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.


During his 50 year career as a trial lawyer, judge, and ADR neutral, Judge von Kann has handled a wide variety of professional liability disputes, including dental, medical, legal, accounting, and broker malpractice; fee disputes; and partnership distributions. His experience with the subject matter, combined with his understanding of the sensitivities involved in these types of cases, make him particularly well suited to resolve complex professional liability disputes.

Representative Matters

  • Accounting Fees. Mediation of claim by non-profit service organization that it was entitled to a reduction of fees owed to outside accountant due to accountant’s allegedly poor performance
  • Accounting Fraud. Arbitration of claim by large holding conglomerate against sellers of transportation company alleging that company’s accounting personnel fraudulently misrepresented the true financial condition of the company
  • Accounting Malpractice. Mediation of international investor’s malpractice claim against large accounting firm for alleged failure to properly report business’s income and expenses
  • Broker Liability. Arbitration of large investor’s claim that major Wall Street brokerage firm promised to provide investment advisory service of the highest order and then failed to do so
  • Dental Malpractice. Arbitration of malpractice claim against dentist for alleged negligence in the extraction of teeth and placement of implants
  • Law Firm Distributions. Arbitration of claim by departed partner that his former firm failed to pay him the partnership distributions to which he was entitled under firm’s Partnership Agreement
  • Legal Fees. Mediation of client’s claim that its law firm’s bill should be substantially reduced due to firm’s allegedly inadequate preparation for, and conduct of, trial against former employee. When parties were unable to reach agreement on amount of the reduction, they appointed Judge von Kann as arbitrator with authority to determine a reduction figure between agreed minimum and maximum amounts.
  • Legal Malpractice. Mediation of divorcing wife’s malpractice claim against her attorney for failure to discover substantial assets and income of ex-husband
  • Legal Malpractice. Mediation of international financier’s claim that a large national law firm committed malpractice when it failed to obtain complete information concerning Swiss bank accounts of financier’s embezzling former employee
  • Medical Malpractice. Arbitration of malpractice claim against residential care facility operated by large national company for alleged failure to properly care for elderly patient following a stroke
  • Medical Malpractice. Mediation of wrongful death/malpractice claim against internist, radiologist, and emergency room physician for failure to properly diagnose virulent virus which killed patient in three days
  • Trustee Liability. Mediation of claims by U.S. Department of Labor that trustees of union pension fund committed breaches of fiduciary duty and violations of ERISA when they invested large part of fund in purchase and costly renovation of Florida resort hotel
  • 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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