Frank Maas

Hon. Frank Maas (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Hearing Officer

Case Manager
Shakiya Wright-McDuffie
T: 212-607-2761
F: 212-751-4099
620 8th Ave, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10018


Hon. Frank Maas (Ret.) served for 17 years as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York, including a two-year term as Chief Magistrate Judge. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Maas was a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, a partner in the New York City office of a large commercial litigation law firm headquartered in upstate New York, and First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of an internal affairs agency and oversaw the City’s internet security efforts.

Judge Maas is nationally known for his expertise in electronic discovery issues. He is a frequent speaker at the Conference on Preservation Excellence and at the E-Discovery Institute Leadership Summit, among others. He is a founding member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. Judge Maas also holds memberships to the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Association, S.D.N.Y. Chapter; the Federal Bar Council; the Federal Magistrate Judges Association; and the New York City Bar Association.

Judge Maas comes to JAMS with an exemplary reputation as a settlement judge. Comments from Counsel incorporated into the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary include: “He is an excellent settlement judge.” “He comes up with creative solutions.” “He is able to recognize what is important. Then he addresses it.”

ADR Experience and Qualifications

During his 17 years as a United States Magistrate Judge for the S.D.N.Y., Judge Maas presided over innumerable trials and thousands of settlement conferences, supervised pretrial discovery, and heard dispositive and procedural motions, building a wealth of experience in the following areas:

  • Aviation
  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Actions/Mass Torts
  • Construction/Real Property/Co-Op and Condominium
  • Corporate Monitoring
  • Electronic Discovery
  • Employment
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Financial Markets
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Maritime/Admiralty
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Government Regulation
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property: copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and patents
  • Securities
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee

Representative Matters


  • Wallenmount Ltd. v. Dassault Falcon Jet Corp. 
    Supervised pretrial activity in breach of contract action arising out of disputed price escalation clause in corporate jets acquisition agreement
  • Flight Sciences c. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd
    Supervised pretrial activity in suit brought by fuel efficiency consultant alleging airline adopted his suggestions without paying agreed fees
  • Surles v. Air France
    Supervised pretrial activity and successfully mediated discrimination suit brought by high-ranking former Air France executive
  • Ligeti v. British Airways PLC
    Presided over trial of suit in which plaintiff alleged that she developed PTSD as a result of a post-9/11 incident on international flight. Also supervised pretrial activity and acted as mediator in numerous airline-related personal injury cases

Mediated and settled hundreds of business disputes alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of partnership, licensing, and shareholder agreements, violation of shareholder rights, unfair competition, and theft of trade secrets

  • Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. v. AIG Financial Products Corp.
    Supervised pretrial activity and resolved numerous disputes in a multi-billion dollar declaratory judgment action alleging that certain interest rate swap agreements were automatically terminated due to AIG’s financial collapse in 2008
  • Motorola Credit Corp. v. Uzan.
    Supervised pretrial activity and issued numerous rulings in a RICO action arising out of a $2.7 billion fraud
  • Leider v. Ralfe.
    Supervised pretrial activity and addressed numerous legal issues in an antitrust suit against divisions of the De Beers Group diamond cartel
  • Waldman v. Escobar.
    Presided over pretrial activity and trial of suit by art collectors alleging that defendant sculptress wrongfully represented that certain valuable works had been destroyed
  • The Barton Group v. NCR Corp.
    Presided over pretrial activity and trial of a breach of contract suit seeking millions of dollars in past and future sales commissions
  • Adelaar v. Sprout Foods.
    Presided over pretrial activity and trial concerning investors’ claimed entitlement to full-ratchet anti-dilution protection
  • The Nielsen Company v. Success Systems.
    Presided over suit by nationwide market research company against provider alleged to have breached contract to automate data collection
  • Genon Mid-Atlantic v. Stone & Webster.
    Resolved complicated discovery issues, including attorney-client privilege claims, in declaratory judgment action arising out of contract to install scrubbers on power plants
  • Landmen Partners, Inc. v. Blackstone Group.
    Resolved discovery issues in class action suit brought by purchasers of Blackstone stock
  • Taylor Precision Products v. Larimer Group. 
    Supervised pretrial activity in suit alleging fraud in connection with the sale of privately-held company
  • Aerotel, Ltd. v. IDT Corporation
    Successfully settled multi-million dollar lawsuit concerning prepaid phone cards

