Jane D. Waller joined Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP in 2009 after a judicial career of almost 28 years in the Circuit Court of Lake County, Illinois. She was the first female judge in Lake County. During her years on the bench, Ms. Waller served a term as Chief Judge of the Circuit. For 10 years she also served as the Chief Presiding Judge of the Family Court where she was instrumental in initiating programs designed to assist divorcing couples resolve disputes without litigation. During her tenure on the bench, she created the first parent education program for divorcing parents of minor children; she supervised the court ordered civil arbitration program; and she was the chairperson of a steering committee that established KIDS’ KORNER, a waiting room for children at the courthouse to spare them the pain and hostility of attending court proceedings affecting their families.
A trained mediator, Ms. Waller now dedicates her career to serving as a mediator for divorcing couples that desire to reach an amicable resolution without the expense and familial discord that often occurs in litigation. During the mediation, the couple meets with Ms. Waller, the neutral mediator, for several sessions to work through issues like parenting, finances, and property distribution. Ms. Waller facilitates the discussion, assists with communication and provides guidance.
Ms. Waller’s experience on the bench gives her a unique perspective when serving as a mediator. She has a solid position in the Lake County community and professional relationships with many of the attorneys who participate in the mediation process. Using active listening skills, Ms. Waller helps reframe the issues in dispute, understands both parties’ positions, and works toward finding a common resolution. She frequently draws on her unparalleled knowledge of how the court system operates and the options available to the parties.
Ms. Waller, a Past-President of the Lake County Bar Association, has repeatedly been recognized by her peers for her dedication to the excellent practice of family law. In 1994, she received the prestigious Samuel S. Berger Award from the Chicago Chapter of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The Berger Award is given to attorneys and judges who exemplify the highest standards of integrity, honesty, knowledge of family law, and the ability to solve human problems. Also, by appointment from the Supreme Court of Illinois, Ms. Waller served on a Study Committee on Adoption and a Study Committee on Mediation in Domestic Relations cases.
Ms. Waller received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She holds a Masters in Teaching degree from Northwestern University and a law degree, with honors, from the University of Illinois College of Law. She is a member of the Illinois Chapter of the Order of the Coif.