Attorney Profile: Clifford Rieders
Being a lawyer was not my first wish and dream. I wanted to be a scientist, in particular an astrophysicist. I am sure that I was much guided by a beloved Uncle Phil, who owned and ran Metrolab. It is an odd quirk of fate that when he passed away without family, my mother decided to run the business. She had a great deal of experience in life, including being the first professional controller for Revlon in 1940. I served as her financial Vice President, and it was a great deal of fun.
My love and interest in science led me to take many biology classes in college. I still remember vividly working like a dog on quantum mechanics.
New York University was a great place to go. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Code of Arms Society, Cum Laude. Georgetown University Law Center was an exciting place to attend in the ‘70s. I worked for the lawyer who defended the men who broke into the Watergate. Henry Rothblatt treated me as his personal assistant, and I was exposed to a world that very few knew anything about. Henry refused to plead the men guilty when he came to believe that they were receiving “hush money” to enter a guilty plea. He was a principled lawyer of the highest order.
Rothblatt referred me to Malcolm Muir, a celebrated Federal Judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, based in Williamsport. I came to work for Judge Muir, and stayed there for a full two-year term. Judge Muir was justly legendary not only for his brilliance, but also for evolving systems to assist in the prompt and fair resolution of cases. Judge Muir had his law clerks sit in the courtroom during trials, so they could learn first-hand how to do it correctly.
After Judge Muir, I went to work for Henry Hager’s law firm. Hager, at the time, was President Pro Temp of the State Senate, and later candidate for Governor. “Merc,” as he was called (based upon his initials HGH, the periodic table symbol for mercury), was generous with his time and responsibilities that he gave to me. I worked on some of the key legislation that still is utilized in Pennsylvania, such as the Comparative Negligence Act, the medical CAT Fund legislation, and the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.
My career has been absolutely fantastic. Aside from being admitted in many courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States of America, I am admitted in New York, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, and numerous federal courts. I have been an early supporter of board certification for lawyers. I took the exam, and I received the recommendations to become nationally Board Certified in 2000, and I have been recertified as a Civil Trial Advocate and an advocate in civil procedure.
When the Federal Bar Association reestablished the Middle District chapter, I became an early President. I worked my way up the ladder of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, now Pennsylvania Association for Justice, to become President in the most challenging year that organization ever had. Yet, we raised a great deal of money to fight the effort to deprive legitimately injured victims of their rights in court. I spearheaded the effort to rewrite the Mcare Act, which governs all medical malpractice actions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Fighting for a patient safety authority, recommended by the Institute of Medicine, I became one of the first members of that Authority. It was my purpose to see the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority enhance patient rights without reservation.
Another remarkable achievement which I am proud of is my membership in the American Law Institute. The American Law Institute writes the Restatement position circulated throughout the country and widely relied upon by the courts. I have been active in a number of those consultation groups. Initially I was an elected member, proposed by two judges, and today I am a Life Member in the American Law Institute.
I have done everything in the law that I would like to do. I have tried cases of all sorts and varieties, and I have brought tens of millions of dollars to my clients. We have pioneered, in this office, orders which actually have made improvements in the health care system and in other areas of society as well.
I have been instrumental in drafting dozens of pieces of legislation. I probably have reviewed hundreds of laws, helping to rewrite them to make sense for the citizens who have to abide by those laws. I was instrumental in getting Pennsylvania and other states to pass resolutions and bills to prevent Israel from being subject to anti-Semitic and improper boycott divest and sanction efforts.
When he’s not practicing law, Cliff enjoys cycling, sailing, and spending time with his family.
Awards, Recognitions & Memberships
Mr. Rieders is a partner in the Williamsport law firm of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters. He graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Coat of Arms Society and Academic Scholarships from New York University and received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University in 1973. In Washington D. C. he worked for the Maritime Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce and for defense counsel Henry Rothblatt in the celebrated Watergate case. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Malcolm Muir, United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania.
