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Kathleen Roberts

Hon. Kathleen A. Roberts (Ret.)

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Melanie O'Harra
T: 212-607-2707
F: 212-751-4099
620 Eighth Avenue , 34th Floor , New York , NY 10018
Hon. Kathleen A. Roberts (Ret.) served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York from 1985 to 1995, where she presided over trials and supervised discovery in thousands of commercial, employment, insurance, securities, intellectual property, product liability, and environmental cases. She is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Law School, where she teaches arbitration as part of a semester-long course on Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Since joining JAMS, Judge Roberts has arbitrated well over 200 cases, as a sole arbitrator or member of a three-arbitrator panel. Her arbitration practice is focused on complex commercial, insurance coverage, and employment disputes. She has arbitrated numerous cases under the rules of the American Arbitration Association, as well as JAMS, and has twice been appointed Chair of an International Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Tribunal. Judge Roberts is highly regarded for her efficient and even-handed case management, diligent preparation, ability to master complex legal and factual issues, and well-reasoned awards. 

Representative Arbitrations

  • Breach of contract dispute involving private security services in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Breach of contract and employment dispute involving alleged customs violations regarding the importation of children's bedroom furniture from China
  • Insurance coverage dispute involving the construction of a pipeline under the Mississippi River
  • Breach of contract dispute regarding risk default insurance for credit extended on purchases of medical equipment in South America
  • Dispute between partners in numerous business ventures in Russia and the former Soviet Union
  • Pregnancy, FMLA and age discrimination claims by a senior sales representative for an internet advertising firm
  • Breach of contract dispute between a top New York developer and a major financial institution pertaining to a real estate development project
  • Breach of contract dispute between an American software manufacturer and its Taiwanese distributor
  • Breach of contract dispute involving a joint venture to own and operate oil tankers
  • Breach of contract dispute involving the production of public affairs programs for Public Television
  • Breach of representations and warranties dispute in connection with the acquisition of a life insurance company
  • Dispute between a sub-prime automobile lender and its risk default insurance carrier
  • Dissolution of a highly successful accounting partnership concentrating in the entertainment industry
  • Insurance coverage dispute involving the application of policy exclusions to the failure of a bridge in Panama
  • Minority shareholder dispute in a closely-held money management firm
  • Multiple issues between a national franchiser of weight reduction programs and its franchisees
  • Numerous employment disputes pertaining to discrimination and compensation in all economic sectors
  • Mediation Settlement Day Frontline Champion Award, New York Unified Court System, 2016
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Member of the mediation panels for the United States District Courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, New York County; and Bankruptcy Courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • Frequent participant in bar association programs and continuing legal education programs on mediation and arbitration
  • Admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Member of the New York City Bar
  • United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York, 1985-1995
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York, Criminal and Civil Divisions, 1979-1985
  • Law Clerk, Judge William C. Conner, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1977-1979
  • J.D., Yale Law School, Editor of the Yale Law Journal, 1977
  • B.A., summa cum laude, University of Massachusetts (Boston), 1971
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