Professional Experience

Mr. Bernthal concentrates his practice in the areas of general litigation, mediation and arbitration. He joined the firm in 2016 after twenty-nine years on the bench, most recently as United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of Illinois, a position from which he retired in 2016.

As a judge, Mr. Bernthal oversaw thousands of cases in areas such as commercial litigation, civil rights, employment disputes and intellectual property. He served as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for the court and was a member of the Advisory Group of Magistrate Judges, a group of eleven judges from throughout the United States selected to advise the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

From 2016-2019, Mr. Bernthal served as a senior mediator and arbitrator with ADR Systems, one of the Midwest’s largest alternative dispute resolution providers. In May 2019, Mr. Bernthal moved his mediation practice to Webber & Thies.


  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, 1976
  • B.A., with High Honors, University of Illinois, 1972

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois

Professional Activities

  • A member of the Champaign County and Illinois State Bar Associations as well as the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, Mr. Bernthal has served as a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association and is a past member of the editorial board of the Federal Courts Law Review.
  • Mr. Bernthal has spoken at numerous bar association sponsored events, and has been a member of the Adjunct Faculty of the University of Illinois College of Law.

Civic and Philanthropic Involvement

  • Mr. Bernthal has also been involved in many community activities, including both the Danville Rotary Club and the Champaign Rotary Club where he served as Club President.
  • He writes a monthly opinion column for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and has participated in “The DWS Morning Show” radio segment on NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM to instruct readers/listeners regarding legal concepts in the news.

Five Things Most People Don’t Know About David

1For several years David served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law where he taught a pretrial litigation class.

2David’s main activities are golf, exercise and hiking. He has made four holes in one, two of which happened within a three-week stretch.

3His wife is trying to get him to play pickleball.

4David appears on the WDWS Radio Morning Show with Dave Gentry and for years he wrote a monthly column for the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette.

5David’s favorite musicians include Paul McCartney, Josh Groban and Webber & Thies Shareholder David Thies.