Ann Kough

Hon. Ann Kough (Ret.)

JAMS Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator

Case Manager
Christina Lee
T: 213-253-9732
F: 213-620-0100
555 West 5th St., 32nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Judge Kough joined JAMS following a distinguished 13-year career in the Los Angeles courts. During her final two years on the Superior Court, she was one of only six judges in the Complex Litigation pilot program where she was responsible for managing, trying, and otherwise resolving, among other matters, the most complicated multi-party environmental/ toxic tort cases. At JAMS she has acted as the discovery referee for a toxic cleanup dispute involving groundwater.

Representative Matters

  • Discovery referee for toxic cleanup dispute between the City of Santa Monica and numerous oil companies regarding MTBE in groundwater
  • Discovery referee in mesothelioma claim based on alleged asbestos in hair dryers
  • Presided over numerous toxic tort matters, including asbestos cases
    Trial judge in consumer dispute over compliance with environmental laws concerning the transportation, storage, and loading of coal products in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, including extensive discovery issues
  • Trial judge in dispute over construction of Belmont high school complex, including claims of legal malpractice involving analysis of environmental issues
  • Trial judge in disputes over mold and other toxic substances allegedly found in large apartment complexes
  • Trial judge in Judicial Council coordinated consumer action against various hotels over compliance with environmental laws regarding cigar smoke
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Member, Academy of Court Appointed Masters (ACAM), 2006-2020
  • Member, California Judges Association (CJA)(Executive Board Member 1995-1997), 1989-2022
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ)(Chair, 2000 Annual Conference Committee), 1989-2022
  • Author, “Judicial References,” California Lawyer magazine, August 2013
  • Author, “Volunteer Vacations,” The Bench magazine, Summer 2006
  • Co-Author, “Judicial Reference: A Forgotten Tool,” The Recorder, October 7, 2013
  • Author, “The Uses of Arbitration/Judicial Reference in Complex Healthcare Litigation,” Health Care Matters, Fall 2017
  • Panelist, “Learning From the Masters: How to Manage and Settle Your Complex Cases,” ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, October 15, 2013
  • Judge, Superior Court (Complex Litigation program and “fast track” civil), 1997-2002
  • Judge, Municipal Court, Los Angeles Judicial District, 1989-1997
  • General Counsel, Pacific Triangle Management Corporation, 1986-1988
  • Partner, O'Loughlin, Kough & Katz, 1983-1986
  • Associate, Loeb & Loeb LLP, 1982-1983
  • Deputy City Attorney, City of Los Angeles, 1979-1982
  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • M.A., Sociology, California State University, Fullerton
  • B.A., Sociology, magna cum laude, Whitworth College, Spokane, WA




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