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Cathy Yanni

Cathy Yanni

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Case Manager
Tina Oja
T: 415-774-2627
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111

Cathy Yanni's initial involvement in ADR was through the California Superior Court System (San Mateo County) when in 1994, she was appointed a Special Master/Discovery Referee. Many of the cases she has mediated, arbitrated, and acted as a Special Master/Discovery Referee for have involved employment issues. Since joining JAMS in 1998 as a full-time ADR neutral, she has successfully mediated over 1,000 highly charged, emotional employment matters. As a neutral, she employs a focused personal approach to maximize resolution opportunities.

Cathy's employment cases have involved Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, public entities, government agencies, law firms, hospitals, financial and educational institutions.

Representative Matters

Wage and Hour Claims (Mediated):

  • Mediator in Polo Ralph Lauren California wage and hour and overtime pay class action lawsuit involving 6,700 member class; case involved protracted negotiations and settled two weeks into trial 
  • Numerous wage and hour class action and individual cases including alleged misclassification of employees as exempt, failure to provide meal and rest periods, donning and doffing cases, improper distribution of tips, and PAGA claims
  • Settlement Special Master:  allocated and adjudicated post-settlement claims involving financial institutions, insurance companies, retailers, automotive dealers, and vehicle rental companies

Wrongful Termination (Mediated and Arbitrated):

  • Breach of contract claims including commission issues and intellectual property (non-competition and trade secret) 
  • Executive termination cases including restricted stock, valuation of stock options, and stock option vesting
  • Public entity wrongful termination and whistleblower cases
  • Retaliation claims allegedly for engaging in protected activity and unlawful practices

Discrimination Claim (Mediated and Arbitrated):

  • Class actions and individual claims involving age, race, gender, disability, religion, national origin or sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and family medical leave/family rights discrimination cases involving termination of employees on leave and failure to reinstate employees

Sexual Harassment (Mediated and Arbitrated):

  • Individual and multiple claims including minors, sexual abuse, and significant psychological injuries involving federal and state law

Americans with Disabilities Act (Mediated):

  • Class actions and individual claims against major university
  • Claims involving discrimination, architectural barriers, hearing impaired students, and failure to provide access
  • Class action against major financial institution and insurance company involving claims of discriminatory underwriting
  • Disability class action involving African American claimants against a Fortune 500 company
  • Acted as Court Monitor for compliance in both private and public university and state college systems for access issues and hearing impaired issues

ERISA (Mediated and Arbitrated):

  • Claims involving tax and federal preemption issues
  • Claims involving breach of fiduciary duty in the management of trust fund assets
  • Denial of long-term disability benefits claims
  • Trade secrets, non-compete, and non-solicitation disputes

Special Master/Discovery Referee:

  • Appointed by the Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, US District Court, Northern District of California, to oversee all aspects of a multiparty racial discrimination case
  • Discovery Referee for multiple multiparty racial discrimination cases against a variety of public entities and adjudicated issues involving attorney-client privilege, privacy, and production of electronic discovery
  • Special Master of numerous wage and hour cases involving allocation of settlement proceeds among class members
  • 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




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