Richard A. DiLiberto Jr., a former Delaware state legislator who has been appointed by three successive governors to head up the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture, will receive the UNICO National 2023 Philip Mazzei Americanism Award in July, it was announced recently.
The award is named for Philip Mazzei, an Italian patriot, physician and vintner, who became a close friend and neighbor to Thomas Jefferson in colonial Virginia in 1774. Mazzei is credited with ﬁ rst proposing the great phrase “All men are created equal” anchored in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, by Jefferson.
The honor will be bestowed in July at UNICO National’s annual convention in Sanibel Harbour, Fla.
Dr. Ann M. Walko, past president of UNICO National and chair of the Americanism Award Committee, said, “Mr. DiLiberto has spent his career protecting the great American treasures of education, justice and fairness for all, particularly children who are victims. The Mazzei Award honors a person who has preserved and protected historical facts and contributions made by our founding fathers and the many unsung heroes who have given their lives for our country, and whose sacriﬁces have helped to shape the destiny of the United States of America; facilitated acquiring more knowledge and a better understanding of the American Constitution, its designers, and those people who have upheld it; and for professional achievement to beneﬁt humanity.”
DiLiberto is a litigation partner in the Wilmington law ﬁ rm of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, where he has been co-chairman of the government relations committee, chairman of the paralegal committee, the personal injury litigation section, and the continuing legal education committee. Before joining the law ﬁ rm in 1987, he was law clerk to Judge Vincent Bifferato of the Delaware Superior Court. He regularly represents families whose loved ones have been injured or killed by another’s negligence. In 2012, he was one of the Young, Conaway lawyers who represented hundreds of Sussex County children sexually abused by their pediatrician. He helped achieve a historic class action resolution for the victims.
DiLiberto served in the Delaware House of Representatives from 1992-2002, where he was a member of the Joint Finance, Judiciary, Public Safety, Corrections, Education, Health & Human Development, Substance Abuse and House Rules Committees. In the legislature, he wrote Delaware’s Freedom of Speech Constitutional Amendment; False Claims Prevention (Qui Tam) Law; “Anne Marie’s Law,” which revised the Wrongful Death Act; The Slayer’s Act, which prevents murderers from inheriting their victim’s estates; The One Day/One Trial Jury Service System; The “Senior Judge” Constitutional Amendment; The Sept. 11 Victim’s Compensation Amendment; The Infant Nutrition Act; and The Diabetes Education Fund Tax Check-Off.
More recently, Delaware Governors Ruth Ann Minner, Jack A. Markell and John C. Carney appointed him chairman of the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture.
He and his wife, Faith, reside in Newark. They have three daughters, lawyers Amanda J. Buckworth, Esq., and Ashley B. DiLiberto, Esq.; and Aria M. DiLiberto, a teacher; and a granddaughter, Charlotte Jane. He enjoys singing, ﬁction writing, ﬁshing and sports.