Skip to main content

City attorney, 32 others now citizens

31 May 2014 — Williamsport Sun-Gazette


WilliamsportOver 30 individuals from around the world became U.S. citizens Friday morning at a naturalization ceremony in U.S. Middle District Court before Judge Matthew W. Brann.

Originally from Germany moved to the United States when he graduated from high school and attended Slippery Rock University. In 1990, after finishing law school at Georgetown University, he began practicing law in the city with his firm located on West Third Street.

He provided remarks during the service in front of 33 new citizens from 16 different countries.
“We have traveled a long and sometimes arduous journey to be here today and become citizens of this great country,” he said. “Some of us came here by plane, some of us by boat and others by foot, but unless we are one of the first Americans, we all came here from somewhere else. And there were millions of immigrants who came before us. They came with a desire for a better life, freedom, equality and democracy.

Williamsport2“Immigrants signed their names to the Declaration of Independence,” he continued. “Immigrants helped lay the railroad tracks and build the cities … fought in two world wars, helped defeat Nazis and communists … became pioneers and leaders of industry and society.”

Those naturalized Friday in the federal courthouse came from Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China.

Williamsport1During the ceremony, the new citizens were gifted a citizen’s almanac and a U.S. Constitution from Judge Brann before being greeted by the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, who gave each new citizen a small American flag and provided snacks and refreshments for all.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]