Donald Wilkerson

Hon. Donald G. Wilkerson (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Lauren Smith
T: 314-334-5267
F: 314-944-5054
190 Carondelet Plaza, Suite 1100, Clayton, MO 63105


Hon. Donald G. Wilkerson (Ret.) joins JAMS in St. Louis following over 15 years of distinguished service as a magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. During his time on the bench, Judge Wilkerson presided over thousands of matters in all stages of litigation, conducted bench trials by agreement of the parties, handled discovery disputes and issued reports and recommendations on dispositive motions. He also conducted settlement conferences in over 1,000 cases.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Wilkerson served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Missouri, practicing in the areas of economic crime, child exploitation, civil rights and violent crime. In this capacity, he successfully argued matters before panels of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Eighth Circuit Court en banc.

Judge Wilkerson is known as a fair and well-studied jurist. He is respected on both sides of the aisle for the empathy he shows toward all parties to a dispute, using his interpersonal savvy to advance opportunities for settlement.   

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Judge Wilkerson has extensive experience adjudicating and mediating in the following areas:

  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action/Mass Torts
  • Employment
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury/Torts

Representative Matters

Notable Bench Trials

  • Valero Marketing and Supply Company and The Premcor Refining Group v. Southcap Pipe Line Company: Alleged misappropriation of crude oil valued at approximately $30 million 
  • Garry Boyd, et al. v. Tournier, Inc.: Action alleging breach of contract in franchise agreements
  • Jamison L. Semla v. Donald N. Snyder: First Amendment lawsuit by a pro se prisoner alleging wrongful confiscation of his Satanic Bible

Class Actions

  • Mediated multiple class actions alleging a national phone carrier wrongfully assessed charges against a relevant class of individuals
  • Mediated class action filed by a city against a national travel website alleging failure to pay appropriate local taxes


  • Mediated cases alleging wrongful employment actions by local government agencies, including cities, counties, police departments and health agencies
  • Mediated an employment action against a national rental chain alleging sexual assault
  • Mediated an employment action against a local school district for sexual discrimination in teaching assignments
  • Mediated employment actions against national freight companies

Personal Injury and Torts

  • Mediated a trucking accident alleging wrongful death involving multiple layers of coverage with eight large insurers (truck driven by a driver with known medical issues and alleged to be over his driving hours crossed the median and killed a family of four)
  • Mediated multiple FELA and Jones Act cases alleging injury on the job


  • Mediated multiple lawsuits with pro se plaintiffs alleging personal injury or discrimination
  • Mediated asbestos cases involving dozens of defendants
  • Mediated a multi-million-dollar ERISA action
  • Decided thousands of decisions interpreting the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar
  • Missouri State Bar
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
  • Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis, 2005–2019; Recalled, 2019
  • Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of Missouri, St. Louis, 1995–2005
  • Adjunct Professor, Trial Practice, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, 1999–present
  • Adjunct Professor, Federal Criminal Sentencing, Southern Illinois University School of Law, 2006–2007
  • Associate, Commercial Litigation and Labor and Employment, The Stolar Partnership, St. Louis, 1994–1995
  • Associate; Litigation, Personal Injury Defense and Workers’ Compensation; Thompson & Mitchell (n/k/a Thompson Coburn); St. Louis; 1993
  • Middle School Teacher; Mathematics, History and Government; Illinois School District #189; East St. Louis; 1975–1993
  • J.D., cum laude, St. Louis University School of Law, 1993
    • Member, Public Law Review
    • Member, Alpha Sigma Nu (national Jesuit honor society)
  • M.S., Education, Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville), 1978
  • B.S., Political Science, Illinois State University (Normal), 1973



Practice Areas

  • Business & Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action & Mass Tort
  • Employment Law
  • Federal Law
  • Higher Education & Title IX
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury/Torts


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