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

Curtis E. von Kann is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


As a trial lawyer, trial judge, and ADR neutral, Curtis E. von Kann has handled hundreds of disputes involving a wide variety of insurance issues. He has served as a mediator, evaluator, arbitrator, and special master for multiple private and governmental parties in numerous cases presenting such issues.

Representative Matters

  • Automobile Insurance. Multiple arbitrations of amounts owed by automobile insurers for personal injuries arising from automobile accidents in which insurers admitted liability of their insureds
  • Business Liability Insurance. Mediation of claim against gas station’s business liability insurer by customer who was abducted from gas station and raped
  • Construction Insurance. Mediation of dispute between owner of hotel and insurer concerning coverage for alleged negligent supervision by owner’s retained representative, resulting in huge cost overruns
  • Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. Mediation of claim by directors and officers of holding company that their insurer’s refusal, on grounds of fraud, to cover losses incurred in settling litigation constituted a bad faith breach of insurance policy
  • Employee Defalcation Insurance. Mediation of claim by international business that its insurer improperly denied, as insufficiently supported, claim for reimbursement of losses allegedly caused by embezzlement of former manager of company’s Italian subsidiary
  • Environmental Insurance. Mediation of dispute between large manufacturing company and its insurer concerning coverage for environmental clean-up costs
  • Group Health Insurance. Neutral case evaluation of $160 million of claims and counterclaims between Health Care Financing Administration and two national group health insurers concerning provisions of the Medicare as Secondary Payor Act
  • Insurer/Broker Dispute. Mediation of dispute between insurer and one of its largest brokers concerning amount due broker for sale of insurance policies
  • Life Insurance. International mediation of claim by Greek beneficiaries of life insurance policy against insurer that denied coverage on grounds of insured’s alleged suicide
  • Malpractice Insurance. Mediation of multiple claims alleging malpractice of insured doctors and lawyers in which insurers disputed liability, causation, extent of damages, and/or coverage
  • Managed Care Liability Insurance. Mediation of $50 million claim by leading managed care provider against its liability insurer for partial reimbursement of sums paid to settle national class action brought against provider by subscribers alleging improper denial of healthcare claims. When parties were unable to reach settlement, they agreed to accept Judge von Kann’s determination of a reimbursement amount between specified minimum and maximum figures.
  • Property and Business Interruption Insurance. Service as special master to determine the appropriate measure of damages for multiple property damage and business interruption claims brought by five casualty insurers against municipality found liable for flooding of several retail buildings
  • Satellite Insurance. International arbitration of claim by satellite radio service for $80 million payment by its satellite insurer on account of alleged failure of two satellites to function properly
  • Workers Compensation Insurance. Mediation of claims by employer against its workers compensation insurer for allegedly utilizing wrong rate tables in calculating premiums due
  • 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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