William Hartgering

William E. Hartgering

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Deborah Stewart
T: 312-655-9192
F: 312-655-0644
71 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60606


As a full time mediator and arbitrator since 1981, Bill's national experience includes hundreds of complex, multi-party cases arising in over 40 states and foreign countries, as well as appointments by federal and state judges in 10 states. He established the Chicago JAMS/ENDISPUTE office in 1982. Prior to 1981, he practiced law, concentrating on commercial, employment, and insurance-related litigation where he represented both plaintiffs and defendants.

Representative Matters

  • Banking
    • FDIC/RTC litigation involving employee fidelity bonds, FDIC claims, Officer/ Director E&O policy, Indiana. Member: RTC and FDIC National Roster
    • Letters of Credit: Alleged improper execution, California/Connecticut; Alleged premature, unnecessary execution, Wisconsin/Illinois
    • Constructive termination from a Board of Directors. Disputes over bank management and valuation of bank stock, Illinois
    • Collateral/Loan Buyout. Several banks, 21 franchises, nearly two dozen real estate transactions, national franchiser and a bitter $25M lawsuit, Illinois
    • Bank as Stakeholder, dispute among heirs/trustees. Estate mediation: several wills, land trusts, substantial real estate and 3 generations of a large family, Illinois
    • Interpretation of Mortgage agreement. Alleged breach of mortgage agreement, refusal to loan related to that agreement, and several related tort claims, Illinois
    • Exclusive "correspondent" agreement between bank & loan processing firm and the sale of hundreds of loans to investor banks, Illinois
    • Employment, failure to promote senior officer. Mediation, Illinois.
    • Professional Malpractice/D&O issues. Claim by bank against law firm involving decades of previous representation, Illinois
  • Bankruptcy (Chapter 11)
    • P.A. Bergner (Carson’s), Milwaukee. Court appointment, Mediator and Principal in charge of mandatory ADR process projected to involve 500 claims
    • Schwinn Bicycle Company, Chicago. Selected as Mediator/Principal in charge of project to resolve nationwide product claims
    • US Home, New York (Judge Lifland). Court appointment, Mediator for 8 multi-million dollar, multi-party (17-400+ claimants each) construction, contract and insurance related claims pending in Arizona, Colorado and Texas
    • Apex Oil, St. Louis. Court appointment, co-“Special Mediator” to help resolve a group of 400+ consolidated asbestos claims
  • Business/Partnership Merger, Sale Reconciliation Dissolution
    • Business/Joint Venture "divorce" involving distribution and sale of a new product where mediation avoided lengthy litigation, Illinois
    • Merger & Acquisition issues involving more than a dozen specific items described in the M&A documents, Illinois
    • Disputes involving key employees within law firms, an advertising firm, and other professional corporations, Mediations, Illinois
    • "Wrongful discharge” Corporation in receivership, issues as to tracing assets and bona fide transactions, Illinois
    • Yacht partnership dispute, Mediation avoided a messy lawsuit, Illinois
    • Successful family business "wrongful discharge." Mediation preserved ongoing business and clarified roles of family members, Illinois
    • Majority/minority shareholder dispute. Professional medical corporation, resolution avoids lawsuit, Illinois
    • Family dispute involving 3 generations. Co-mediation, Illinois
    • Implementation of an ADR agreement and stock transaction after one of the founders left the medical products company. Mediation, Illinois
    • Dispute involving property issues in a medical P.C., Mediation, Illinois
    • Failure to disclose, in connection w/ the sale of a business. Mediation, Indiana
    • Allegations of fraudulent conduct, theft of corporate opportunity, and improper dissolution surrounding the implementation of a multi-million dollar contract with a national franchise. Mediation, Michigan
  • Complex Contract (UCC)
    • Contract describing the manufacture (and failure) of a key component part of the largest dredging ship ever built. Mediation, Georgia
    • 33 international parties, $42M damages. Contract, coverage disputes & problems with the exterior wall of a 33 story building. Mediation, Michigan
    • Government Procurement. Substantial dispute involving the manufacturing requirements of military vehicles. Mediation, Wisconsin/Virginia
  • Discovery Management
    • Court appointment, review of 35,000 documents for claims of trade secret, attorney-client or work product privilege, Connecticut
    • 2 appointments by arbitrator to review 45,000 documents: trade secret, attorney-client or work product privilege. Also chosen by parties to arbitrate a separate discovery related claim, New York/California/Illinois
  • Real Estate
    • Shopping mall lease. Mediation ended six year dispute, Iowa
    • Substantial broker fee dispute, complex redevelopment, condominium conversion project. Mediation, Illinois
    • 15 parties, Commercial Workout. Several banks, 21 franchises, nearly two dozen real estate transactions, a national franchiser & a bitter $25M lawsuit. Mediation, Illinois
    • Franchise/Real Estate issues in 12 states. Numerous mediations, Nationwide
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Honors
    • Ranked among the Top 10 ADR Neutrals in Illinois, Leading Lawyers, 2014
    • Recommended “Leading Lawyer” Commercial ADR Law
  • Memberships & Professional Activites
    • Former Adjunct Faculty, Northwestern University
      • Kellogg School of Management
      • Pritzker School of Law
    • Trainer, 30 forums in 15 states, Hong Kong, Latvia, and Lithuania
    • Member, Regional Utility Mediation/Arbitration Outage Allocation Panels
    • Active Member, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and SPIDR (now ACR), 1981-present
    • Member, Unitarian Church of Evanston
  • ADR Profile
  • J.D., Northwestern University (Law Review, First Place, Moot Court Competition; National Moot Court team), 1975
  • B.S., cum laude, Political Science, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA, 1972
  • Born 1949, Two children, Extensive travel in Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Asian/European Russia, Eastern/Western Europe, Caribbean, Central America, and each of the 50 United States

Counsel Comments

    • "Bill is an extraordinarily quick study, who thoroughly prepares and thus is very credible in the discussion of strengths and weaknesses. He understands my business, the law and kept us focused on the practical issues driving our dispute.” 

      -from Feedback: Secrets of Successful (& Unsuccessful) Mediators 2007 Studies II and III




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