Kathleen Roberts

Hon. Kathleen A. Roberts (Ret.)

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

Case Manager
Christiane Catoe
T: 212-607-2780
F: 212-751-4099
620 Eighth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, New York 10018


Hon. Kathleen A. Roberts (Ret.) served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York from 1985 to 1995, when she joined JAMS as a mediator and arbitrator. Both on the bench and as a JAMS panelist, Judge Roberts has had extensive experience in adjudicating and settling insurance coverage disputes.

While on the bench, Judge Roberts managed pretrial proceedings and conducted settlement conferences in a number of insurance coverage disputes. She supervised discovery in a case involving six actions brought by the liquidator of an insolvent reinsurance company against over fifty ceding companies and retrocessionaires, and former managers of the insolvent reinsurer, and in an action by an insured against its liability carrier seeking indemnification and defense costs arising from the settlement of an action alleging defects in the manufacture of transformers installed in the World Financial Center. She also settled dozens of cases, including a multi-million dollar dispute among the general contractor, a subcontractor, their insurers, and the City of New York arising from a construction contract relating to the New York City reservoir system, and an action brought by homeowners alleging breach of contract and deceptive practices based upon an insurer's conduct in delaying payment on a fire damage claim.

Since joining JAMS, Judge Roberts has mediated and arbitrated numerous insurance coverage disputes including the following representative matters.

Representative Mediations

  • Allocation of responsibility among insurers for personal injuries and property damage arising from a fire at a Rockefeller Center restaurant
  • Claims of improper denial of disability insurance
  • Coverage and allocation of responsibility issues among insurers for a $1.8 million personal injury verdict against a property owner
  • Coverage disputes and application of policy exclusions in directors and officer’s liability insurance
  • Coverage issues arising out of charges of defamation and false advertising against a major clothing designer

Representative Arbitrations

  • Dispute between a sub-prime automobile lender and its risk default insurance carrier
  • Dispute regarding reinsurer’s liability for settlements in hundreds of asbestos claims
  • Dispute regarding risk default insurance for credit extended on purchases of medical equipment in South America
  • Insurance coverage dispute involving the application of policy exclusions to the failure of a bridge in Panama
  • Several disputes regarding attorney’s fees and other defense costs


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



Practice Areas


Available nationwide


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