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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 serves as a Special Master by court appointment and agreement of the parties in both federal and state courts.

In her role as a Special Master she has structured the case management process, supervised discovery, as well as adjudicated motions regarding privilege and other substantive legal issues.

As Settlement Special Master in large class actions and Multi District Litigation (MDLs), Ms. Yanni has designed, managed, and adjudicated settlement proceedings and fund allocation processes.

Special Master/Discovery Referee, Representative Matters

  • Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Medical Devices 
    • Mediator/Special Master: 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. Cathy has mediated and resolved hundreds of cases that were a part of the associated MDLs
    •  Mediator/Special Master: St. Jude Riata Lead Wire Medical Device Litigation. Retained by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and St. Jude as Mediator and Special Master. Cathy’s mediated hundreds of claims and also oversaw the process for allocation of settlement funds including hearing appeals and serving as the final arbitrator
    • Mediator/Special Master: St. Jude Medical/Eon Mini Model Cases. Retained by the plaintiffs and St. Jude Medical as Mediator and resolved hundreds of cases. Currently acts as Special Master working on allocation of settlement funds and hearing appeals and serving as the final arbitrator
    • Special Master: administration and implementation of the settlement in the In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR™ Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation. Appointed by the Hon. David A. Katz to assist with distribution of $2.45 billion settlement
    • Special Master: Medtronic Infuse, appointed by The Hon. Wynne Carvill, Alameda County Superior Court, California, to oversee, administrate and allocate inventory settlement
    • Settlement Special Master: appointed MDL mediator by the Hon. Dan Polster, Northern District of Ohio, in Gadolinium Contrast Dyes Product Liability Litigation, involving settling MDL and state court cases involving allegations of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. Appointed by The Hon. Richard Kramer, SF Superior Court, in Gadolinium MDL proceedings; mediation and allocation settlement
    • Settlement Special Master: appointed by the Hon. Jack Weinstein, Eastern District of New York, to design and implement claims administration process and distribute $800 million dollar settlement in Zyprexa I, II matter
    • Settlement Special Master: appointed in Bextra MDL to allocate and distribute multi-million dollar settlement proceeds
    • Settlement Special Master: appointed in Ortho Evra MDL; designed and implemented allocation and distribution of multi-million dollar settlement proceeds to claimants
  • Consumer Class Actions
    • Settlement Special Master: consumer class actions involving multiple high-tech companies, Apple,Toshiba, Palm: claims concerning operating systems, iPod nano, iTunes gift cards
    • Special Master: consumer class action against Wells Fargo bank involving trust accounts; designed and managed post-settlement and claim processing
    • Special Master: multiple consumer class actions against various high-tech computer companies, both U.S. and non-U.S. companies
  • Business/Commercial
    • E-Discovery Referee: multi-million dollar arbitration between venture capital company and multi-national conglomerate
    • Referee: high-tech dispute between manufacturer and supplier; issues involved trade secrets, patents, breach of contract, and delay claims
    • Referee: mid-sized family owned business; issues involved stock valuation, accounting, and attorney/client privilege
  • Employment
    • Referee: individual claimant against large entertainment company; issues involved stock valuation and privilege; individual wrongful termination/sexual harassment claim against Fortune 500 Telecommunication Company
    • Special Master: appointed by The Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel to oversee all aspects of discovery in a racial discrimination and sexual harassment case involving multiple plaintiffs
    • Special Master: numerous wage and hour cases involving allocation of settlement proceeds among class members, and PAGA claims
  • Intellectual Property
    • Referee: high-tech dispute between inventor and corporation; issues involved trade secrets, source code, attorney/client privilege, production of emails and other electronic data
    • Special Master: multi-party biotech dispute involving intellectual property, patent infringement, trade secrets, and anti-trust violations; issues concerning allegations of breach of attorney/client privilege; extensive electronic discovery issues
  • 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

    • “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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