Bridgeport Trial Lawyer Honored for Role in “Jumpstarting” Mediation

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June 7, 2010

BRIDGEPORT, May 26, 2010 – A prominent Bridgeport attorney will be honored for his support of mediation and conflict resolution in Connecticut.

Community Mediation, Inc, of New Haven today announced that it will honor Atty. Richard Bieder with the 2010 Honorable Robert C. Zampano for Excellence in Mediation Award. The organization mediates and facilitates out-of-court conflict resolution.

Beverly Hodgson, a board member of Community Mediation, said that Atty. Bieder is being honored for his key role in jumpstarting the use of mediation in Connecticut. “Richard Bieder was an early adoptee of mediation and encouraged engagement among the top tier lawyers in Connecticut, beginning with the L’Ambiance Plaza building collapse case,” said Hodgson.

“Back in the 1980s, mediation was almost unknown. Judge Zampano was almost alone among judges in engaging in concerted efforts to mediate disputes pending in the U.S. District Court,” said Bieder. “The critical role of mediation in Connecticut as an alternative to trial was apparent to me then and remains so more than ever. I’m thrilled that I was able to play a part in bringing this vital service to fruition.”

“Judge Zampano’s ability to develop this alternative to trial depended on the participation of leaders in the ranks of trial lawyers,” Hodgson explained. “Richard was foremost among such leaders, embracing the concept of mediation and applying it to his representation of clients in large cases such as the L'Ambiance Plaza litigation. The enthusiastic and skilled participation of a lawyer of Richard’s stature made other lawyers in tangled, multi-layered cases accept mediation and participate. Richard went on to serve as a special master, mediating federal court cases, and he led again in the effort to mediate claims of World Trade Center victims.”

Bieder, a partner at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, P. C. is well known for his handling of individual and class action cases resulting from mass disasters, consumer rights, personal injuries, unfair trade practices and commercial fraud and misrepresentation.

He has represented victims in high-profile cases nationwide, including families of individuals killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and families of victims of the Mianus River Bridge collapse in Greenwich, Conn. He helped create, and was president of, Trial Lawyers Care, a nationwide organization that aided victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks and continues to seek ways to aid other victims of terrorism through pro bono legal work.

The Zampano award is given annually in memory of U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Zampano, a pioneer in mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It recognizes and celebrates leadership, initiative and creativity in mediation in Connecticut.

“Each year we honor someone who furthers mediation and conflict resolution in Connecticut – usually someone affiliated with the courts and judicial system,” said Brenda Cavanaugh, Associate Director of Community Mediation, Inc. “We feel that mediation specifically, and ADR generally, is critical in that it gets at the root of a conflict. Rather than punishing one party, it identifies the needs of both parties so they don’t end up in a civil suit later on.”

“And, both parties get to choose the solution to their problem, rather than having a solution imposed upon them,” Cavanaugh added.

The award ceremony will be June 10, 2010, at the Graduate Club in New Haven at 5:30p.m.