His areas of expertise include medical/hospital malpractice, personal injury actions, pharmaceutical/medical device cases and civil rigs issues, commercial cases, class actions, MDL and complex litigation including federal law issues.
Current involvements include serving as Past President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association now called the Pennsylvania Association for Justice; Pennsylvania Bar Association, Past-Chair of the Amicus Curiae Committee, current member of the Political Action Committee and Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Health Care Law Committee; Association of Trial Lawyers of America, now called American Association for Justice; Federal Bar Association, Past President of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter; American Law Institute, Consultative Group on Products Liability Restatement of Torts Third, Products Liability, General Torts and Apportionment of Liability projects; Emotional Distress and others. Mr Rieders is also the Past President and one of the original members of the Pennsylvania’s Patient Safety Authority, created by revisions to the Mcare Act in 2002. Mr. Rieders is a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Standard Civil Jury Instruction Committee, and The Civil Justice Foundation, Founding Sponsor. He was the first President of Citizens for Consumer Justice.
ZOA Interview & Feature Biography
Cliff Rieders sometimes seems surprised by the variety of experiences his rich and active life has brought him. He will recount anecdotes about the extraordinary people he has encountered or worked with over the decades and then declare, “It has indeed been a marvelous, eclectic, iconoclastic life and career that I have led. Rieders practices law and resides in Williamsport, PA […] ” Continue Reading, PDF
Mr. Rieders was the 1989 recipient of the Milton D. Rosenberg annual award, and the recipient of the 2006 George F. Douglas, Jr., Amicus Curiae Award for outstanding appellate advocacy as amicus curiae counsel both awarded by the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. He has received the organization’s Justice Service Award. He is the author of Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice; Workers’ Rights in Pennsylvania; Financial Responsibility Law Issues; Bad Faith in Pennsylvania; and Attorney’s Fees, Statutes and Laws. Mr. Rieders is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits, State Courts in Pennsylvania, New York, and District of Columbia, and numerous Federal Circuit and District Courts. Mr. Rieders is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, lectures widely for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, is a yearly recipient of the Lycoming Law Association Pro Bono Award. He is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Advocate. Mr. Rieders is a recipient of the B’nai B’rith Justice Award. He has also been named to the Advisory Board of the New York University Taub Israel Studies Program. He is the recipient of Gates of Jerusalem Award Israel Bonds, 2009.
On May 1, 2019, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania appointed Clifford A. Rieders as a member of the Civil Procedural Rules Committee for a five-year term, which he began on July 1, 2019. It is the oldest rules committee in Pennsylvania, and its work includes the entire spectrum of civil matters in the Courts of Common Pleas except matters relating to Orphans’ Court and family court divisions of those courts.
