."
    • "Thank you again for your help in getting this matter resolved. Your approach and insight were invaluable."
    • "I continue to receive praise from Dana, Michael & Pat for your very skilled mediating, and yesterday I was able to witness that first hand! When we started I was not certain we could get it done, and I believe you’re the reason the two parties eventually came together."
    • "Thank you for your dedication and assistance today, and for helping to keep the dialogue open."
    • "Thank you, again, for your superb help."
    • "Your efforts yesterday were greatly appreciated by me and my client. And I am so pleased that we could keep your record intact. I look forward to further opportunities to work with you and won’t hesitate in the least to recommend you to others."
    • "Thanks, Judge Denlow. We obviously couldn’t have achieved this settlement without your able assistance. It was a real pleasure to meet and work with you and counsel to get this done. Thanks again."
    • "Thank you for your assistance yesterday. Your approach was critical to getting over the lengthy history between the parties."
    • "Thanks, Judge, for your help. Your careful and reasonable analysis was tremendously helpful. On a personal note, it was a real pleasure to meet and to work with you."
    • "Thank you for your great assistance, persistence, and wise counsel. We all appreciate the skills you bring to the table."
    • "Thank you, Judge Denlow, for your persistence and hard work in bringing the parties together. We couldn’t have done it without you!"
    • "Thanks judge. It took a miracle worker to get that one done!"
    • "Let me echo [opposing counsel’s] appreciation for your terrific efforts in helping the parties bring this matter to an end."
    • "Thank you, Judge Denlow—this could not have happened without you."
    • "Thank you, Judge. This feels like the right result, and we have a satisfied client."
    • "Thank you for your message, and especially for your hard work yesterday in bringing a difficult situation to a definitive end.  Only the best are able to settle the very hardest cases."
    • "I also wanted to thank you privately for getting this one done. I don’t have nearly the number of mediations under my belt as you, but this was the most frustrating of my career. Your particular skills and demeanor got us there, and I am grateful…"
    • "Thank you for your hard work and expert assistance. From plaintiff’s side, I can say with confidence that it would not have settled without your thoughtful and sensitive approach."
    • "Thank you, Judge Denlow, for all your help. My client is thrilled with the resolution and to have [the case] behind him."
    • "Thank you for your patience and time last night. I know that we interrupted your plans, and we are greatly appreciative of your commitment to help us broker a deal.  It would not have [happened] otherwise."
    • "Thank you for your great efforts yesterday. It is much appreciated by my personally, and I know by [the parties] as well."
    • "Thank you, Judge. Your assistance yesterday was invaluable."
    • "Writing to let you know that the parties have executed and exchanged settlement agreements. Thank you for your assistance and persistence in helping to get this matter resolved."
    • "Thank you for your time and effort in settling this matter. We look forward to the next opportunity to work together."
    • "I know I speak for all concerned in expressing appreciation for your guidance in resolving this case."
    • "First, thank you for your excellent mediation skills last Thursday; the successful result obtained through your efforts was most welcome to those of us on the…team. We thought your professional analysis and skilled 'shuttle diplomacy' was precisely what we sought."
    • "Thank you for your time and diplomatic assistance in resolving this matter."
    • "Thank you for your patience and assistance with the parties’ settlement.  It was a pleasure working with you."
    • "Thank you, Judge Denlow.  And thank you for your difficult but effective work Monday and yesterday in helping us reach an agreement."
    • "We appreciate your diligence in helping the parties reach an agreement under very difficult circumstances."
    • "I also wanted to let you know that my client ended up being very happy with the result, her qualms about settling have disappeared (which made me feel much better) and is very appreciative of your efforts. She is looking forward to a new life, after being in limbo for several years."
    • "Judge Denlow, thank you for working with the parties to get a mutually satisfactory resolution to the issues. Your ability to understand the issues and to communicate the positions of both parties was very helpful."
    • "Thank you so much for your time and patience, your knowledge and understanding and especially your incredible skills as a mediator. I was optimistic beforehand based on all I read about you prior to mediation. You proved to make a real impact on our case and I am certain you were the catalyst that brought us to the point of being able to reach a settlement. I sincerely appreciate your hard work and your understanding of the issues (legal AND personal) and your ability to understand what it took to reach a settlement. You have a great talent to recognize what's important and the real goals of each party, each lawyer, each participant in the case. I cannot thank you enough."
    • "Many thanks for a successful mediation; a result that is attributable to your widely recognized talent in bringing opposing parties to a realization of the multiple benefits of resolving their differences through the mediation process. We appreciate the time and effort that you dedicated to this matter, and look forward  to working with you in the future."
    • "I have to concede that I had my doubts at times today regarding whether a settlement could be achieved, and there is no question that it would not have happened without your persuasive guidance. As always, thank you. There is no question that the outcome was in the best interest of all parties."
    • "Please accept my sincere appreciation for allowing us to benefit from your skills, experience and your deeply rooted sense of human fairness. But for you, we would not have been able to close on this matter."
    • "Thank you again for your assistance in resolving this case."
    • "Once again, I believe that your detailed knowledge and input based on the specific facts of this case resulted in a settlement that was fair to all."
    • "On behalf of my client and myself, please accept my thanks for you invaluable efforts today in helping us to resolve this dispute. As always, you were fair, thoughtful, creative and the consummate professional. Thank you again."
    • "I want to thank you for your efforts to get our case resolved last night. We really appreciate that you spent the extra hours bringing this difficult matter to conclusion."
    • "Thank you very much, Judge Denlow. We very much appreciate all your efforts and stamina, as well of course as the introduction to the 'seven cs'."
    • "All of us here at the EEOC want to express our appreciation for your work helping the parties reach this resolution. We know that you were an integral part of the settlement process."
    • "The outcome would likely have been different without your skillful facilitation and persistence. Our clients are better off having reached a settlement. It was a pleasure to work with you."
    • "Thank you for all of your efforts. Your reputation is well deserved. And thanks to the JAMS staff for all of their help and hospitality."
    • "Thank you for all of your efforts in resolving this dispute. I appreciate your patience, as well as your guidance. I took away a number of valuable lessons from our mediation, which I'm sure will come in handy in the future. It was truly a pleasure working with you."
    • "The case has fully settled, and I believe we would not have gotten to settlement without your excellent efforts to bring the parties together."
    • "Deepest thanks for your help at the mediation. With your good influence, were able to break through a few logjams that had been causing difficulty for months."
    • "Thanks again for helping us settle this case. It was a tough one for a few different reasons, and we couldn't have done it without you, that's for sure."
    • "Thank you for your efforts. You are the best."
    • "Thank you, thank you - you were great!"
    • "Judge Denlow, and thank you very much for your assistance and steady hand through the mediation process. Much appreciated."
    • "Thank you for your tireless assistance."
    • "Thank you, again, for your superb assistance."
    • "Thank you for all of your efforts and patience yesterday while we worked through the issues. We really appreciate."
    • "Thank you for your time, energy and expertise in mediation. We appreciate everything and getting a resolution."
    • "Thank you very much for your persistence and judgment in successfully mediating this challenging dispute."
    • "Judge Denlow, thank you for your help today. You were very good as always."




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