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Circuit Judge Dorothy French Mallen Announces Mediation Practice

Thursday, August 6, 2020  
Posted by: Robert Rupp
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Circuit Judge Dorothy French Mallen steps down from the bench

and steps up to private mediation practice



Circuit Judge Dorothy French Mallen has retired from the 18th Judicial Circuit, DuPage County, and will be using her 42 years of experience by joining Circuit Judges Hollis Webster (Ret.) and Lynn Egan (Ret.) in their mediation and arbitration practice, now known as Webster Egan Mallen Mediations. Judge French Mallen was first appointed an associate judge in February of 2001 and elected as a Circuit Judge in 2010. For the past 13 years, she has resolved civil matters in the Law Division. Judge Egan (Ret.) noted, “Judge French Mallen’s extensive experience in settling personal injury, statutory, and commercial cases, along with her reputation for integrity and compassion for all parties, makes her a highly sought mediator and the perfect addition to WEM.”


Prior to 2001, Judge French Mallen was the partner in charge of the Lisle office of Hinshaw & Culbertson, a law firm headquartered in Chicago with approximately 425 attorneys located in 11 states and London.


From 1979 to 1996, she practiced as a civil trial lawyer with French Kezelis & Kominiarek, P.C. becoming a partner in 1983. In 1990, she accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer and became the first female CEO of a top 100 law firm in Chicago.


Throughout her tenure as a judge, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed her to the faculty of the New Judges School and the bi-annual Education Conference for all judges in the State of Illinois. She is an author and frequent lecturer on civil legal topics


Joining Webster Egan Mediations


“I am excited to warmly welcome Dorothy to the practice,” Webster said. “Her well-earned reputation for compassionate, analytical and patient problem solving combined with her years of wide-ranging civil law experience will be of great service to the litigants and lawyers who sit at her negotiating table.”


For the 22 years prior to becoming a judge, French Mallen tried civil jury cases.  “I thought that everyone deserved a trial,” she said. “After spending almost 20 years as a judge in civil matters, conducting pre-trials, mediations, bench and jury trials, I now realize that everyone should explore settlement. Litigation is expensive. Trials are expensive and risky. The parties and attorneys cannot control the outcome once the case is submitted for decision. With mediation, control is retained, needless expense is eliminated, and the potential of a satisfactory outcome is realized. It’s a win/win.” Judge French Mallen is looking forward to using the experience, skills, and expertise acquired over the past 20 years as a judge combined with her 22 years as a trial attorney to resolve cases through private mediation and arbitration. 


Judge French Mallen (Ret.) is married to Richard F. Mallen, a prominent Plaintiff trial attorney. The couple lives in the Western Suburbs. They have one daughter and two grandchildren who live in Colorado.


For more information, visit

To contact Judge French Mallen, email her at

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