Civil Rights
Mediated and settled hundreds of matters alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force, and wrongful death

Class Action/Mass Tort

  • In re Terrorist.
    Supervised pretrial activity and issued numerous decisions regarding discovery and damages in this extraordinarily complex MDL, in which the plaintiffs seek to hold state actors, charities, and others liable for loss of life and destruction of property during the 9/11 terrorist attacks
  • Houser v. Pritzker
    Presided over Title VII class action suit by an estimated 400,000 persons denied employment as census takers in 2010 based on their criminal histories


  • While in private practice, tried the landmark case of Clark Fitzpatrick v. Long Island Rail Road Co., in which, notwithstanding a contractual no-damages-for-delay clause the plaintiff contractor successfully sought damages for the defendant’s defective design and site acquisition
  • RLI Insurance Company, et al. v. King Sha Group, Inc.
    Supervised discovery and successfully settled multiple claims against property owner and others arising out of partial collapse of high-rise building wall due to defective underpinning by contractor performing work next door

Acted as trial judge in numerous employment cases.  Also supervised pretrial activity and acted as mediator in thousands of cases alleging violations of Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws, the FLSA, and the New York Labor Law.

  • Pena v. Le Cirque.
    Successfully mediated and settled suit alleging tip pool misallocation and related claims
  • Spicer v. Pier 60 LLC.
    Successfully mediated and settled multi-million dollar class and collective action alleging that defendant unlawfully retained gratuities mischaracterized as service charges and failed to pay overtime
  • MacGregor v. City of New York. 
    Presided over and tried suit by three police officers claiming gender discrimination
  • Eschelbach v. CCF Charterhouse/Credit Commercial de France
    Presided over wrongful termination suit by former head of defendant’s New York structured finance team
  • Leschak v. Raiseworks LLC.
    Presided over pretrial activity and resolved dispositive motions in suit by former corporate executive alleging breach of employment contract

Supervised pretrial matters, mediated, and determined damages in hundreds of cases involving claims by or against union pension and benefit funds.

  • Diagnostic Medical Associates v. N.Y.C. District Council of Carpenters Welfare Fund
    Presided over and resolved suit by medical group alleging benefit fund wrongfully refused to honor assigned claims


  • Sunbelt Rentals v. Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company. 
    Presided over declaratory judgment action concerning duties to indemnify and defend and the primacy of various insurance policies
  • 126 Mulberry St. Realty Corp. v. Diamond State Insurance Co. 
    Supervised pretrial discovery and successfully settled suit against carrier and its agent arising out of damage caused by construction on adjacent site
  • Mon Chong Loong Trading Corp. v. Travelers Excess and Surplus Lines
    Successfully settled multiple property insurance claims, including claims arising out of Hurricane Irene
  • Rugs On Stone v. RLI Insurance Co.
    Presided over pretrial activity and successfully settled suit alleging carrier wrongfully failed to honor claim for water-damaged oriental rugs
  • Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Wolk
    Successfully settled suit alleging that purchaser of life insurance policy engaged in a multi-million dollar STOLI (stranger-initiated life insurance) fraud scheme

Intellectual Property
Supervised pretrial activity and mediated claims in hundreds of patent, trademark, and copyright suits.

