Thomas Rakowski

Hon. Thomas R. Rakowski (Ret.)

JAMS Arbitrator, Mediator, Referee/Special Master and Neutral Evaluator

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

Thomas R. Rakowski is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. Thomas R. Rakowski (Ret.) brings over 40 years of experience to his JAMS practice, including 23 years as a Judge at both the trial and appellate levels.  Since joining JAMS in 2000, Judge Rakowski has mediated or arbitrated hundreds of matters in all areas of Illinois practice.

He understands both sides of a dispute and is prepared to listen, carefully analyze, and assist parties and counsel to reach innovative and sensible solutions.

Judge Rakowski’s class action experience covers the following areas, and includes resolution of both substantive claims and attorneys’ fees issues:

Representative Matters

  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters including:
    • Auto-dialing
    • "Cramming"
    • Junk faxes
    • Unauthorized cell phone calls
    • Unsolicited texts
  • Sampson v. Kodak, a worldwide class action by owners of Kodak cameras, one of the largest class actions in Illinois history
  • Chicago Flood Litigation, authored all Appellate Court opinions involving damage claims resulting from the great Chicago flood
  • In re: Audi, Presided over nationwide products liability class against manufacturer of Audi autos
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Illinois Courts Commission, 1998-2000; appointed by Appellate Court colleagues to serve on panel which adjudicates complaints alleging misconduct against Illinois judges
  • Alternate Member, Illinois Courts Commission, 1994-1998
  • Executive Committee, Illinois Appellate Court, First District, 1998-2000
  • Chairman, Executive Committee, First District Appellate Court, 1993
  • Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education, 1992-1993
  • Chairman, Illinois Appellate Court, Statewide, 1993
  • Appointed by peers in a statewide survey to be among the top lawyers in Illinois, at Leading Lawyers Network as a leading lawyer in "ADR: Commercial Litigation" and "ADR: Commercial Real Estate, Environmental and Construction Law"
  • Frequent lecturer for Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education, law schools and government agencies on topics including civil procedure, motion practice, pre-trial discovery, contract law, chancery proceedings, Tort Immunity Act, appellate practice, and workers' compensation
  • Justice, Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, 1989-2000
  • Justice, Appellate Court of Illinois, Industrial Commission Division, 1991-2000 (In addition to his First District responsibilities, Justice Rakowski was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as First District representative to a five member panel hearing all Illinois Worker’s Compensation appeals.)
  • Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, 1980-1989 (Chancery Division, 1987-1989; Law Division, Motion Section, 1984-1987)
  • Associate Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, 1977-1980
  • Private practice of law, Sole Practitioner and Partner in local law firm, 1971-1977
  • Assistant State's Attorney of Cook County, 1970-1971
  • J.D., The John Marshall Law School, Chicago; staff member of the John Marshall Journal of Practice and Procedure (currently the John Marshall Law Review)
  • B.S., Finance/Economics Major, De Paul University, Chicago



Practice Areas


Available nationwide


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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