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


Judge von Kann has served as a mediator, neutral case evaluator, special master, arbitrator, adjudicator, and hearing officer in a wide variety of cases involving state or federal government agencies. In addition, a broad range of tort, contract, commercial, and administrative cases have provided him with extensive experience in dealing with the kinds of claims, defenses, discovery issues, evidentiary issues, tactical considerations, and trial management issues which often arise in governmental as well as private litigation.

Representative Matters

  • Class Actions. Adjudication of hundreds of compensation claims filed by African-American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to a class action consent decree.
  • Congressional Compliance. Hearing Officer in Office of Compliance cases brought against Members of Congress and others pursuant to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.
  • Enforcement Actions. Mediation of claims brought by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration against a major pharmaceutical supplier under the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Environmental. Mediation of cost recovery and allocation actions brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies.
  • False Claims Act. Mediation of False Claims Act litigation between the U.S. Department of Justice and various healthcare providers and government contractors.
  • Federal Grants. Special Master to the Deputy Attorney General of the United States in resolution of disputes concerning an $8 billion federal grant program.
  • Government Contractors. Co-mediation in Puerto Rico (with a Spanish-speaking mediator) of competing contractor claims for reimbursement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of hurricane cleanup costs.
  • Hazardous Waste. Hearing Officer in the hearing of compensation claims among the seven states comprising the Southeast Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact.
  • Healthcare. Mediation and neutral case evaluation of complex claims and counterclaims between the Health Care Financing Administration and private insurers under the Medicare As Secondary Payer Act.
  • Intellectual Property. Appointed by Librarian of Congress to arbitration panel to set copyright royalty rates for use of recorded music by Internet webcasters.
  • 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




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