Cathy Yanni

Cathy Yanni

JAMS Mediator and Special Master

Case Manager
Julie McCool
T: 415-774-2612
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111

Cathy Yanni 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.


Cathy Yanni has extensive experience with class actions, mass torts, and multi-district litigation (MDLs). In addition to mediating class actions, mass torts, and MDLs, Ms. Yanni has also been appointed as a Special Master by both federal and state courts. In her role as a Special Master she has assisted courts with case management and has designed, managed, and adjudicated settlement proceedings and allocation processes.

Representative Matters


  • Appointed by the Hon. Dennis Montali to be the Administrator of the $13.5B Fire Victim Trust, which was created as part of PG&E’s bankruptcy settlement. The US Bankruptcy Court approved formation and funding of the Trust to compensate approximately 70,000 victims of the 2015 Butte Fire, 2017 North Bay Fires, and 2018 Camp Fire
  • Appointed to be the Administrator of the Wildfire Assistance Program fund on June 5, 2019 by the Hon. Dennis Montali in the matter of In re: PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, No. 19-30088- DM (Bankruptcy case). The $105 million-dollar fund was distributed to the victims of the 2017 and 2018 Northern California Wildfires
  • Appellate review officer for Takata Airbag Tort Compensation Trust Fund.  The $140 million Trust was established pursuant to a February 2017 criminal plea agreement between the US Department of Justice and Takata to resolve felony charges brought by the government against Takata in connection with the design, manufacture and sale of defective airbag inflators

Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Medical Device Mass Torts

  • Special Master for In Re National Prescription Opiate Litigation MDL. Appointed by Hon. Daniel A. Polster, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Appointed following joint recommendation of plaintiffs and defendants. Liaison to the tribes and coordinating cooperation between state and federal litigation
  • Settlement Special Master for the Abilify MDL. Appointed by the Hon. M. Casey Rodgers, United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Appointed following the joint recommendation of the plaintiffs and defendants settlement committee
  • Settlement Special Master for Medtronic Infuse. Appointed by the Hon. John D. Minton, Kentucky Supreme Court, mediation and allocation
  • Mediator/Special Master: Transvaginal Mesh (TVM) Cases. Appointed by The Hon. Joseph Goodwin, Southern District of West Virginia as Special Master to assist settlement and allocation of multiple settlements in the Boston Scientific, Covidien, Coloplast, AMS, and BARD MDLs
  • Mediator/Special Master: St. Jude Riata Lead Wire Medical Device Litigation
  • Mediator/Special Master: St. Jude Medical/Eon Mini Model Cases. Acted as Mediator and Special Master for settlement and allocation
  • Special Master: In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR™ Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation. Appointed by the Hon. David A. Katz, Northern District of Ohio to assist with distribution of $2.45 billion settlement; Special Master/Mediator CA JCCP
  • Special Master: Kelly v. Xoft. Mediated and allocated funds for claims arising out of alleged tungsten migration used in breast cancer treatment
  • Special Master: Medtronic Infuse, appointed by The Hon. Wynne Carvill, Alameda County Superior Court, California, to mediate and allocate settlement
  • Mediator: Zimmer Biomet Hip Litigation
  • Mediator: Wolf Morcellator Litigation
  • Mediator: Advanced Bionics and Cochlear implants
  • Mediator/Special Settlement and Discovery Special Master: appointed by The Hon. Dan Polster, Northern District of Ohio, in Gadolinium Contrast Dyes Product Liability Litigation, settled MDL and state court allocated inventory settlements. Appointed Special Master/mediator by The Hon. Richard Kramer in The Gadolinium CA JCCP
  • Mediator: appointed by the Hon. Anthony Mohr, Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, for PPA cases, settled Federal MDL litigation and state court cases, allocated settlements
  • Mediator: appointed Federal Mediator in Baycol MDL by The Hon. Michael J. Davis, District of Minnesota, settled MDL and state court cases
  • Mediator: Avandia, mediated and allocated claims
  • Allocator: allocated claims arising out of the Yaz and Yasmin litigation
  • Mediator: over 1,000 Fen-Phen diet drug related cases
  • Settlement Special Master: Bextra MDL to allocate and distribute settlement proceeds
  • Settlement Special Master: Ortho Evra MDL to design and implement allocation settlement proceeds to claimants
  • Settlement Special Master: Zyprexa I, II MDL appointed by the Hon. Jack Weinstein, Eastern District of New York, to design and implement claims administration process and allocation of settlement
  • Mediator: appointed Federal Mediator in Silicone Gel Breast Implant Litigation by The Hon. Denise Hood, US District Court Eastern District Michigan
  • Mediator: Quinine Litigation, settled lawsuit and allocated funds

Consumer Class Actions

  • Special Master/Mediator: consumer class actions involving multiple high-tech companies, Apple,Toshiba, Palm: claims concerning operating systems, iPod nano, iTunes gift cards, iPhone antenna, iPad data plans, privacy, apps, desktop and notebook computers, software, computer displays, and digital music players
  • Mediator: food products including food additive and supplements, false advertising claims including raw milk, coconut water, eggs, chickens, and yogurt
  • Mediator: class actions involving elder abuse claims and nursing home understaffing issues
  • Mediator: privacy claims


  • Mediator: Polo Ralph Lauren California wage and hour and overtime pay class action
  • Mediator: employment discrimination class action involving African American claimants against a Fortune 500 company
  • Special Master/Mediator: wage and hour class actions including PAGA claims involving financial institutions, insurance companies, retailers, automotive dealers, and vehicle rental companies

Mass Actions

  • Special Master: designed, implemented, and allocated the Oso Landslide Washington state settlement.  The slide killed 43 people
  • Mediator/Special Master: Americans with Disabilities Act class actions against major public and private universities; monitoring of post-settlement consent decrees

Commercial Class Actions

  • Mediator: California Business and Professions Code §17200 cases involving financial institutions and automotive dealers
  • Mediator: class action (mediated in Guam) involving the citizens of Guam and distribution of $90 million dollars of earned income tax credits
  • Mediator: cross-border, multi-national class action (mediated in Japan) involving Japanese conglomerate, Siapan, and U.S. companies’ banking dispute

Special Master: designed, implemented, and allocated the Oso Landslide cases settlement.  The slide killed 43 people when a rural neighborhood was destroyed in Oso, northeast of Seattle. It remains the deadliest landslide in the nation

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Included on the "National Mediators" List, Chambers USA, 2019-2021
  • Recognized as an “ADR Champion,” National Law Journal, 2016, 2018
  • 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

    • “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



Practice Areas

  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action/MDL/Mass Tort
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy
  • Employment
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Life Sciences
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Pharmaceuticals/Mass Tort
  • Product Liability
  • Special Master
Available nationwide


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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