Fordham Law

Urban Law Journal to Honor Kenneth Feinberg with Lefkowitz Award

April 09, 2008

The Fordham Law Urban Law Journal (ULJ) will present the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award to head of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Board Kenneth R. Feinberg at the annual ULJ Alumni Dinner April 17.

One of the nation’s leading experts in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Feinberg led his law firm, the Feinberg Group, in a 33-month pro bono investigation to analyze the claims of the congressionally mandated 9/11 victim’s-compensation fund.

In 2007, Feinberg was called upon to oversee Virginia Tech’s effort to distribute $7 million in donations to the victims of the April 2007 campus shooting.

“Kenneth Feinberg’s expertise in mediating some of the most complicated compensation disputes of our time demonstrates his eminent knowledge of and commitment to the integrity of the legal profession,” said Dean and Paul Fuller Chair of Law William Michael Treanor. “He has exhibited the highest degrees of dedication to individuals affected by tragedy, and I am pleased that he will receive the Lefkowitz Award.”

Feinberg has been court-appointed special settlement master, mediator and arbitrator in thousands of disputes involving such issues as mass torts, breach of contract, antitrust and civil RICO violations, civil fraud, product liability, insurance coverage and various commercial and environmental matters. Additionally, Feinberg has served as an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, University of Pennsylvania Law School, New York University School of Law, University of Virginia Law School and Columbia Law School. He also authored numerous articles and essays on mediation, mass torts and other matters and recently published a book on his experiences with the victims of 9/11.

Feinberg began his legal career as an assistant US attorney in New York, and then made his way to Capitol Hill, where he became special counsel to the Judiciary Committee and chief of staff for Democratic senator Ted Kennedy. Before founding the Feinberg Group in 1993, Feinberg was a partner at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler from 1980 to 1993. Serving as a court-appointed mediator in private practice, Feinberg helped resolve some of the nation’s biggest damage cases involving asbestos, the Dalkon Shield and Agent Orange.

Feinberg was also one of three arbitrators selected to determine the fair market value of the original Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination and was one of two arbitrators selected to determine the allocation of legal fees in the Holocaust slave labor litigation.
The first article published by the Fordham Urban Law Journal was written by Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz ‘25 in 1972 and discussed the unique urban environmental problems of New York City's Jamaica Bay. The award given in Lefkowitz’s name celebrates the legal contributions of individuals whose efforts address or respond to urban issues.

Contact: Jennifer Spencer