Curtis von Kann

Hon. Curtis E. von Kann (Ret.)

JAMS Arbitrator, Mediator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator

Case Manager
Naomi Hutchinson
T: 202.533.2034
F: 202.942.9186
1155 F Street, NW, Suite 1150, Washington, D.C. 20004


As a trial lawyer, trial judge, and ADR neutral, Curtis E. von Kann has handled numerous matters involving construction and real estate disputes. In his ten years as a full-time ADR neutral, he has arbitrated and mediated disputes concerning construction delay damage claims, requests for equitable adjustment of construction contract prices, alleged breach of warranty in performance of construction work, development of shopping malls and residential communities, renovation of buildings, and leasing of commercial property.

Representative Matters

  • Representative construction and real estate disputes handled by Judge von Kann include the following.
    • Delay Damages. Arbitration of competing claims between general contractor and steel assembly subcontractor for delay damages allegedly caused by breaches of contract and faulty work in construction of power generation facility
    • Architectural Services. Mediation of disputes between architect and owners concerning renovation and enlargement of an existing building
    • Construction of Baseball Stadium. Judge von Kann served as chair of tripartite panel arbitrating, under AAA Construction Industry Arbitration Rules, a multi-million dollar dispute between a major league baseball team and its host city concerning payment for fixtures and various alleged deficiencies in the construction of a new baseball stadium
    • Construction of Golf Course. Mediation of dispute between multiple parties for damages allegedly caused by delay in construction of championship golf course at a new resort
    • Construction of Town Homes. Mediation of dispute between developer and construction company over alleged defects in construction of hundreds of townhouses
    • Request for Equitable Adjustment. Arbitration of claim by drywall subcontractor for equitable adjustment in contract price due to change orders and alleged failure of general contractor to properly coordinate work of other trades in construction of University Science Center
    • Delay Damages/Breaches of Warranty. Mediation of dispute concerning antenna subcontractor’s claim for delay damages and general contractor’s claims for breaches of warranty in connection with construction of Voice of America broadcasting station in Djibouti. When parties were unable to reach agreement, they asked Judge von Kann to arbitrate the dispute.
    • Development of Shopping Mall. Arbitration of disputes between owner and developer concerning alleged failures to meet schedule in development of nation’s third largest shopping mall
    • Development of Residential Community. Mediation of disputes between owning family members concerning development of large tract for residential community of townhouses and apartments. When settlement was reached, parties appointed Judge von Kann as arbitrator with respect to any disputes which might (and did) arise in implementing settlement.
    • Renovation of Luxury Hotel. Mediation of claim by U.S. Department of Labor that trustees of union pension fund committed breaches of fiduciary duty and violation of ERISA when they invested large part of fund in purchase and costly renovation of Florida resort hotel
    • Commercial Lease. Mediation of disputes between landlord and tenant concerning lease of commercial property
  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • 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, 2014-2022
  • 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 (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




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

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