William E. Hartgering

T: 312-655-0555
F: 312-655-0644
Professional Liability
A full time mediator and arbitrator since 1981, Bill's national experience includes more than a thousand 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 and has implemented tailored resolution procedures for sensitive, high-stakes individual matters and diverse groups of difficult cases. Prior to 1981, he practiced law, concentrating on commercial, employment and insurance related litigation where he represented both plaintiffs and defendants.

Representative Matters

  • Accounting, Legal, and Directors & Officers (D&O)
    • Florida, West Virginia. Multiparty, $14M federal litigation involving fraud, RICO violations and professional malpractice brought by a state commissioner of insurance and 2 law firms and an accounting firm. Matter involved a failed 85-year-old life insurance company, brought by the commissioner as receiver in Florida and West Virginia, against the life insurance company’s officers & directors, two law firms, their professional liability carriers, and a national accounting firm. Counsel for the commissioner: Alan & Phil Curley, Robinson, Curley & Clayton, Chicago, IL; for one law firm: Bill Adams, Mahoney Adams & Criser, Jacksonville, FL. and John Jenkins, Jr., Jenkins, Fenstermaker, Kreiger Kays & Farrell, West Virginia; for the malpractice carrier: Ron Owen, Coker, Meyers Schickel, Cooper & Sorenson, Jacksonville, FL; for the accounting firm, Stephen Sacks, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C.
  • Design Professionals
    • Michigan. 33-party allocation of $42M alleged damages, fees, costs, and expenses. Serious problems, allegations of design malpractice and coverage disputes involving international parties and the construction of a 33-story mixed use commercial/hotel apartment/condominium building. Tasks involved initial process design, mediated allocation of damages involving 30 of the parties, and then an allocation of fees, expenses and all process costs. Representative counsel: Mark Walton, Tolley Vandenbosch & Walton, Grand Rapids, Mi.; Bob DeJong, Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone; John Roels, Wheeler Upham; Michael Loulakis, Wickwire Gavin, Vienna, Va.
    • Denver, Knoxville and Tampa Airports: Complex design and construction issues involving the construction of the new Denver airport and expansion of the Knoxville, Tennessee and Tampa, Florida airports. Representative counsel: James Stephenson, Philip Beck, Smith Currie and Hancock, and Bruce Foster, Bass Berry & Sims counsel for airport authority; Loy Waldrop, Lewis King Kreig & Waldrop, counsel for architect/engineers (carrier: CNA): and Buck Griffin, Henry Parkman, Griffen, Cochran and & Marshall, counsel for general and sub contractors.
    • Illinois and North Carolina. $400M+ private hospital, 3 state university “state of the art” lab facilities, new Comisky Park and Soldier Field (Chicago), university power cogeneration systems. Matters involved complex design issues, design professional and multiple parties. Representative counsel: Stein Ray & Conway, Steve Stein, Tim Conway; Mayer Brown & Platt, Bettina Getz, Rick McCombs; Hinshaw Culbertson, Kevin Sido; Ellerbe Becket Company, Douglas Green, General Counsel.
    • Michigan. 9 separate underground fuel tank construction sites, 22 counsel. Issues involving the installation, performance and design of a fuel containment system. One owner, one architect group and 17 contractor/subcontractor party representatives who built the 9 sites. Bill Bremmer, Bremmer Wade, and Pat Geary of the Smith Haughy firm represented the contractor group; Peter Armstrong of the Varnum firm represented a key design professional and Mark Verwys, Plunkett & Cooney, represented the owner.
    • Alaska, North Carolina, New York, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Illinois. Dozens of matters involving schools, hospitals, courts, housing, recreation areas, lock and dam projects, waste treatment plants, and a 750 slip marina
  • FDIC, D&O
    • Indianapolis. Separate FDIC cases involving a receiver, bank officers, directors and a fidelity carrier. Counsel for the FDIC: Fred Biesecker, Ice Miller Donaldio & Ryan; for individuals with the former bank management in one and the fidelity carrier in the other: Hugh Reynolds, Locke Reynolds Boyd & Weisell; and for other officers and directors: Mike Fruenwald, Barnes & Thornburg.
  • Legal, D&O
    • Chicago. Claim by bank against law firm involving decades of previous representation. Counsel representing the bank: Richard Robin, Vedder Price; for the law firm: Mike Shakman, Miller Shakman Hamilton Kurtzon & Schlifke.
    • Iowa. Multi-party matter involving several brothers, a bank trust department and an outside law firm involving the allocation of a family inheritance arising out of a family business. Counsel: Charles Peters, Schiff Hardin & Waite; H. Richard Smith, Ahles Cooney Dorweiter Haynie Smith & Abbel, Des Moines Iowa.
  • Medical
    • Arizona, Indiana, Illinois. 4 Matters involving the standard of care at HMO and Managed Care facilities. Representative counsel: for the HMO: Alston & Bird, Atlanta, James Grant; for the Nursing Homes, J. Scott Meyers, O’Connor Schiff & Meyers, Chicago. For Plaintiffs: Raymond Slomski, Phoenix; Cohen & Malas, Indianapolis, Irwin Levin, Richard Shevitz; Steve Levin, Levin & Perconti, Chicago.
  • Securities
    • Florida and Illinois. Mediation of several, substantial fraud, RICO, churning and unauthorized trading claims. Representative counsel: Chris Barber, Ungaretti & Harris, Hon. Frank McGarr, Foley & Lardner, Chicago (Co-Mediator), Hon. Arthur Sullivan Chicago, (Co-Mediator).

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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

Background and Education

  • 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

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