  • Gaus v. Conair Corp.
    Presided over pretrial activity and jury trial of suit alleging infringement of plaintiff’s patented technology to interrupt the flow of electrical current to a device immersed in water
  • Pan American World Airways, Inc. v. Flight 001, Inc.
    Presided over settlement of suit alleging misappropriation of PanAm’s intellectual property
  • Jersey Boys Broadway L.P. v. Gehling.
    Mediated and successfully settled copyright suit brought by producers of Broadway musical against original Tony award winning cast
  • Gordon v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co., Seidman v. Green Bottle PicturesEstate of Newman v. W.W. Norton & Company, Elsevier B.V. v. UnitedHealth Group., Energy Intelligence Group, Inc. v. Fitch
    Presided over successful settlement of these and other suits involving claims that publishers or subscribers exceeded the scope of limited copyright licenses
  • Nelson v. Benante
    Supervised discovery and successfully settled suit seeking declaration of co-ownership and co-authorship of works by heavy metal band
  • University House Communities Group v. Singer.
    Successfully settled trademark claim by national developer of privately-owned dormitories
  • Cipriani Group v. Cipriani's Pasta & Sauce.
    Successfully settled trademark and unfair competition suit involving competing claims of first use in commerce. 


  • Am. Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Assoc. v. Alcoa Steamship Co.
    Presided over pretrial activity and issued several opinions in a declaratory judgment action arising out of 10,000 asbestosis claims by seamen
  • Royal Indemnity Co. v. Deep Sea Int’l  
    Presided over pretrial activity and issued reports and decisions in declaratory judgment and related action arising out of the sinking of a research vessel
  • Progress Bulk Carriers v. American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Assoc. 
    Presided over pretrial activity and issued decisions in this declaratory judgment action against carrier that declined to indemnify vessel charterer against losses arising out of rejection of cargo in a foreign port
  • Bridge Construction Services of Florida, Inc. v. Ayala
    Successfully settled limitation of liability action brought against plaintiff injured while working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge
  • Clifford v. Hygrade Operators, Inc. 
    Presided over trial and decided issue of liability in limitation of liability action


  • As First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation and Special Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Business Services oversaw Mayor Giuliani’s successful effort to rid the Fulton Fish Market, Hunts Point Market, and other wholesale markets of mob influence
  • Oversaw DOI’s effort to engage independent monitoring firms to ensure compliance of companies seeking to do business with New York City that were subject to prior debarment proceedings or determinations of non-responsibility

Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice/Torts
Presided over numerous trials involving claims of personal injury or wrongful death, and supervised pretrial activity and conducted settlement conferences and mediations in hundreds of other personal injury suits. 

  • McDaniel v. Freightliner Corp
    Presided over this multi-defendant wrongful death action alleging defective design and other claims
  • Sylvester v. City of New York
    Presided over lengthy jury trial of wrongful death suit arising out of police-involved shooting
  • Nelson v. United States
    Presided over and successfully settled medical malpractice and related claims arising out of brain injury during childbirth

Professional Liability

  • Soley v. Wasserman
    Supervised discovery and issued report and recommendation in suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty by broker

Real Property/Condos/Cooperatives

  • Waverly Properties v. KMG Waverly
    Successfully settled lawsuit brought by purchaser of multiple luxury apartments against developer, architect, and others
  • 178 East 80th Street v. Jenkins
    Supervised pretrial activity and successfully settled this and related action involving allegations of shareholder and director misconduct

Securities/Commodity Futures

  • TD Ameritrade, Inc. v. Kelley
    Presided over pretrial activity and issued reports and recommendations in suit seeking to vacate FINRA arbitration award requiring physical delivery of stock certificates
  • SEC v. Aragon. 
    Presided over and eventually settled two related insider trading actions
  • SEC v. Save the World Air, Inc. 
    Supervised pretrial activity and decided dispositive motions in suit involving allegations that company misrepresented truth about its alleged fuel saving device for motor vehicles
  • CFTC v. Paragon FX Enterprises LLC/ ICA International Commodity Advisors
    Presided over related actions alleging violations of CFTC forex regulations by commodity trading advisor not registered as commodity pool operator and second entity not registered as a retail foreign exchange dealer
  • Dover Ltd. v. A.B. Watley.
    Presided over and issued several opinions in this action involving allegations of broker-dealer fraud
  • In re Elan Corp
    Presided over pretrial activity and issued report and recommendation in a proceeding consolidating thirty lawsuits alleging that defendant inflated its financials through “round tripping.”  Case settled soon after report was issued

