Responding to Catastrophes

Unconventional compensation methods designed by Konvitz speaker
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

At the center of resolving disputes impacting thousands of Americans in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and other catastrophes, Kenneth R. Feinberg will deliver the Milton Konvitz Memorial Lecture today at 4:30 p.m. in Ives 105.

A leading expert in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Feinberg led the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the Agent Orange product liability litigation.

He was appointed by President Barack Obama to oversee compensation claims resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

In dispersing large settlement funds to victims and their families, Feinberg designed compensation alternatives that do not require conventional legal processes.

He will discuss his experiences in a lecture entitled “Unconventional Responses to Unique Catastrophes: Tailoring the Law to Meet the Challenges.”

Feinberg is Harvard Law School’s Steven and Maureen Klinsky Professor of Practice for Leadership and Progress.

He has also taught at the Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Columbia University Law School, New York University Law School and the University of Virginia Law School.

The Konvitz Lecture is named for the late Professor Milton Konvitz, a founding ILR faculty member.

Konvitz taught at Cornell for nearly 30 years, and inspired thousands of students with “American Ideals,” a course for which he was widely known at the university.

A pioneer in the teaching of civil rights and civil liberties and a leading authority on constitutional and labor law, Konvitz encouraged his students to explore the ideals embedded in the U.S. Constitution and how they applied to daily life.

In honor of his work, Joan Jacobs '54 and Irwin Jacobs '56 founded the Konvitz lecture series in 2006. Joan Jacobs graduated from the College of Human Ecology, and Irwin Jacobs graduated from Cornell with a degree in electrical engineering.