Scholars and members of the judiciary will explore Judge Jack B. Weinstein’s impact on a wide range of topics in civil justice at the 20th Annual Clifford Symposium on April 24 and 25, 2014, at DePaul University. Speakers will discuss torts, civil procedure and the law of evidence, as well as broader notions about what it means to be a judge and to seek justice in America’s courts. The symposium will also feature a special address by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
Judge Weinstein serves the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in January 1967. He served as chief judge from 1980 to 1988, and assumed senior status in 1993. As a federal judge, he has worked with a number of mass tort cases including those relating to Agent Orange, asbestos, tobacco, breast implants, diethylstilbestrol (DES), olanzapine and handguns.
The annual symposium and a named faculty chair are supported through an endowment established in 1994 by alumnus Robert A. Clifford ('76), principal and founder of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago. The chair and symposium give meaningful expression to his belief that the civil justice system serves a number of vital interests in American society, and provides a vehicle for exploration of the civil justice system in an intellectually rigorous fashion.
"I am excited about celebrating 20 years of presenting stimulating discussion and scholarship in American tort law," Clifford says. "Throughout his entire career, Judge Jack Weinstein has been a central figure in that dialogue. We are proud and grateful that he would honor us on this special anniversary by presenting and allowing us to dissect his lifelong work. We also are extraordinarily gratified that Justice Stephen Breyer will be joining us to deliver a special address. His commitment to the profession in all of the work that he does on the bench and off is to be particularly recognized by the legal community throughout the country."
Professor Stephan Landsman, the Robert A. Clifford Chair in Tort Law & Social Policy, is organizer and moderator of the symposium.