Cliff Rieders, Esquire Extended CV
Areas of Practice
- Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injury
- Products Liability
- Trial Practice
- Professional Liability
- Aviation & Aerospace
- Civil Practice
- Federal Practice and Appeals
- Constitutional and Civil Rights
- Class Actions
- Dram Shop Liability
- Railroad Law
- New York, 1974
- Pennsylvania, 1975
- District of Columbia, 1975
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1975
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1994
- U.S. District Court Northern District of New York, 2000
- U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1977
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1980
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1975
- U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, 1983
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1979
- U.S Court of Federal Claims
- Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. – 1973
- Honors: Coat of Arms Society
- New York University, New York, New York
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts cum laude – 1970
- Monographs, “Private Rights of Individuals Under Treatises”, 1972
- “Cases Analysis of the Good Health Clause in Insurance Contracts”, 1972
- “Oil Import Quota Policy of the U.S. — The Triple Alliance of Power”, 1973
- “Shared Custody becomes Law in Pennsylvania” The Barrister, Vol. XIII, No. 1, Spring, 1982
- “When a Parent Dies Leaving Children, What is the Measure of Damages” The Barrister, Vol. IX, No. 1, Spring, 1983
- “War and Peace, Doctor/Lawyer Friction and a Solution,” The Barrister, Vol. XV, No. 2, Summer, 1984
- “A New Conspiracy of Silence,” The Barrister, Vol. XVI, No. 2, Summer, 1985
- “A New Conspiracy of Silence,” The Barrister, Vol. XVI, No. 3, Fall, 1985
- “U.S. vs. Serge Kowalchuck, Revisited – Remembering the Lubomyl Ghetto,” The Barrister, Vol. XVII, No. 2, Summer, 1986
- “Report on the 1985 Third Circuit Judicial Conference-Court Awarded Attorney’s Fees,” The Barrister, Vol. XVI, No. 4, Winter, 1986
- “Summary Jury Trials,” The Barrister, Vol. XVII, No. 4, Winter, 1987
- “Summary Jury Trials,” The Barrister, Vol. 23, No. 9, Trial, 1987
- “The Constitution on Trial,” The Barrister, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, Summer, 1987
- “When You Have Won Good Enough to Receive Attorneys Fees,” The Barrister, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, Winter, 1988
- “Defendants Ex-Parte Contact With Plaintiff Treating Physician Revisited: A Strong Message to Those Who Would Invade Plaintiff Rights,” The Barrister, Vol. XIX, No. 1, Spring, 1988
- “Report on the 1988 Third Circuit Judicial Conference-Rule II-Solution or Frivolity,” The Barrister, Vol. XIX, No. 4, Winter, 1989
- “Representing the Physician in Trouble: Is There a Lawyer in the House,” The Barrister, Vol. XX, No. 2, Summer, 1989
- “Will A Jewish American Fill the Next Vacancy on the United States Supreme Court?” The Barrister, Vol. XXI, No. 1, Spring, 1990
- Contributor, Mann/Stoval Gynecologic Surgery, Churchill Livingstone, Summer, 1996
- United States vs. Jonas Stelmokas, Remembering The Vilijanpole Ghetto,” The Barrister, Vo. XXVII, No. 2, Summer, 1997
- “Restatement III,” The Barrister, Vol. 29, No. 1, Summer, 1998
- Author of Treatises: “Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice”
- “Workers’ Rights in Pennsylvania–A Guide for Lawyers Who Represent Workers and Businesses Who Employ Them”. Cliff, 1972
- American Standard Apparel
- Jersey Shore State Bank
- Lecturer, Pennsylvania Bar Institute
- Lecturer, Trial Advocacy Foundation
- Lecturer, Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association
Honors and Awards
- Recipient of the Milton D. Rosenberg Annual Award, 1989
- Attorney Invitee to the Third Circuit Judicial Conference
- Co-operating Attorney, Lewisburg Prison Project, 1976
- New York University Academic Scholarship
- B’nai B’rith International Justice and Human Relations Award
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004 – 2019
- Best Lawyers, 2019
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Past Member of Patient Safety Authority
- Lycoming County Law Association, Member, 1985 – Present
- Lycoming County Law Association, Chair, Bench Bar Committee, 1980 – Present
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Litigation Section, Member, 1980 – 1985
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Chair, Amicus Committee, 1983 – Present
- New York State Bar Association, Member, 1976 – Present
- Federal Bar Association, Central PA Chapter, Past President, 1995 – 1996
- American Bar Association, Member
- District of Columbia Bar, Member
- American Association for Justice, Member
- Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, President, 2001 – 2002
- Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Past Member of the Executive Board, 1995 – 1996
- Editorial Board of The Barrister, Member, 1983
- American Law Institute, Consultant Group, Restatement Torts 3rd, General Torts, and Apportionment of Liability
- American Judicature Society, Member
- Civil Justice Foundation, Founding Sponsor, 1985
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Member, 2001 – 2002
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. Malcolm Muir, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, Law Clerk, 1973 – 1975
- Phi Beta Kappa