Jerald A. Kessler

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney in Libertyville, IL

Attorney & Mediator
 | 14047 Petronella Drive, Suite 202 B
Libertyville, IL 60048
Phone: 847-367-4500
Fax: 847-367-9424
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2015, 2017 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1973
Practice Areas:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (90%),
  • Family Law (10%)
Attorney Profile

The founder of his own firm, Jerald A. Kessler, Attorney and Mediator, located in Libertyville, Illinois, Jerald A. Kessler devotes the vast majority of his practice to the mediation of disputes. Serving clients in the Chicago area and throughout Cook and Lake counties, he mostly handles divorce issues, although he has been called upon to mediate other types of conflicts including probate, family business disputes, cases arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act, adult guardianships, employment terminations and personal injury cases.

Mr. Kessler's approach to this form of alternative dispute resolution entails focusing on the parties' interests and needs and assisting them in reaching an agreement. He first meets with the parties individually in order to identify the issues that are at the heart of the dispute. Mr. Kessler then gathers all pertinent information, reviews it with the parties and discusses the various options that may be available before coming to an agreement. In the case of divorce mediation, the agreement becomes a part of the divorce decree.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in political science with special honors from The University of Chicago in 1969, Mr. Kessler went on to attend The University of Chicago Law School and was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1972. He was admitted to practice before all Illinois state courts in the following year, and in 1991, he decided to concentrate on mediation.

Since 2008, Mr. Kessler has served as an adjunct professor in mediation and negotiation at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. One of the founders of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, he frequently gives presentations to groups such as the Mediation Council of Illinois and Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc.

Available in Northfield and Chicago Loop by appointment.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Alternative Dispute Resolution (90%): Mediation

Family Law (10%): Divorce

Focus Areas

Mediation, Divorce


Selected to Super Lawyers for 7 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2015, 2017 - 2020

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About Jerald Kessler

Admitted: 1973, Illinois

Professional Webpage:

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Cerfied Mediator, Domestic Relations Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, 2014
  • Agriculture Mediation Program, U.S.D.A., certified program for Illinois (mediation of USDA programs such as environment, contract disputes, land use, lending, housing)
  • United States Postal Service REDRESS Program since 1999
  • Mediation, federal EEO claims for the Social Security Administration
  • Mediation, Center for Conflict Resolution, Chicago, mediation of cases for Illinois Department of Human Rights and Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Mediator, Americans With Disabilities Act Claims, Key Bridge Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Certified Civil Mediation, 19th Judicial Circuit Certified Mediator, Probate Division, 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois
  • Approved Panelist for Association for Conflict Resolution Referral List
  • Founding Member and Advanced Practitioner Member, Academy of Professional Family Mediators
  • Certified Mediator, 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois - Civil Mediation Panel
  • Certified Mediator, 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake County, Illinois - Family Mediation Panel
  • Approved Panel Member, Lake County Bar Association Mediation Program
  • Approved Panel Member, Mediation Council of Illinois Referral Service
  • Advanced Practitioner Member, Association for Conflict Resolution

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Treasurer, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Illinois., 2013
  • Incorporator, Founding Secretary, Fellow and Founding Secretary, Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, 2002 - 2004
  • Illinois, 1973
  • Secretary, Association of Women Attorneys of Lake County, 2000 - Present
  • Member, Matrimonial Law Committee, Chicago Bar Association
  • Chairman, Lawyer Referral Committee, Lake County Bar Association, 1998
  • Chairman, Lawyer Referral Committee, Lake County Bar Association, 1994-1996
  • Member, Family Law Committee, Lake County Bar Association
  • President, North Suburban Service Council, 2001 - 2003
  • Board Member, North Suburban Service Council, 1994 - Present
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Board of Directors, Mediation Council of Illinois, 1993 - Present
  • President, Mediation Council of Illinois, 1995 - 1999

