Hon. James R. Epstein (Ret.) brings over 35 years of experience to his JAMS practice, including 15 years as an Illinois circuit and appellate judge. Before his judicial service, Judge Epstein earned recognition as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Over his career he has tried, presided over, and settled claims involving complex commercial disputes, class actions, professional negligence, environmental occurrences, and tort claims, among others.
An early proponent of ADR, the Judge believes that mediated solutions serve the needs of lawyers and litigants by easing the time, expense, and risks attendant to litigation. He values careful preparation and attention to input from the parties as essential to a successful mediation.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- As a circuit judge presiding over a chancery call and as an appellate judge, Epstein has conducted countless settlement conferences on a broad range of complex business and commercial matters
Judge Epstein has extensive experience in the following areas:
- Dissolution of medical and legal practices: Handled numerous practice dissolution disputes including settling the breakup of a multi-partner divorce law firm
- Non-compete agreements: Dealt with matters from the injunction stage through enforcement actions involving businesses in dozens of fields
- Breach of contract: Has experience in trying and settling claims involving commercial real estate joint ventures, purchase agreements, employment contracts, piercing corporate veils, liquidated damages, and a variety of other issues
- Shareholder's rights: Presided over suits involving shareholders' claims relating to corporate records, as well as challenges to corporate governance
- Class Actions: Presided over numerous class actions aiding the parties in crafting acceptable settlement terms, as well as adjudication of class certification matters
- Construction: Tried and settled disputes regarding claims relating to the construction of large commercial properties
- Governmental Land Use: Settled claim arising out of citizen challenge to construction of sports field in a public park
- Insurance: Presided over and settled countless declaratory judgment cases involving duties to defend and indemnify, primary and excess coverage, subrogation, bad faith claims, business interruption, environmental exclusions, additional insureds, and other matters. These cases include highly complex cases related to long-term environmental damage and “borrowed” employee issues
- Intellectual Property: Presided over and settled numerous trade secret cases, including claims related to formulas, protocols, customer lists, and ongoing research and development
- Professional Liability: Tried and presided over cases of medical and legal negligence claims
- Personal Injury/Torts: Experience in wrongful death, construction site, product liability, and premises liability cases, among others