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Hon. Nancy Holtz

Hon. Nancy Holtz (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Construction Defect
Employment Law
Energy & Utilities
Engineering & Construction
Entertainment & Sports
Intellectual Property
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Nancy Holtz (Ret.) comes to JAMS with over 30 years of experience as a Judge, attorney, and ADR practitioner. In her 15 years on the bench, Judge Holtz handled countless complex business disputes and commercial cases of all kinds, involving breach of contract, shareholder rights, closely held corporations, corporate freeze outs, partnerships, joint ventures, intellectual property, franchising, and other commercial cases. She has also presided over construction cases, insurance cases as well as professional liability (medical, legal, architects), employment, wrongful death, and other personal injury actions.

Judge Holtz brings this rich experience as a trial attorney and trial judge to her ADR practice. In addition to mediating and arbitrating a host of commercial disputes, Judge Holtz has also developed a practice which also includes sports and entertainment disputes such as copyright and trademark cases. Judge Holtz has also developed a deeper practice which includes resolving disputes arising in the solar energy industry.

Since joining JAMS, Judge Holtz has developed a reputation for being a “closer,” successfully settling the toughest cases.

“I like it when attorneys bring me their big tough cases that they think are impossible to settle.  I enjoy the challenge and knowing that I have helped the parties resolve a difficult case.”

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Presided over numerous business/commercial disputes involving breach of contract, shareholder rights, corporate freeze outs, closely held corporations, joint ventures, partnerships, intellectual property; also numerous construction cases as well as tort claims such as professional liability (medical, legal, architect), employment, product liability, wrongful death and other personal injury actions
  • Full-time ADR practitioner since retiring from the bench in 2012, mediating and/or arbitrating business/commercial disputes: contracts, corporate freeze outs, shareholder rights, joint ventures, partnerships, copyright/trademark, Lanham Act claims; construction litigation, employment, professional liability, wrongful death/serious personal injury; insurance
  • Judge Holtz is available  in any one of JAMS Resolutions as well as being available remotely through zoom videoconferencing

