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Hon. Nan R. Nolan (Ret.)

T: 312-655-0555
F: 312-655-0644


Available nationwide

During her 14 years as a United States Magistrate Judge, Hon. Nan R. Nolan (Ret.) presided over numerous complex, federal cases at every phase of civil litigation. Her work on these cases ranged from supervision of pretrial discovery and mediation in settlement conferences, to presiding over bench and jury trials where parties had consented to her jurisdiction.

From the earliest days of her judicial career, Judge Nolan emphasized mediation and settlement as a primary means of resolving disputes. She mediated over 1,500 cases while on the federal court. Her unique ability to empathize with individuals from all walks of life enables her keep dialogue open in heated disputes.

Judge Nolan is a nationally recognized expert in electronic discovery and co-founded the Seventh Circuit’s E-Discovery Pilot Program. Her many lectures and workshops on E-discovery over recent years reflect her philosophy that cooperation between parties is the principal avenue to mutually beneficial solutions.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Judge Nolan has extensive experience in the resolution of complex, multi-party disputes in all areas of civil litigation. She has particular expertise in helping parties resolve discovery disputes through mediation techniques such as those outlined in Kleen Prods., LLC v. Packaging Corp. of America, (10 C 5711), 2012 WL 4498465 (Sept. 28, 2012).

Representative Matters

  • Antitrust: Managed and resolved discovery disputes in multi-party, nationwide antitrust cases. Notable cases include a class action brought against container manufacturers under the Sherman Act, and a case alleging violations by the National Football League (NFL) under sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. 
  • Business and Commercial: Mediated and settled cases involving federal and state law consumer protection acts. Notable cases involved the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), as well as the Illinois Franchise Disclosure Act (IFDA), and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFDBA). Managed discovery and resolved disputes related to general business and finance (e.g., partnership agreements and trusts), commercial law (e.g., trade secrets), and real property (e.g., contracts, loans).
  • Class Actions: Mediated and settled multi-party class actions. Notable cases included the following subject matter: an International corporation's nationwide ERISA pension plan; the Illinois Voting Rights Act (IVRA); federal housing regulations regarding lead paint exposure and amelioration for all Section 8 housing residents; municipal civil rights' policies applied to over 50,000 class members; and a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime wage action brought by a nationwide class of employees against two multinational corporations.
  • Labor and Employment: Mediated and settled numerous labor and employment discrimination cases. Managed discovery and resolved many dispositive legal issues in the following types of cases: the Age Discrimination Act (ADA), the Americans with Disabilities and Employment Act (ADEA), the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Federal Employees Labor Act (FELA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA); the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA); and Title VII, inter alia.
  • Insurance: Mediated and settled a large number of individual disability insurance coverage cases, as well as several complex ERISA cases involving disability insurance benefits, deferred compensation, and pension benefits for an international corporation's employees in all 50 states. Managed and resolved discovery disputes in many state law disability insurance claims arising under diversity jurisdiction.
  • Intellectual Property: Mediated numerous trademark and patent cases after many years of litigation. Managed and resolved discovery disputes in hundreds of cases involving copyright, patents, and trademark infringement, including two multi-party ANDA cases involving generic drugs.
  • Personal Injury and Torts: Managed and resolved discovery disputes in a wide range of personal injury and tort cases arising under both state and federal law. Mediated and settled notable cases including actions involving environmental accidents that required clean up and remediation; products liability and automobile and railroad accidents.
  • Securities: Mediated and settled cases involving complex issues in the areas of: securities fraud; securities regulation; and shareholder derivative actions. Also settled multi-party, nationwide shareholder class action on the eve of trial. Managed discovery and conclusively resolved a number of dispositive legal issues in published opinions.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association Award for "Pro Bono Publico Award" (Rolando Cruz Defense Team), 1996
  • MALDEF Award (Rolando Cruz Defense Team), 1996
  • Public Interest Law Initiative, "Distinguished Public Service Award" (Rolando Cruz Defense Team), 1996
  • Member & Co-Founder, Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program (Past Chairperson, 2009-2012); Chairperson of the E-Mediation Subcommittee, present
  • Member, The Sedona Conference® Advisory Board, 2004-present
  • Member, Gerogetown University E-Discovery Advisory Board, 2004-present
  • Advisory Board Member, Just the Beginning Foundation, 1998-present
  • Member, Seventh Circuit Bar Association, 1998-present
  • Member, Federal Bar Association, 1998-present
  • Docent, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, 1992-present

Background and Education

  • United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, 1998-2012
  • Law Offices of Nan R. Nolan, Chicago, Illinois, 1988-1998
  • Law Offices of Patrick A. Tuite, Chicago, Illinois, 1980-1988
  • Staff Attorney, Federal Defender Program, Chicago, Illinois, 1975-1980
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1975
  • B.S., Loyola University, Sociology, 1965