Cathy Yanni

T: 415-982-5267
F: 415-982-5287

Cathy Yanni has been a full time specialist in ADR since joining JAMS in 1998. Her practice includes mediation, arbitration, Special Master/Discovery Referee, and class action settlement administration in numerous fields. She has served as an arbitrator for over 20 years.

Ms. Yanni’s broad substantive legal knowledge and her focused attention to detail suit her to arbitration. She has been a member of court appointed arbitration panels since 1988. She is particularly adept in cases involving complex legal and factual issues, multiple parties, and document intensive arbitrations requiring knowledge of electronically stored data and proactive, efficient case management.

Representative Arbitrations

  • Business/Commercial
    • ICC arbitration between U.S. biotech company and European distributor with multi-million dollar claims of breach of contract
    • Tripartite arbitration involving construction disputes between owner, developer, and construction company
    • Dispute between buyer and seller of a bed and breakfast hotel
    • Attorney fee dispute arising out of class action settlement
    • Dispute between buyer and seller of automotive business
    • Dissolution of an accounting firm partnership
    • Fee dispute between start-up company and accounting firm
    • Dispute between supplier and manufacturer of building materials
    • Discovery Referee: prepared protocols and orders regarding Electronically Stored Information (ESI), as part of a multimillion dollar claim brought by an investment banking company against a conglomerate
  • Class Actions, Multi District Litigation
    • Multiple arbitrations of class action and MDL settlement proceeds post allocation (Gadolinium, Zicam, Zyprexa I and II, Ortho Evera, Bextra-Celebrex, and wage and hour cases)
  • Employment
    • Arbitrated many employment disputes involving allegations of discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation
    • Discrimination based on age leading to harassment, demotion, and wrongful termination
    • Unsafe workplace, whistleblower, and wrongful termination
    • Wrongful discharge and contractual claims including stock options by high-level executive
  • Insurance
    • Coverage dispute involving interpretation of a stop loss policy
    • Coverage dispute between policy holder and insurer over commercial policy interpretation
    • Dispute between insured and insurer over recovery of benefits; bad faith allegations
    • Dispute between insurer and insured over reimbursement of attorneys’ fees
    • Insurance policy benefits dispute involving coverage and allocation of policy proceeds among multiple insureds
    • Umpire: dispute among carriers arising from multiple fire loss claims
    • Subrogation and contribution dispute among multiple carriers regarding allocation and additional insured claims
  • Intellectual Property
    • Dispute concerning software contract, claims included failure to pay royalties, trade secret misappropriation, fraud and breach of contract, award included significant attorney’s fees and costs
    • Copyright dispute between designer and purchaser over website design
    • Dispute between patent holders over ownership of biotech patents
    • Dispute regarding allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and related claims arising from license agreement
    • Dispute arising from claims of unfair competition, trade secrets, and misappropriation of ideas, designs, customer lists, and products
    • Licensing dispute between chip manufacturers regarding breach of contract
    • Royalty dispute over payments arising out of cross licensing fees
  • Personal Injury
    • Many personal injury, wrongful death, and uninsured/underinsured motorist arbitrations
  • Real Estate
    • Breach of contract, fraud, and specific performance claims involving purchase and sale of large commercial building
    • Multiple real estate matters including breach of contract and failure to disclose issues, specific performance, and broker’s commissions
    • Multiple landlord-tenant disputes

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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

Background and Education

  • 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


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