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Wastewater Treatment Facilities
        • Mediated dispute between Owner and Operator of wastewater treatment plant arising out of catastrophic flooding and failure of the plant during storm event resulting in massive overflow.  Allegations against Operator included failure to prepare for and maintain plant in anticipation of such an event as well as failure to respond to the overflow during event itself.
        • Member of arbitral panel in dispute between distributor/servicer of wastewater process equipment and supplier/fabricator of component to shield wastewater treatment equipment.
      • Dispute involving claims of violation of non-competition agreement, confidentiality agreement and unpaid royalties
      • Mediated dispute involving post termination trademark infringement claims and various breaches of the franchise agreement
      • Mediator in multiple cases involving dissolutions of partnerships and LLCs, close corporation shareholder freeze-outs and various other business disputes
      • Mediator in claim for violation of Lanham Act, commercial disparagement and related state claims
      • Arbitrator in shareholder dispute action relating to restaurant/night club
      • Arbitrator in dispute between employee and employer of multinational corporation regarding compensation: salary, bonuses and stock options
      • A wide range of contract disputes over various terms in commercial documents
      • Arbitrator in dispute between manufacturer and supplier of medical devices
      • Mediator in claim by employee of multinational corporation in hospitality industry involving claims of misappropriation of corporate funds, excessive bonuses and related issues
      • Mediated wrongful death claim arising out of tractor-trailer accident, including issues of whether commercial trucking policy or non trucking “bobtail” policy provided coverage
  • Civil Rights
      • Claims against police officers alleging a range of violations of state and federal civil rights, including U.S.C. Section 1983 litigation
  • Construction
      • Mediated dispute between a contractor retained to supply and erect a cable supported dome roof at a new sports franchise stadium based in Nevada, and its sub-contractor who was hired to provide engineering services; this included calculating forces for the lifting of the cable net roof and the erection sequence. The dispute arose because a connection in a permanent part of the steel structure failed during the erection of the cable net roof
      • Neutral reviewer on numerous Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims related to Superstorm Sandy
      • Member of a three arbitrator panel in case arising out of gas infrastructure construction work involving trench work and paving; claims and counterclaims including breach of contract, termination for cause and/or convenience, over billing, lost profits and ramp up costs
      • Chair of three arbitrator panel involving insurance coverage disputes arising out of three separate construction claims.
      • Multiple disputes arising out of claims of negligent design, installation, maintenance of defects of fire suppression equipment, including wet and dry sprinkler systems and alarm systems
      • Construction defect cases involving claims of defective fabrication
      • Mediator in numerous cases between condominium owner and association relating to defects, mold/water, noise, nuisance and many others
      • Marine construction
      • Resolution of conflicting provisions of contract documents
      • Wrongful death and serious personal injury claims
      • Numerous multi-party disputes involving private and public construction contracts, performance, and delay claims
  • Employment Law
      • Action by employee of auction house for discrimination, wages and related claims
      • Multiple actions by employee of automotive dealerships for breach of contract, discrimination as well as claims against departing employees for breach of various restrictive covenants such as non-compete, and non-solicitation covenants
      • Age, gender, race and handicap discrimination claims in a variety of companies
      • Various breach of contract of employment relationships
  • Energy & Utilities
      • Solar
        • Mediated dispute related to interpretation of incentives provided under NYSERDA NY-Sun Megawatt Block program
        • Arbitrated dispute between solar energy company and property owner arising out of property owner’s substitution of metal tile roof instead of asphalt shingle roof; issue was whether that substitution was permitted or in violation of the terms of the PPA and accompanying warranty
        • Arbitrated numerous disputes arising out of power purchase agreements between commercial and residential owners and solar energy companies
        • Arbitrator in breach of contract claim regarding obligation of photovoltaic company to disclose that project was subject to curtailment
        • Mediated dispute regarding COVID-19 related delay in interconnection in which force majeure clause invoked; included damages from late entry into Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program
        • Sole arbitrator of dispute between solar energy company and commercial property owner regarding the design, construction and installation of a turn key solar project. The property owner claimed that the solar energy company failed to complete the photovoltaic power project in a commercially reasonable time frame which impacted its ability to obtain an interconnection service agreement. The delays were alleged to result in lost opportunity to participate in the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate Program (SRECs) for over a year
        • Mediated dispute between a commercial property owner and solar energy company arising out of an agreement for installation of a photovoltaic power system. The property owner claimed that the solar energy company filed an improper interconnection application, causing a delay in the approval process. The property owner claimed lost opportunity to participate in the original, more advantageous, solar renewable energy credit program (SREC-I). The solar company denied that it had any responsibility under the contract for connecting to the grid or for which solar credit program, SREC-I or SREC-II, would apply
        • Mediated dispute between distribution utility and solar energy company pursuant to the dispute resolution provision of the Distributed Generation Interconnection Tariff. Interconnection obstacles included need for transmission study and what responsibility, if any, the distribution entity had to advise solar energy company of need for a transmission study
        • Mediated dispute of claim by solar energy company claiming construction deficiencies which resulted in structural defects in building and potential impact on ability to qualify for the utility’s Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit program (ZREC)
        • Mediated dispute arising out of claim by manufacturer of photovoltaic solarelectric generation system for breach of contract and counterclaim for allegations of failure to ensure timely interconnection to the grid for solar credits
  • Entertainment & Sports
      • Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit: Designated arbitrator hearing cases under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s (HISA) Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program
      • SafeSports: Designated neutral for the SafeSport program (a program to improve athlete safety across the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 47 National Governing Bodies). These cases stem from claims of emotional, physical and sexual misconduct relating to athletes under the age of 18
      • Mediated dispute with internationally known celebrity chef  
      • Mediated dispute in claim brought by highly successful track and field coach against the athletic department and athletic director alleging tortious interference with contractual relations, negligent infliction of emotional distress and defamation
      • Mediated dispute between talent and globally recognized athletic footwear and apparel company involving claims under New York Civil Rights Law, Sec. 50 & 51, alleging unauthorized use of his image for commercial purposes on company’s social media and e-commerce websites as well as a claim for unjust enrichment
      • Mediated claims against internationally recognized sports endurance and adventure company alleging violation of the Lanham Act, Sec. 43(a), misappropriation of trade secrets, libel, federal trademark dilution, tortious interference with advantageous and contractual relations and related claims; also counterclaims alleging breach of fiduciary duty and diversion of corporate opportunity, fraud and related claims
      • Mediated dispute between television sports network and sports reporter/on air talent:  breach of contract, hostile work environment and related claims
      • Mediated dispute between Olympic medalist coach and local club regarding coach's management of sports academy located at the club.  Claims of breach of contract, age discrimination and defamation
  • Insurance
      • Mediated and arbitrated numerous claims brought by owners of commercial and residential properties for storms, water, snow, ice, flooding other water damage and resulting mold
      • Mediated numerous insurance coverage issues on a range of issues
      • During 15 years as a Superior Court judge handled hundreds of insurance coverage declaratory judgment actions, in which issues of interpretation of coverage were adjudicated. Many of these cases involved homeowner as well as commercial property owner claims where there is an issue of coverage
  • Intellectual Property
      • Sole arbitrator in case alleging that product to product comparison advertising campaign was intentionally false and misleading constituting a violation of the Lanham act and related claims of commercial disparagement
  • Personal Injury
      • Construction site injuries
      • Motor vehicle tort
      • Premises liability
      • Product liability
  • Professional Liability
      • Matters involving architects and engineers
      • Medical malpractice claims involving a variety of health care professionals
      • Claims against lawyers and accountants
  • Sexual Misconduct and Abuse
      • Mediated and arbitrated numerous cases against faith-based organizations and independent and public schools arising out of claims of sexual, physical and mental abuse, including child sexual abuse, as well as claims of discrimination.
      • Sole arbitrator appointed by private school to preside over its compensation arbitration program for harm suffered from faculty abuse by students, regardless of when abuse occurred.
      • Designated neutral for the SafeSport Program governed by the U.S. Olympic Committee, arbitrating cases arising out of claims of emotional, physical and sexual conduct relating to athletes and other covered persons.
      • Mediated a case involving a high school coach and allegations stemming from their actions as coach relating to the students.
      • Presided in the Sexual Dangerous Person (“SDP”) session for three months per year.  In that session, almost 100% of the cases involved allegations of child rape, statutory rape, child sexual assault, indecent assault and battery and related charges (included other forms of physical violence.)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

