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Morton Denlow

Hon. Morton Denlow (Ret.)

Case Manager
Deborah Stewart
T: 312-655-9192
F: 312-655-0644
71 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 2400, 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 employment disputes in a variety of contexts:

Representative Matters

  • Discrimination/Retaliation
    • $162,500 settlement of suit alleging age and perceived disability discrimination
    • $305,000 settlement in pre-arbitration claim by Vice President alleging age and sex discrimination
    • $487,500 pre-suit settlement of claim by group Vice President alleging sex discrimination
    • Pre-suit settlement of claim for disability discrimination termination in music industry
    • $375,000 pre-suit settlement of claim for age discrimination arising out of termination of consulting agreement
    • $105,000 pre-suit settlement of age and sex discrimination claim arising out of an executive's demotion
    • $625,000 settlement of claim for wrongful termination under Whistleblower Act
    • $1,500,000 class action settlement of a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in the hiring of temporary workers in candy factory
    • $300,00 settlement of suit for race discrimination brought by terminated bank executive
    • $150,000 settlement of pre-suit claim for age discrimination by terminated distribution center manager
    • $328,000 settlement of claim for gender discrimination and sex harassment pending before Illinois Human Rights Commission
    • $500,000 settlement of pre-suit claim by head of Human Resources negotiating a separation agreement following allegations of race discrimination and retaliation
    • $600,000 settlement of pre-suit claim by Human Resources Vice President alleging her termination was the result of race discrimination
    • $212,000 settlement of pre-suit claim by drug sales representative alleging sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation 
    • Settlement of three wrongful termination lawsuits brought against union 
    • $117,000 settlement of pre-suit claim alleging age discrimination in connection with a failure to promote a vice president
    • Settled suit alleging racial harassment, retaliation and defamation
    • Pre-suit settlement of claim brought by female executive recruiter
    • Pre-suit settlement of claim brought by former corporate controller alleging disability and FMLA discrimination
    • Settled a pregnancy discrimination claim pending in an arbitration
    • Settled an age discrimination matter brought against a hospital by a nurse with 24 years tenure
    • $400,000 pre-suit settlement for alleged age discrimination against terminated in-house counsel
    • $105,000 settlement of lawsuit alleging age discrimination and retaliation
    • Settlement of suit brought by police officer against municipality alleging race discrimination and retaliation in failing to promote
    • Settlement of suit brought by park district executive director alleging retaliation and violation of Illinois Whistleblower Act
    • Settled claim for whistleblower retaliation and discharge pending in federal administrative proceeding
    • $210,000 pre-suit settlement of whistleblower wrongful termination claim by bank employee
  • Breach of Contract
    • $1,125,000 settlement of suit for breach of contract arising out of Vice President's claim that he was wrongfully terminated for cause 
    • $1,475,000 settlement of suit alleging breach of employment agreement by a former CEO who was terminated after being accused of breach of fidiciary duty
    • $700,000 pre-suit settlement of claims by Sr. V.P. for commissions and stock options
    • Settled a breach of contract and wrongful discharge suit brought by a real estate manager against his former employer
    • $1.8 million settlement of pre-suit claim by former company president for beach of contract and wrongful termination 
    • $1.5 million settlement of lawsuit for alleged breach of an executive employment agreement
    • Pre-suit settlement of claim by officer against former employer alleging breach of an equity participation agreement
    • Settlement of suit between business and its former President alleging claims and counterclaims for breaches of contract and fiduciary duty
    • Settled suit by law firm income partner claiming wrongful termination
    • Settled several pre-suit claims and lawsuits brought by salespersons against former employers for unpaid sales commissions
    • Settled suit alleging former employee stole trade secrets and joined a competitor in violation of employment agreement
    • Settlement of RICO and breach of fiduciary duty suit against two corporate executives alleged to have usurped corporate opportunity while employed by plaintiff
    • Pre-arbitration settlement of claim for unpaid bonus and commissions 
  • EEOC Class Actions
    • $200,000 settlement of EEOC age discrimination claim
    • Settlement of four claims pending at EEOC alleging sex harassment committed by partner in law firm
    • $2,000,000 settlement of class action alleging disability discrimination against major shipping company arising out of company's medical leave policy
    • $4,400,000 settlement of ADA claim brought in the USDC SD ILL
    • $4,250,000 settlement of class action alleging sex discrimination in hiring of women in the mining industry
  • Overtime
    • $1,750,00 pre-suit/settlement of claim by assistant managers
    • Settled numerous FLSA/State law overtime suits in the banking, bookstore, office equipment, temporary staffing, recruiting, healthcare, medical records, newspaper, restaurants, retail, gym and warehouse industries
  • Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
    • $387,500 settlement on behalf of 130 employees
  • 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
    •  "Thank you for helping the parties resolve this matter. Your creativity, patience, and determination was key to getting this done for all involved. Given the personalities involved, I was concerned that this would be difficult to resolve through mediation. I felt strongly that we needed someone with your vast experience and ability to command respect from the clients. As usual, you more than delivered - thank you again for all of your effort on this."
    • "As always, working with you is both challenging and fun -- a rare combination. You are, as they say (and they know), the best."
    • "Thank you very much for all your work bringing the parties together. I'm confident the case would not have settled without your efforts to find common ground. We appreciate all your assistance and hope we have the opportunity to work with you again."
    •  "I thought you did a great job on a difficult case, and you helped ease the tensions between the camps."
    •  "It was a real privilege watching you work on Tuesday. I must admit that I didn't enter the mediation with much confidence of a resolution. We both agreed that any other mediator we may not have had the same success. Thank you for your efforts. I now appreciate even more why you came so highly recommended!" 
    • “Thank you for your efforts, patience, creativity, and encouragement. It is a tough dynamic to go from litigation in the course of one day. It is always easier with a good mediator who facilitates that process.” 
    • “Thank you for your assistance in helping the parties reach an amicable resolution to this matter. We bridged a considerable gap through your efforts.”
    • "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."
    • "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."
    • "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 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."
    • "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."
    • "Judge Denlow, and thank you very much for your assistance and steady hand through the mediation process. Much appreciated."
    • "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."




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