Biography- Justice Gallagher

Justice Gallagher brings to every mediation a deep understanding of the judicial and settlement processes based on his more than 30 years of experience as a jurist and a lawyer.

Judicial Career Overview

  • Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court (1996- April 2011) 
  • Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Appellate Court, First District (2009-2010)
  • Circuit Judge, Cook County Law Division (1990-1996) 
  • Circuit Judge, Cook County First Municipal Department (1988-1990)

Justice Gallagher started his career as an attorney with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission where he argued matters before the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. He then served as a Law Clerk to Justice William G. Clark of the Illinois Supreme Court. Before his appointment to the Circuit Court, he was in private practice at Cassiday, Schade, focusing on medical malpractice, construction accident litigation and personal injury defense, and was made a partner  in 1985.

Mediation Experience

During his tenure on the Circuit Court from 1988 to 1996, he successfully mediated many complex cases in diverse areas of law. He mediated settlements of over $100 Million. He served on the Mediation Committee for the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. Justice Gallagher is a Certified Mediator through his participation in the Cook County Mediation Training Program.

Appellate Consultations

Justice Gallagher provides consulting services to to law firms contemplating an appeal or after an appeal is filed. He is qualified to review and edit post-trial motions, write or review and edit briefs and has extensive experience in rehearsals of oral arguments and offering practical advice on the most effective way to argue before a reviewing court


American Arbitration Association

Justice Gallagher is a qualified Arbitrator and has served  in that capacity including as Chair of a three person panel in a complex eight day commercial case under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). He is a Member of AAA's Master Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators. As an Arbitrator, he draws on his judicial background in resolving discovery disputes, narrowing issues and conducting fair and efficiently run hearings. 

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Justice Gallagher has recently been recognized as a Certified Public Arbitrator for FINRA, which involves hearing disputes between and among securities brokers and customers. Here, Justice Gallagher draws upon his experience as a Staff Attorney with the SEC as well as his 23 years as a trial and appellate judge.


Justice Gallagher is an Honors Graduate of both the University of Illinois at Chicago where he received his Bachelor of Arts and the Chicago-Kent College of Law where he was awarded his Juris Doctor. He was a Law Review Editor at Chicago-Kent College of Law and was published in the Chicago- Kent Law Review. Justice Gallagher was also awarded a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago in 2010. 

Contributions to Judicial and Legal Education 

Justice Gallagher has engaged in extensive education of judges and lawyers in topics as diverse as the Dead Man’s Act and “Law & Literature.” For over a decade he taught "Instructions and Communications with Attorneys Preparatory to a Jury Trial" at the New Judges’ Seminar for the State of Illinois. He taught often at the Illinois Judicial Academy, the preeminent training program for the Illinois Judiciary, and chaired the program in 2007. Justice Gallagher has also lectured extensively on mediation, and has conducted seminars and mock mediation conferences for  law firms.

Justice Gallagher served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at John Marshall Law School from 2006 to 2012. He taught the Judicial Externship course which he developed and which was the only course of its kind in Illinois to be taught by a judge. The curriculum included legal ethics, and research and writing in the judicial context.