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Advanced Mediation Training, November 7-8, 2015, Chicago, Illinois, Presenter, 2015
  • Annual Conference, Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, Chicago, June 6-9, 2012
  • Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc., Advanced Mediator Training, St. Louis, MO., October 28-29, 2012; Prof. C.J. Larkin, Washington University School of Law, Trainer
  • Eldercare/Adult Guardianship Mediation Training, Mediation Training and Consultation Institute, Chicago, November 29-December 1, 2012, Zena Zumeta
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, “Nuts and Bolts of Parenting Coordination: Helping High Conflict Parents Resolve Disputes,” March4-5, 2013, Chicago, Joan B. Kelly, PhD
  • Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc., Advanced Mediator Training, Springfield, IL, September 27-28, 2013, Prof. C.J. Larkin, Washington University School of Law
  • Dispute Resolution Institute, Advanced Mediation Training, September 19-20, 2014, Springfield, Illinois. Prof. C.J. Larkin, Washington University School of Law
  • Advanced ADA Training, Key Bridge Foundation, June 11 and 18, 2015
  • Annual Conference, Wisconsin Association of Mediators, March 17-18, 2016, Johnson Creek, Wisconsin
  • Annual Conference, Mediation Council of Illinois, May 6, 2016
  • Loyola University Law School, Applying Neurobiology in Negotiation and Mediation, Jeremy Lack, Esq., (of Geneva, London, New York), August 16, 2016
  • Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc., Advanced Mediation Training, Springfield, Illinois, September 23-24, 2016
  • Lecturer, Legal Writing and Research, ITT – Chicago Kent College of Law, 1973-1976
  • Instructor, DePaul University College of Commerce, 1980-1981
  • Visiting Lecturer, undergraduate and graduate level Conflict Resolution, North Central College, 2000-2003
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Mediation and Negotiation, ITT-Chicago Kent College of Law, 2008 -present
  • "Mediation Ethics”, McHenry County Bar Association and Family Mediation Advisory Council, McHenry, Illinois, October 28, 2011
  • “Voluntary Mediation Program” for McHenry County family Law Judges and Mediation Committee, Woodstock, Illinois, January 31, 2013
  • Confidentiality in Mediation,” Lake County Bar Association, February, 2013
  • “Introduction to the Role of Parenting Coordinator”, co-presenter, Annual Conference of the Mediation Council of Illinois, Harper College, Palatine, Illinois, May 3, 2013
  • "Triage of New Clients for ADR" Association of Family and Conciliation Court, Illinois Chapter, Chicago, October 7, 2014
  • Advanced Training for 19th Judicial Circuit Mediators, July 30, 2015, Waukegan, Illinois
  • Co-trainer and coach, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Continuing Studies, Basic Mediation Training, November 12-13, 2015
  • Advanced Mediation Training, Perri Mayes co-presenter, Carbondale, Illinois July 29, 2016 for Dispute Resolution Institute, Inc.
  • Mediating in the Face of Strongly Held Beliefs, National Conference Association for Conflict Resolution, Philadelphia, 2006
  • ADR: "Appropriate Dispute Resolution", Association of Women Attorneys, Lake County Illinois, Approved Continuing Legal Education Seminar, January 11, 2008
  • Co-Presenter, "The Ethics of Mediation Style", Emerging Issues in Mediation Conference, University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Association of Mediators, Madison, Wisconsin, 2003
  • Co-Presenter, "Working with Attorneys in Mediation", Association for Conflict Resolution Seminar, Family Section Conference, Savannah, Georgia, March 2, 2002
  • "Power Imbalances and Anger in Mediation - No Problem", Family Law Seminar, Lake County Bar Association, 2002
  • Mediator Training, "Screening for Impairments to Mediation", 19th Judicial Circuit Family Mediation Program, Grayslake, Illinois, April 12, 2003
  • "What Lawyers Can Do to Facilitate Mediation", Family Law Seminar, Lake County Bar Association, 2003
  • Annual Guest Lecture, "Power, Power Imbalances and Caucus", Combined Conflict Resolution Classes, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1998 - Present
  • "Divorce Mediation -- The Civilized Alternative", The Lilac Tree, Evanston, Illinois, 2003
  • Instructor, DePaul University College of Commerce, 1987

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Judge, International Law School Mediation Competition, Loyola University, Chicago, March 23, 2012 and March, 2016

Educational Background:

  • University of Chicago, B.A., Major: Political Science, Honors: Special Honors, 1969

Industry Groups

  • Mediation


  • “Very good ADR lawyer.”
  • “Jerald Kessler is the very best family law attorney to hire for sensitive dispute resolution of highly contested family law matters, including mediation, collaberative law.”

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

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Office Location for Jerald A. Kessler

14047 Petronella Drive
Suite 202 B
Libertyville, IL 60048

Phone: 847-367-4500

Fax: 847-367-9424

Jerald A. Kessler:

Last Updated: 9/10/2018

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