Special Master/Discovery Referee

  • Rodriguez v. Pataki
    Supervised expedited discovery in civil rights challenge to Congressional and State Senate redistricting plans
  • SIPC v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities
    Appointed by Bankruptcy Court as Discovery Arbitrator to resolve disputes in numerous adversary proceedings arising out of Ponzi scheme
  • Serve as Title IX external adjudicator for colleges in sexual assault and sexual harassment cases
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Member, Federal Bar Council, 1984-Present
  • Member, Federal Magistrate Judges Association 1999-Present
  • Member, Federal Bar Association S.D.N.Y Executive Committee, 2015-Present
  • Association for the Bar of the City of New York
    • Member, Council on Judicial Administration, 1997-2013
    • Member, Criminal Law Committee, 1994-1996
    • Member, Committee on Commodities Regulation, 1985-1988
      • Chair, Subcommittee on Front Running and Insider Trading, 1998-1989
    • Member, Committee on Juvenile Justice, 1983-1985
      • Chair, Pretrial Detention Subcommittee, 1984-1985
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Member, Executive Committee, Federal and Commercial Litigation Section, 1984 – Present (Founding Member)
      • Co-Chair, Committee on Complex Crimes, 1991-1992
      • Chair, Committee on Computerization of the Courts, 1993-1995
  • Member, New York Council of Defense Lawyers, 1994-1995
  • Member, S.D.N.Y. Grievance, Security, Technology, Defender Services, District Executive and Court Reporters Committees
  • Member, Ad Hoc Special Committee to Draft S.D.N.Y. Section 1983 Plan.


  • United States Magistrate Judge, S.D.N.Y, 1999-2016; Chief Magistrate Judge, S.D.N.Y., 2014-2015
  • Deputy Commissioner and First Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation, New York, NY, 1995-1999
  • Deputy Commissioner and Special Counsel, New York City Department of Business Services, 1995-1999
  • Partner, Associate, Phillips, Lyle, Hitchcock, Blaine and Huber, 1986-1995
  • Assistant United States Attorney Criminal Division , United States Attorney’s Office, S.D.N.Y., 1980-1986
    • Securities and Commodity Fraud Unit, 1983-1986
  • Associate, Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt and Mosle, 1978-1980
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Henry F. Werker, U.S.D.C., S.D.N.Y., 1976-1978
  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1976
  • Harpur College, State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., 1972

Counsel Comments

    • “Thank you again for mediating our case during the COVID-19 outbreak. We really appreciate your dedication, and we wanted to reiterate that you did a great job! The prospects for settlement looked bleak yesterday morning, but your persistence paid off. You were able to bring the parties together throughout the day, and we reached a good deal for our clients in the end. Well done!”
    • As to Judge Maas’ legal ability. “I have only good things to say about him.”  “He is excellent.” “He is very smart.” “He knows labor law very well.” “He is well prepared.” “He is extremely smart.” “He does a great job on difficult cases.”

      -The Almanac of The Federal Judiciary; Aspen Publishers
    • As to Judge Maas’ judicial temperament. “He has a very good judicial temperament.” “He is very pleasant.” “He treats people very well – even in difficult cases.” “He can handle difficult parties.” “He is respectful to lawyers.”

      -The Almanac of The Federal Judiciary; Aspen Publishers
    • As to Judge Maas’ skills as a settlement judge. “He is an excellent settlement judge.” “He comes up with creative solutions.” “He is able to recognize what is important.  Then he addresses it.” “He is very effective in settlement.” “He is good at settling cases.”

      -The Almanac of The Federal Judiciary; Aspen Publishers
    • As to Judge Maas’ reputation for fairness. “He is fair.” “He does not lean either way.” “He is evenhanded.” “I don’t see that he has a preference for either slide.”

      -The Almanac of The Federal Judiciary; Aspen Publishers



Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Aviation
  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
  • Construction
  • Employment
  • Federal Law
  • Financial Markets
  • Health Care
  • Higher Education & Title IX
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Life Sciences
  • Maritime/Admiralty
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
  • Securities
  • Settlement Master/Ombudsman
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee


Available nationwide


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