    • Recipient, Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award 2015
    • Vice Chair, Alternate Dispute Resolution Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
    • Member, ABA Forum on Construction Law
    • Member, ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Mediation Committee
    • Member, ABA Section of Litigation Committee
    • Fulbright Specialist, United States Department of State, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2012
  • Recent Presentations
    • Panelist, “Cocktails & CLE: Sports Law & Arbitration,” ABA Business Law Section, October 2023
    • Panelist, “The INs and OUTs of Virtual ADR,” Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Northeast, 2021
    • ABA Forum on Construction Law, The Business of Becoming a Neutral 2015
    • Presenter, Massachusetts Bar Association, Reading Between the Lines: The ABC’s of Arbitration for New Lawyers 2015
    • Presenter: Misclassification of Employees: The Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, Massachusetts Bar Association 36th Annual Labor & Employment Conference
    • Presenter, “Discovery Disputes,” Boston Bar Association, 2014
    • Presenter, “Avoiding Litigation Through Arbitration and Mediation Clauses in Real Estate Agreements,” Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts Spring Conference, 2014
    • Presenter, “Getting on the Ground Level, New Opportunities for Neutrals in the Economical Litigation Agreement,” ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Poster presentation, 2013
  • Publications
  • Professional Training
    • ABA 8th Annual Arbitration Training Institute, American Bar Association, 2014
    • Guided Choice: Innovations in Mediation to Get Better Settlements at Less Cost, American Arbitration Association, 2014
    • Managing the Cost of Exchanging Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in Construction Arbitration, American Arbitration Association, 2014
    • Counseling The Client During the Course of the Ongoing Construction Project, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2014
    • Fundamentals and Best Practices for Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association, 2013
    • Construction Law Seminar, Defense Research Institute, 2012
    • Making Dollars and Sense of Construction Damages, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2012
    • Mediating in the Red Zone, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, 2012
    • Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, 2011

Background and Education

  • Holtz ADR, Mediator/Arbitrator, 2012-2014
  • Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1996-2012
  • Secretary and General Counsel, Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, 1994-1996
  • Commissioner, Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, 1992-1994
  • Partner, Merrick and Louison (n/k/a Louison, Costello, Condon & Pfaff, LLP), 1987-1992
  • Assistant Corporation Counsel, City of Boston Law Department, 1984-1987
  • J.D., cum laude, Suffolk University Law School, 1984
  • B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Boston University, 1981


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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