ADR Systems


Hon. Lee Preston, (Ret.)


Hon. Lee Preston, (Ret.) is a skilled mediator and arbitrator. Judge Preston has extensive knowledge in business, corporate, and commercial matters. He deftly applies his expertise in commercial cases with detailed preparation. Judge Preston has been a well-respected and well-liked member of the judiciary since his election as a circuit court judge in 1994.

Types of Cases Resolved

  • Accounting Malpractice
  • Antitrust
  • Class Action
  • Condominium Board Dispute
  • Construction
  • Construction Accidents
  • Contract
  • Copyright
  • Directors & Officers (D&O)
  • Discrimination
  • Employment
  • Errors & Omissions (E&O)
  • Estates
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Fraud
  • Government
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Mechanics Lien
  • Non-Compete
  • Partnership Dispute
  • Probate
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Property Damage
  • Qui Tam
  • Real Estate
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Securities
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Tax
  • Trusts
  • Whistleblower
  • Wrongful Termination

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • 22-year career as a corporate and business transactional attorney and General Counsel for a multi-million dollar company, Kronos-Central Products, Inc., overseeing all types of corporate matters, including mergers, acquisitions, contract, employment, licensing and real estate
  • 18-year judicial career serving as Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County; Supervising Judge of the Commercial Section of the Law Division; Presiding Judge of Calendar 16 in the Chancery Division

Representative Cases

  • Class action settlement involving American Airlines and its AAdvantage (frequent flyer) members
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims against law firm
  • Complex construction dispute settlement involving the University of Illinois
  • Physicians and others non-compete agreement disputes
  • Condominium owners’ disputes with condominium association

Professional Activities and Awards

  • Founding Board Member and past Vice President, American College of Business Court Judges, a national organization of state and federal judges hearing business, corporate and commercial matters
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Loyola University of Chicago
  • Guest Lecturer,  Loyola University of Chicago Law School, De Paul College of Law and the University of Chicago
  • Past Chair, Commercial Litigation Committee, Chicago Bar Association
  • Past President, Jewish Judges Association of Illinois
  • Past President, Congregation Ezras Israel
  • Former Member, Illinois Supreme Court Legislation Committee

Presentations and Publications

  • Instructor, Judicial Education Conferences
  • Speaker, various committees of the Chicago Bar Association
  • Presenter, various judicial and lawyer Continuing Legal Education programs
  • Testified at hearings of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee regarding changes to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 216 Requests to Admit Facts


  • Postgraduate study in Bible, Talmud and Jewish History, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies
  • J.D., De Paul University College of Law
  • B.S., University of Illinois


  • Illinois State Bar
  • Florida State Bar
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

My mediation at ADR Systems proved to be extremely successful, thanks to the professionalism of our mediator.  Judge Kelley adeptly settled a very complex case involving serious injuries.  His patience, knowledge of the case, and considerate treatment of the parties involved all contributed to reaching a settlement that both sides found acceptable.  Kudos to Judge Kelley and ADR Systems for an experience I hope soon to repeat.

Thomas P Cernek, Esq.Law Offices of Thomas P. Cernek & Associates