Professional Details

Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq.

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300 North LaSalle Street
Suite 4925
Chicago, IL 60654

Description of Practice

Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq. is a Chicago based Illinois and Florida licensed attorney (20 years), and Illinois licensed architect (25 years). He draws upon his dual expertise in law and architecture to provide Certified Mediator and arbitrator services for parties in construction, real estate, commercial, ADA and historic preservation disputes.

His combined legal and construction industry experience allows him unique insights into disputes that result in fairer arbitration awards and mediations with a high record of settlement. His dual professional backgrounds allow him to fluently communicate with disputing parties and their counsel in the industry-specific languages of law, design and construction.

He is also an experienced member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) construction and commercial panels of arbitrators and mediators, including its Fast Track, Regular Track, Large, Complex Construction Dispute Panel and its Large Complex Commercial Dispute Panel. He can also serve ad hoc as arbitrator and mediator if so requested.

Mr. Cole serves the Chicago area as well as Central Illinois and Southern Illinois and frequently travels out-of-state to serve as arbitrator and mediator. He can travel anywhere in the United States to provide Certified Mediator and arbitration services. Mr. Cole can accommodate court-ordered and short notice mediations, depending on the specifics and timing.

Professional Background

  • ATTORNEY: Illinois (1998) / Florida (2001)
  • LICENSED ARCHITECT: Illinois (1993)


Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq. has served as an arbitrator in many construction, commercial and real estate disputes, and as a Certified Mediator in over sixty-five (65+) construction, commercial and real estate-related disputes ranging from $25,000 to over $15,000,000 in claims and involving a wide variety of complex dual-party and multi-party claims and counterclaims under American Institute of Architects (AIA) and other industry-standard and custom construction agreements and real estate documents.

DISPUTE ISSUES have involved contract performance failure and breach, claims involving design and construction defects, material and structural failure, change order disputes, uncompleted punch list issues, HVAC non-performance, scheduling and delay claims, non-payment and mechanics lien claims, cost overruns, unforeseen site conditions including foundation and caisson issues, fraud allegations, code compliance, partnership development agreement issues, alleged intellectual property and related copyright infringement issues, foreclosure, loan modification and asset relinquishment, and a wide range of other construction and commercial claims and disputes.


  • Bachelor Of Architecture, University of Illinois at Chicago (1988)
  • Master of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1992)
  • Juris Doctor, Loyola University Chicago (1998)


APPROACH TO MEDIATION Though Mr. Cole tailors his mediation approach to the specifics of each dispute and the wishes of parties and their counsel, he generally combines his “Evaluative Mediation” philosophy and approach with his dual backgrounds in law and architecture to resolve legally and technically complex construction and real estate disputes.

From the first pre-mediation conference call with the parties through the execution of settlement agreements, Mr. Cole repeatedly states his first objective as the parties’ evaluative mediator: that the parties leave the mediation conference with signed settlement agreements.

Mr. Cole’s Evaluative Mediation approach draws on his dual backgrounds in law and architecture to carefully examine the parties’ pre-mediation conference claims itemizations and pre-mediation document submissions to understand the facts and documentary evidence surrounding a dispute. During this review he prepares a summary of his evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of the parties’ respective positions, which, prior to the mediation conference, Mr. Cole separately and confidentially discusses with each party. These confidential and ex parte discussions permit parties to prepare for and attend mediation conferences with evaluations of their positions by a third-party neutral who is both an attorney and a construction professional, thereby providing them with additional insights when considering settlement options.


Mr. Cole bills at both an hourly rate at $300.00 per hour for his time spent administering and preparing for arbitration hearings and mediation conferences, and, a flat rate of $2,600.00 for each day of hearing or conference.

Mr. Cole will travel anywhere in the continental United States as arbitrator and mediator at no cost for either travel time or direct travel expenses to parties for arbitration hearings or mediation conferences that last three (3) days or more. For arbitration hearings or mediation conferences lasting one (1) or two (2) days, direct reimbursable travel expenses and reasonable travel time are billed to the parties as agreed upon between Mr. Cole and the parties at the commencement of his services.

Other Information


Areas of Practice

  • ADA
  • Agriculture & Ranching
  • Animal
  • Art
  • Aviation
  • Bankruptcy
  • Boundary Disputes
  • Business
  • Commercial
  • Construction
  • Contracts
  • Copyright
  • Education
  • Eminent Domain
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Foreclosure
  • General
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Land Use
  • Landlord - Tenant
  • Non Profits
  • Nursing Home
  • Oil and Gas
  • Online Mediation
  • Organizational
  • Partnership
  • Postal Service
  • Real Estate
  • Technology
  • Trademark

Professional Services

  • Mediator
  • Representational Lawyer
  • Fact-Finder
  • Mediator-Arbitrator
  • Mediation Consultant
  • Mediating Lawyer
  • Arbitrator
  • Collaborative Professional
  • Facilitator
  • Online Mediator
  • Online Arbitrator

This dispute resolution professional keeps liability insurance.


      GaryCole.ADR.CV.April2018.pdf GaryCole.ADR.CV.April2018.pdf