Honorable Karen G. Shields
Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS; Former Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge
Honorable Karen G. Shields (Ret.) has extensive experience in family law as a litigator, judge and now as a full-time neutral. She is deeply committed to, and expert at, resolving conflict in families. She served as Associate Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Domestic Relations Division, for 13 years. While on the bench, Judge Shields was a member of the Special Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Child Custody Issues and served on the Illinois Judicial Conference Study Committee on Juvenile Justice. She currently focuses on family law cases of all types, including custody and visitation, valuations, distribution of assets and debts, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and family support and maintenance. She also lectures, teaches and writes about family law, ADR and judging. Judge Shields began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in Cook County, and went into private practice handling domestic relations and criminal defense cases before becoming a judge. She left the bench in December 2008 to become a neutral at JAMS, a private arbitration and mediation firm.