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Hon. Susan F. Zwick (Ret.)

Hon. Susan F. Zwick (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Construction Defect
Health Care
Higher Education & Title IX
Personal Injury/Torts
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Susan F. Zwick (Ret.) joins JAMS after over 22 years of service on the Cook County bench where she presided over a wide range of matters, including complex commercial litigation and domestic relations matters. She is known for her ability to grasp relevant issues quickly, as well as her frank and effective communication style.

Judge Zwick’s long career as an advocate and judge in the Cook County courts makes her a uniquely qualified ADR neutral with extensive experience in the following areas:

  • Business/ Commercial
  • Contracts
  • Construction Defect
  • Education/Schools
  • Government/Administrative Law and Compliance
  • Employment/Labor
  • FELA/Jones Act
  • Insurance/ Insurance Coverage
  • Medical Negligence/Health Care
  • Mortgage/Banking Industry
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Presided over several intentional tort/personal injury claims involving punitive damages and the resulting insurance ramifications, including a defamation/false light action which grew out of a termination of employment for a union employee
  • Presided over numerous FELA actions, including both traumatic and repetitive injury claims
  • Presided over a multi-party Consumer Fraud Act lawsuit between homeowners and homebuilders involving land engineering through varied water tables and municipal regulations
  • Negotiated insurance coverage issues which allowed for the settlement of several cases involving allegations of fraud in contract formation
  • Presided over numerous real estate foreclosure and mortgage disputes involving both commercial and residential units and allegations of contractual breaches
  • Resolved all personal injury actions arising from the 2006 Chicago Transportation Authority Blue Line derailment
  • Presided over numerous professional liability/medical negligence disputes, including disputes between individuals and the respective professional licensing board
  • Determined numerous claims involving scope of contractual obligations between contractors and principals and individual workers on construction projects
  • Presided over a multi-million dollar insurance fraud/fire loss claim
  • Settled numerous personal injury suits, including several catastrophic injury and burn cases

Representative Matters

  • Business/Commercial
      • Mediator in multiple cases involving banks, banking practices and mortgage issues
      • Arbitrator/Mediator/Neutral Umpire in insurance coverage disputes
      • Arbitrator in products liability/breach of warranty cases
      • Arbitrator in professional liability and attorney fee dispute
  • Construction
      • Neutral reviewer on numerous Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims related to Superstorm Sandy
      • Mediator in cases involving construction and engineering defects in commercial buildings
  • Education/Schools
      • On the bench, determined school cases involving employment, tort, and constitutional issues
      • As a JAMS mediator worked with cases involving both private and public school issues
  • Employment/FELA/Labor
      • Mediator in wrongful termination/contract renegotiation in entertainment industry
      • Mediator in sexual harassment litigation
  • Environment
      • Mediator/Arbitrator in numerous asbestosis matters
  • Health Care
      • Mediator/Arbitrator in numerous nursing home cases involving standard of care, governmental compliance and insurance issues

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

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

  • Law Bulletin Leading Lawyer, ADR Law: Commercial Litigation, Employment & Personal Injury, 2015-present
  • Adjunct Faculty, Trial Advocacy, University of Notre Dame Law School, 2005-present
  • Judicial Education Faculty, Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, 2006-2013

Recent Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, Use of Expert & Expert Testimony:  What Courts and Juries Look For, Forensic Expert Witness Association Workshop, December 2015
  • Panelist, Do’s and Don’ts of Trial Practice from Top Women LitigatorsAmerican Bar Association Women in Litigation, November 2015
  • Presenter, Changing A Juries’ Perspective in Bad Faith Trials, Strategies For Winning Bad Faith Trials, October 2015
  • Presenter, Insurance Nuts & Bolts,  JAMS Continuing Legal Education, June 2015
  • Panelist, Trial & Technology, Chicago Kent Continuing Legal Education, May 2014
  • Presenter, Effective Use of Expert Testimony,  Chicago Bar Association Continuing Education; “Trial and Avoiding Error” March 2013
  • Presenter, Governmental Tort Immunity, Illinois Judicial Conference/Continuing  Legal Education, February 2011
  • Presenter,  Ethical Issues in Litigation, Chicago Bar Association Trial Techniques Seminar, February 2010
  • Panelist, A View From The Bench, National Business Institute, June 2010, March 2009

Tool Box Talks:

  • Presenter, Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith, Circuit Court Cook  County, March 2016
  • Presenter,  How to Avoid Ethical Conflicts, Coverage Issues,  and Settle Cases,  February 2016
  • Presenter, Sustaining Privilege-Attorney/Client and Work Product,  March 2015

Background and Education

  • Judge, Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois, 1992-2014
    • Law Jury Division, 2002-2005; 2007-2014
    • Law Division, Motion Calendar C, 2005-2007
    • Complex Litigation and Mediation, 1995-2002
    • Domestic Relations Division, 1992-1995
  • Trial and Appellate Attorney, Querrey, Harrow, Gulanick & Kennedy, 1980-1992
  • J.D., University of Notre Dame, 1980
  • A.B., Government and International Studies, University of Notre Dame, 1977


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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