The mandatory Court-Annexed Arbitration Program is one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution programs that the Lake County Circuit Court has implemented in accordance with Illinois Supreme Court Rules 86-95.
The arbitration program has served the Court, the Bar, and the public well since the program was implemented in July 1989. The Court is able to divert qualified civil cases into the arbitration program and reallocate some judicial resources into areas that are in need of more judicial support. The Bar is able to participate as arbitrators, and learn what it is like "on the other side of the bench," which will enable the attorneys who act as arbitrators to be better prepared for their own motions and trials. The Bar also needs to work in conjunction with the court in order to have a successful arbitration program. Lastly, the public is served by the arbitration program in that the cases are heard in a short time frame, saving the time and expense of formal litigation.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center is staffed with an Administrator and Administrative Assistant. Delta J. Hawkins is the Administrator and Maria Vassilev is the Administrative Assistant. They are responsible for the day to day operations of the Lake County arbitration program.
Associate Judge Donna-Jo Vorderstrasse is presently the Supervising Judge of both the court-annexed Mandatory Arbitration Program and the Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program.
Arbitration hearings are held at the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center, which is located outside of the main courthouse at the Waukegan Business Center, 415 W. Washington Street, Suite 106, Waukegan, Illinois 60085. The facilities offer 5 hearing rooms, 2 conference rooms, 2 mediation rooms, and a reception area and administrative space.
The ADR Center is open from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday, excluding holidays. The ADR staff can be reached at 847-377-3700.