Uniquely qualified to serve as an arbitrator, fact finder, mediator, special master, or appellate consultant with The Dispute Resolution Institute (DRI), the Honorable Richard B. Klein joined DRI in January 2010. Prior to joining us, Judge Klein served, with distinction, for 36 years on the bench.
Most recently, Judge Klein served eight years on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. In his role, he decided appellate matters touching almost every aspect of life, law and commerce. He served as a trial judge in the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia for twenty-eight years and was the youngest judge in the state’s history. He served in all major civil and criminal trial courts and pioneered many new programs designed to improve the civil justice system, especially in the mass tort arena.
Judge Klein distinguished himself with clear, to-the-point opinions, always urging the court to consider its role in assuring that litigants were treated fairly and the substantive law was followed. When running for the Superior Court, he won the endorsements of all the major Pennsylvania newspapers, received the highest rating from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and was the top vote getter in the election.
Judge Klein brings more than 25 years of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) experience to DRI. He received certifications in mediation at the National Judicial College in Nevada and the American Bar Association Mediation Training for Judges in Maryland. He is an active member of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania ADR committees and co-chair of the Pennsylvania Futures Commission where he co-chaired its “Alternate Paths to Justice” task force. Judge Klein is a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on ADR, where he has dealt with issues concerning mediation and arbitration.
In addition to his judicial responsibilities, Judge Klein has been active in many committees to improve the justice system, including serving as founding co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Plain English Committee and Pennsylvania House of Delegates. He has also provided service to various committees that deal with appellate advocacy, appellate rules, ADR, and technology. A frequent author, educator and lecturer, Judge Klein served 15 years as an adjunct professor at Temple University Law School. He is co-author of the West Publication book, Trial Communication Skills, written with Body Language author Julius Fast and international lawyer Roberto Aron.
Judge Klein is the 2013 winner of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Sir Francis Bacon award, given to an individual who excels in the area of alternative dispute resolution and has had a significant professional impact in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the area of ADR.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College, Judge Klein graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. He is the educational leader for legal-study tours sponsored by the Corporation for Professional Conferences and has led trips to Russia, China, Greece, Egypt, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Vietnam, and South Africa.