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Cathy Yanni

Cathy Yanni

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Case Manager
Darcy English
T: 415-774-2635
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center , Suite 1500 , San Francisco , CA 94111

Cathy Yanni is a full time specialist in ADR. Since joining JAMS in 1998, she has settled thousands of cases. Her practice includes mediation, Special Master, and arbitration. Cathy Yanni’s substantive knowledge, her focused attention to detail, and her persistent follow up are the keys to her high success.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Americans with Disabilities Act/Civil Rights:

  • Class action claims involving major public and private universities, public entities and corporations, individual suits involving discrimination, failure to accommodate and access issues


  • Contract, business, and accounting disputes

Class Actions/Mass Torts:

  • Pharmaceutical cases mediated, acted as Special Master and allocated: Transvaginal Mesh, St. Jude Riata, St. Jude Eon, Infuse Medtronic, Advanced Bionics Cochlear implants, Avandia, Quinine, Gadolinium, Zicam I and II, ReNu, Denture cream, Bextra-Celebrex, Ortho Evra, Zyprexa I and II, Silicone Gel Breast Implants, Baycol, PPA, Fen-Phen, Yaz
  • Consumer class actions involving multiple high-tech companies, Apple, Toshiba, Yahoo, Palm: claims concerning operating systems, iPod nano, iTunes gift cards, iPhone antenna smart phones, pricing, apps, iPad data plans, desktop and notebook computers, software, computer displays, and digital music players
  • Financial services: bank leasing agreements, mortgage, and securities cases
  • Food labeling
  • Privacy/Data Breach

Elder Abuse:

  • All types of physical and financial elder abuse cases including actions against skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, and hospitals, plus claims of understaffing, fraud, mishandling finances, and unfair business practices


  • Wage and hour disputes, PAGA
  • Claims including race, gender, and age discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge
  • ERISA: class actions, breach of fiduciary duty, denial of long-term benefits


  • First, third party, and excess coverage disputes involving multiple carriers

Intellectual Property:

  • Trade secret, copyright, and patent disputes involving biotech, computer software and hardware

San Diego Fire Cases:

  • Mediated hundreds of claims including business losses, property damage, and personal injury claims arising from the October 2007 San Diego wild fires

Special Master:

  • Class action/mass torts/MDLs
  • Settlement allocation, administration and adjudication: designed and implemented distribution of over $3 billion of claims


  • All types of catastrophic personal injury, elder abuse, molestation, wrongful death, toxic torts, and product liability matters

Representative Matters

  • Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) Cases: Appointed by Hon. Joseph Goodwin, Southern District of West Virginia as Special Master to assist with the administration and implementation of multiple settlements in the Boston Scientific, Covidien, and BARD, MDLs. The TVM MDLs include more than 78,000 individual cases and is the largest medical mass tort as measured by filings in the federal MDL. Mediated and resolved hundreds of cases that were a part of the associated MDLs
  • St. Jude Riata Lead Wire Medical Device Litigation: Retained by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and St. Jude as Mediator and Special Master. Mediated hundreds of claims and also oversaw the process for allocation of settlement funds including hearing appeals and serving as the final arbitrator
  • St. Jude Medical/Eon Mini Model Cases: Retained by the plaintiffs and St. Jude Medical as Mediator. Resolved hundreds of cases. Special Master for allocation of settlement funds, heard appeals and served as the final arbitrator
  • Special Master for the administration and implementation of the $2.45 billion settlement in the In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR™ Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation. Appointed by the Hon. David A. Katz.
  • Gadolinium Contrast Dyes Product Liability Litigation: Settlement and Discovery Special Master: appointed MDL mediator by the Hon. Dan Polster, Northern District of Ohio. Settled MDL and state court cases involving allegations of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. Appointed mediator by The Hon. Richard Kramer, SF Superior Court; mediation and allocation of settlement funds from pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Bayer, General Electric and Mallinckrodt
  • Silicone Gel Breast Implant Litigation: Appointed Federal Mediator by The Hon. Denise Hood, U.S. District Court Eastern District Michigan, to resolve cases arising out of the Dow Corning Settlement Fund
  • Zyprexa I, II – Appointed Federal Special Master by The Hon. Jack Weinstein, Eastern District of New York, to design and implement claims administration process and distribution of $700 million dollar settlement
  • Baycol – Appointed Federal Mediator by The Hon. Michael J. Davis, District of Minnesota, settled MDL and state court cases involving multiple catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases arising out of complications from Rhabdomyolysis
  • PPA - Appointed Mediator by the Hon. Anthony Mohr, Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, for all remaining PPA cases (Phenylpropanolamine, an additive in over the counter diet and cold medications), settled Multi-District Federal litigation and state court cases, settled wrongful death and stroke cases
  • In re Fen-Phen Diet Drug Litigation, facilitated settlement of over 1,000 Fen-Phen related cases
  • Class action involving the citizens of Guam and distribution of earned income tax credits of $90 million (mediated in Guam)
  • Recognized as an “ADR Champion”, National Law Journal, 2016
  • Recognized as "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • Recognized as a "Top California Neutral," Daily Journal, 2003-2008, 2010-2012
  • Recognized as AV Preeminent in Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings
  • Woman of Achievement Award, Legal Momentum, 2008
  • Past President and Board of Directors, Academy of Court-Appointed Masters (ACAM)
  • Board of Directors, The American College of e-Neutrals (ACESIN)
  • Lecturer, Mediation and Negotiation, Stanford Law School, University of California Berkeley School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, Golden Gate Law School, Hastings College of the Law, University of San Diego School of Law, Duke University Law School
  • Sedona Conference: E-Discovery Dispute Resolution Program for Special Masters & Mediators
  • Conducts CLE seminars on ADR: Mediation, Negotiation, Ethics, Bias, Employment, Insurance, Special Masters and Referees, Intellectual Property, and e-Discovery
  • "Big Cases, Personal Touch," Daily Journal, ADR Profile, May 30, 2014
  • Panelist, JAMS, San Francisco, 1998-present
  • Discovery Referee, San Mateo County Superior Court, 1994-1998
  • Litigation Partner, major San Francisco law firm
  • Mediation Workshop, Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers
  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law; Editor, Law Review
  • B.A., Mount Holyoke College; Dartmouth College; Honors Commendation

Counsel Comments

    Yanni on mass tort process design

    “Cathy truly cares about the parties and the issues. She does not stop or abandon the case until it settles.”

    --National Settlement Counsel

    “Cathy knows each case and is persistent and patient with emotionally charged clients.”

    --Bay Area Attorney

    Recognized as an “ADR Champion”, National Law Journal, 2016

    Recognized as "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013

    Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2003-2008, 2010-2012





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