Winsted tort museum has new director

The Register Citizen
Saturday, October 22, 2022

WINSTED — The American Museum of Tort Law is preparing for its annual Tort Law Day, an online event featuring a lineup of speakers and education, to be led this year by the museum's new director, Melissa Bird.

Like many other venues, the tort museum closed during the pandemic. That closure also signaled the end of its lecture series and tours; the former director, Richard Newman, set up virtual tours and events on the museum's website, but the building remained closed until last year, with little foot traffic. Now, Bird said, the tort museum is growing its online presence and is ready to welcome the public.

Bird, a former member of the Board of Selectmen, was appointed to the job this fall. A former real estate agent, she also served on the Board of Selectmen and in 2020 ran for town clerk, a race she lost to Glenn Albanesius. Most recently, she was a substitute teacher in Barkhamsted. …

The museum is presenting its annual Tort Law Education Day at 1 p.m. Oct. 29. The event is virtual and will feature a lineup of speakers; residents can register now at

The education day will present talks by Shanin Specter, founding partner, Kline & Specter, at 1 p.m., with Tort Law An Instrument of Social Justice, followed by Joanne Doroshow, founder and executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy, at 1:30 p.m., with "The Importance of Protecting and Advancing Tort Law."

At 2 p.m., Valerie P. Hans, Charles F. Rechlin Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, will speak on "Understanding and Safeguarding the Trial By Jury," and at 2:30 p.m., Greg Kafoury, partner with Kafoury & McDougal, will present "Seeking Justice for Injured Plaintiffs." 

Museum president and founder and consumer activist Ralph Nader will present "Educating The Public About the Role of Tort Law in Our Democracy" at 3 p.m.

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