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Curtis von Kann

Hon. Curtis E. von Kann (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Erika Holland
T: 202-533-2019
F: 202-942-9186
1155 F Street, NW , Suite 1150 , Washington , DC 20004
In 42 years as a trial lawyer, trial judge, and ADR neutral, Judge von Kann has had hands-on experience with matters involving virtually every field of civil law, including accounting, acquisitions, anti-trust, aviation, bankruptcy, civil rights, class actions, computers, condominiums, construction, consumer protection statutes, contracts, copyright, corporations, defamation, domestic relations, employment, engineering, entertainment, environmental, ERISA, executive compensation, False Claims Act, franchising, government contracts, healthcare, high tech, hospitals, insurance, intellectual property, investments, labor laws, partnerships, patents, personal injury, product liability, professional liability, Qui Tam, real estate, securities, telecommunications, trademarks, trade secrets, and unfair competition.

Judge von Kann, who is Immediate Past President of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, literally wrote the book on business arbitration as Editor-in-Chief of the College’s Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration and Associate Editor of its Protocols for Expeditious, Cost-Effective Commercial Arbitration. He has served as sole arbitrator or member (usually chair) of tripartite panels in a wide variety of institutional and ad hoc cases applying rules from JAMS, the American Arbitration Association, the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, and the International Center for Dispute Resolution as well as specialized party-crafted rules.

Representative Arbitrations

  • Collective Action. Actions against employer for allegedly misclassifying employees as exempt and then failing to pay them overtime required by Fair Labor Standards Act for non-exempt employees.
  • Contracts. Claim by newspaper against Internet access provider for alleged breach of contract in terminating newspaper's website.
  • Corporate Acquisition. Claim by broker that it was entitled to a multi-million dollar commission for assisting giant European pharmaceutical company in acquiring U.S. company that held valuable patents.
  • Employment. Claims against various employers alleging wrongful discharge due to racial discrimination, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other grounds.
  • Executive Compensation. Claims of alleged breach of contract for failure to provide severance pay and stock options to senior executive terminated by high tech company.
  • Franchises. Claims and counterclaims arising out of terminations of franchisee by national franchisors of restaurants and hotels.
  • Insurance Coverage. Dispute between insurer and placing broker regarding proper construction of rider language defining the coverage trigger for massive hurricane damage suffered by large grocery chain.
  • Intellectual Property. Determination of copyright royalty rates to be paid by all Internet web casters for the use of recorded music.
  • International High-Tech. Claim by U.S. distributor of state-of-the-art dental imaging devices that Korean manufacturer sold the devices to other distributors in violation of an alleged exclusive distributorship agreement.
  • Mass Torts. Determination of allocation among giant chemical companies of payment of $1 billion settlement in product liability class action.
  • Power Plant. Competing claims between general contractor and structural steel assembly subcontractor for delay damages allegedly caused by breach of contract and faulty engineering in construction of electric power generation plant.
  • Real Estate/Construction. Claims of multiple breaches of contract in development of the nation's third largest shopping mall.
  • Resort Development. Dispute between partners in development of luxury resort in Virgin Islands concerning alleged mismanagement of the project and breaches of fiduciary duties.
  • Satellites. Dispute between satellite radio company and its insurer over whether company’s alleged failure to disclose material information barred it from recovering $80 million for loss of two satellites caused by defective solar arrays.
  • Securities. Claim by client of major Wall Street brokerage firm for huge losses allegedly caused by unsuitable investments and failure to properly execute trades.
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, in the practice area of Arbitration, 2016
  • Distinguished Neutral, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution
  • Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London
  • Past President, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Former President, Harvard Law School Association of the District of Columbia and Charles Fahy American Inn of Court
  • Former Board Member, JAMS, National Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court, Council for Court Excellence
  • Member of two Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels, U.S. Copyright Office
  • First person selected to hear complaints against Members of Congress and others under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995
  • Independent Counsel of the United States appointed to investigate alleged violations of law by President Clinton's campaign chief of staff
  • Special Master to the Deputy Attorney General appointed to resolve disputes between two divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice concerning $8 billion dollar law enforcement program
  • Frequently requested ADR lecturer and trainer for numerous organizations, including the World Bank, U.S. Department of Justice, National Judicial College, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Mass Torts Institute, American Bar Association, American Law Institute, American Corporate Counsel Association, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and leading law firms

Publications (Partial List)

  • "Winning in Arbitration: The 10 Golden Rules," JAMS GEC Newsletter, Summer 2017
  • "Contemporary U.S. Commercial Arbitration Meets Ancient Chinese Curse: May you Live in Exciting Times," Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal (Fall/Winter 2012)
  • The College of Commercial Arbitrators Protocols for Expeditious, Cost-Effective Commercial Arbitration (2010) (available at www.thecca.net) (Associate Editor)
  • The College of Commercial Arbitrators Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration (2006) (JurisNet, LLC) (Editor-in-Chief)
  • "Alternative Dispute Resolution Can Avert Costly Court Battles," Potomac Tech Journal (October 14, 2002)
  • "Parties Should Make Arbitration Process Choices in the Contract," Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (September 2002) (co-author)
  • "Neutral Case Evaluation: A Valuable Addition to Your ADR Repertoire," Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (July 2002)
  • "A Week in the Life: Charting the Job of a Mediator in Daily Detail," Legal Times (March 25, 2002) and The Recorder (May 2002)
  • "Leaving the Bench for ADR," Legal Times (September 11, 1995)
  • "Reinventing the Jury Trial," Legal Times (January 2, 1995)
  • Arbitrator and Mediator, JAMS, 1997-present
  • Chair, ADR Department of Ross, Dixon & Masback, 1995-1997
  • Judge, District of Columbia Superior Court, 1985-1995
  • Civil Litigator, Hogan & Lovells (partner) and other law firms, 1969-1985
  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1969
  • B.A., cum laude, Harvard College, 1964

Counsel Comments

    "You kept the parties on an expeditious schedule, you made decisions about discovery and motions promptly and decisively and you were engaged during the presentation of witnesses and argument. One of my fears in arbitrations is that the arbitrator will split the baby in an effort to keep everyone somewhat happy. You did not do that, and we never really feared that you would. You made decisions throughout the case and stuck to them.  But I can tell you that both our team and the client spoke before your ruling issued and concluded that you had been an exceptionally good arbitrator. I would be happy to work with you again or to recommend you to others." - IP Partner at premier national law firm

    Best Lawyers in America, 2014, 2016

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