February 3, 2010 – Attorney Charles L. (Chuck) Howard, one of the few attorneys in the U.S. with extensive expertise in the legal issues of ombudsmen, and the American Bar Association are introducing the nation’s definitive resource book about ombudsmen and mediation, and their impact in the workplace. A Partner at Shipman & Goodwin LLP in Hartford, Conn., Atty. Howard has a national practice in representing organizational ombudsmen at universities, multinational corporations, and research institutions. His new book, entitled “The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles and Operations-A Legal Guide”, was just published by the American Bar Association (ABA).

The new 642-page book is designed to help ombudsmen, as well as managers and supervisors who are responsible for human relations and compliance issues and who, therefore, may benefit from alternate dispute resolution and mediation. It is an essential resource for a wide variety of professional audiences including ombudsmen, dispute resolution professionals, in-house counsels, corporate executives, university and hospital administrators, compliance officers, and human resources personnel.

“Since there are many different kinds of ombudsmen, there has been great confusion in the courts and among people who want to establish an ombuds program about what it is and how it works,” explains Atty. Chuck Howard about why he wrote this book. “My hope is that this comprehensive resource will provide concise, constructive information that will help businesses, organizations, universities and individuals understand what an organizational ombudsman is and what they do. Having these programs will help organizations communicate more effectively, so they can establish more equitable and effective workplaces for all Americans.”

“The Organizational Ombudsman” provides a comprehensive overview and addresses common misconceptions about the function of the ombudsman. Atty. Howard first examines the history of the evolution of the role of an organizational ombudsman – from its original concept in Sweden more than 200 years ago, to its usage by American universities in the early 1960s, to its implementation by businesses and government in the 1980s, to its application and challenges in today’s world. He explains why such a function is critical for organizations in light of the demographic, technological, and globalization changes that have occurred in the past half-century, and examines the resulting pressures on organizations from developments in criminal law, employment law, and corporate governance and regulation.

Atty. Howard explores all aspects of the organizational ombudsman function to illustrate why this is an essential human resources tool for a myriad of organizational structures and situations. He provides numerous examples of how ombudsmen function to demonstrate how they are effective in addressing issues that employees and management otherwise would not raise. He thoroughly explains how businesses and organizations can establish and document their own organizational ombudsman programs and address issues that arise in litigation. And, he examines the pitfalls that companies may face and provides solutions to common concerns and problems.

Considerable attention is given to related topics, including the imminent risk of serious harm and an expansive listing of major employment statutes and employments cases. Included is a comprehensive presentation of various legal issues that are associated with organizational ombudsman programs, and detailed actual case studies that reveal how companies used ombudsmen and mediation to manage workplace issues.

Atty. Howard has extensive litigation experience in state and federal court in a wide range of matters, including more than 70 appeals. His Shipman & Goodwin LLP intellectual property litigation experience encompasses copyright, trademark, trade secret, covenant not to compete and patent litigation, including proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. His business and public sector litigation experience includes representation of the State of Connecticut, quasi-public state agencies, municipalities, and business clients in many diverse matters.

In addition to Atty. Howard’s broad litigation background and extensive experience in ombudsmen and mediation, in 2002, he was appointed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to serve as one of 16 members to a national Advisory Group to review and recommend revisions to the federal organizational sentencing guidelines.

Atty. Howard is former Chair of Shipman & Goodwin’s Litigation Department and currently serves as Chair of the E-Discovery and Information Governance Group. He is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He was an Assistant Attorney General for Attorney General John C. Danforth of Missouri from 1975-1976. Atty. Howard received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and an A.B., cum laude, from Princeton University. He is an Incorporator and the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society, and is a Pro Bono Attorney for Lawyers for Children America.

A resident of Simsbury, Conn., Atty. Howard is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Simsbury Land Trust and is a Steering Committee member of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council.

“The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles and Operations-A Legal Guide” by Atty. Charles L. Howard was published by the American Bar Association in January 21, 2010. It can be ordered at for $89.95; ABA members pay $76.95. To order by phone, call 1-800-285-2221, Mondays through-Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST.

Shipman & Goodwin LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 130 attorneys with offices in Hartford, Stamford, Greenwich and Lakeville, Conn. Founded in 1919, the firm’s attorneys represent many of the leading businesses, institutions, individuals, and government entities in Connecticut and throughout the New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions. For more information, please visit
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