Former FBI Director to Honor Retired Federal Judge Thomas D, Lambros at Law Foundation of Ashtabula County Dinner on October 8.
Judge William S, Sessions, who was appointed to serve as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and served through 1993, will be traveling to Ashtabula County, Ohio on October 8th to join dignitaries and civic leaders in honoring the illustrious legal career of retired Federal Judge Thomas D. Lambros at a dinner sponsored by The Law Foundation of Ashtabula County.
According to the president of the Ashtabula County Bar Association, attorney Marie Lane, “As a prelude to Ashtabula County’s Bicentennial, which occurs in 2011, The Law Foundation is celebrating those lawyers and judges from Ashtabula County who through time have achieved national prominence in promoting the highest standards of law and justice.” Our first honoree will be the Honorable Thomas D. Lambros, Chief Justice Emeritus of the United State District Court for the Northern Ohio District.”
Judge Thomas D. Lambros, son of Greek immigrants Demetrios and Panagoula Lambros, is a graduate of Cleveland-Marshall Law School and in 1952, at the age of 22, became the youngest person to pass the Ohio Bar examination. In 1960, at the age of 30, Judge Lambros was elected to serve on the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas. In this capacity he instituted a mandatory domestic relations conciliation program and, years before Gideon v Wainwright, established a voluntary public defender program in Ashtabula County which provided indigent criminal defendants with free counsel.
In 1967, at the age of 37, Lambros was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to serve as a Judge on the Federal Court. Following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Lambros became the first Greek-American to serve as a Federal Judge. On January 16, 1990, Lambros was sworn in as the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Court of Ohio.
In a news release prepared by the U.S. District Court announcing his swearing in ceremony as Chief Judge, Lambros was described as “Courteous to lawyers and litigants”; “Fair and open minded” and “the most “creative, innovative judge in the district.”
The article also stated:
“…Judge Lambros has repeatedly been honored for his fairness and innovative tactics in creating dispute resolution systems which can avoid lengthy and expensive jury trials.
The best known and most widely copied of the dispute resolution methods developed by Judge Lambros is the “Summary Jury Trial” developed by the Judge in 1980.
Under this procedure, attorneys argue a case before a jury without extracting lengthy testimony from witnesses but by summarizing the facts and claims of the disputed matter. The jury then issues an opinion of the case which is not binding but which is used by attorneys as a guide to out-of-court settlement of the dispute.
Summary Jury Trials were quickly recognized as an effective way of promoting speedy justice and were endorsed by the Judicial Conference of the United States in 1984.
Judge Lambros was commended for the concept by former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in 1983, 1984 and 1985. Judge Lambros also was the recipient of the award for the Most Outstanding Achievement in Alternative Dispute Resolutions for 1983, presented by The Center for Public Resources.”
Among Judge Lambros’ achievements on the Federal Bench from 1967 through to his retirement in February of 1995, as one of the three most senior federal trial judges in the country are:
Leading the Northern District of Ohio in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, he designed to provide options in avoiding expensive litigation in court.
— Developing and becoming a national leader in devising Case Management Plans and Case Evaluation Process “to expedite resolution of mass tort litigation common in asbestos-related cases and such matters as airline accidents and chemical disasters.”
— Innovative leadership in formulating a multi-million-dollar settlement to a anti-trust case charging major supermarket chains in a seven-county area surrounding the City of Cleveland with price fixing, which resulted in the grocery chains donating more than $17.5 million in food to the Cleveland Food Bank.
— Negotiating the settlement of the 1970 nationwide air traffic controllers strike.
— Handling the complex, multidistrict litigation case involving the air disaster at New York LaGuardia Airport on March 22, 1992.
On April 30, 1996, President William Jefferson Clinton signed Public Law 10413 which named the newly constructed Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Youngstown, Ohio, The Thomas D. Lambros Federal Courthouse and United States Courthouse.