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Exclusively Representing Victims of Sexual Abuse Nationwide.
We empower sex abuse survivors
by giving them a voice.
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If you are looking for someone to take you seriously, treat you with respect and integrity, I would call the Herman Law Firm.
If you were sexually abused in California as a child, you now have the right to bring a claim and hold the institution (church, foster care system, school, hospital, etc.) accountable, regardless of how old you are or how long ago it happened. The window to file your lawsuit is open for a limited time only. Contact us today to learn your options.
Voice for Victims
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Our practice is nationwide
Jeff Herman is recognized as the country’s leading attorney for victims of sexual abuse. Jeff is aggressive, passionate and skilled. If you have a civil sexual abuse case, Jeff is the attorney you want representing you. As the firm’s founding and managing partner, Jeff has developed a national reputation for his powerful advocacy and unwavering dedication to his clients. He is a first-rate trial lawyer committed to empowering victims of sexual abuse to take back their lives and begin the healing process.
With over 30 years of experience, Jeff understands the tremendous challenges victims of sexual abuse encounter on their journey to recovery. He is considered to be a pioneer in the field of sexual abuse cases and has been featured on CNN, HLN, Fox News, The New York Times and many other national and international media outlets. Jeff believes that community advocacy is the key to preventing childhood sexual abuse and is involved with various organizations dedicated to protecting children from sexual abuse through comprehensive education. Jeff volunteers his time to train law enforcement on interviewing child victims of sexual abuse.
While the statute of limitations may have run out, California’s Child Victims Act (AB 218) has created a unique “lookback window” so that victims of any age can file a claim regardless of how long ago the abuse happened. This lookback window will expire on December 31, 2022, so it is crucial to contact an attorney to learn about how you can bring your claim today.
If a priest, teacher, coach, troop leader, or any other adult in your life sexually abused you as a child, you should speak to an experienced sex abuse lawyer who has expertise in this area of law. Contacting a sex abuse lawyer will help ensure you protect your rights or your child’s rights.
After experiencing the horrifying reality of abuse, you do not have to go through the complex legal process alone. A knowledgeable law firm will advise and guide you on what your rights are and how you can seek justice. Whether the abuse happened years ago or recently, you may be eligible to bring a claim. Determining the relevant statute of limitations that applies to your case is essential to helping you receive the compensation you may be entitled to.
Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is a stark reality in our world. It is not a new problem in any of the organizations experiencing this wave of lawsuits against them. Specifically, the Roman Catholic Church has been aware that priests have been using their position in the Church to gain access to children and molesting them. A significant issue in the Church is that clergy members believed in secrecy and ‘canons of the law.’ This created the perfect environment for predators to thrive in. Even when the clergy members were caught, the Church protected those members’ secrets, covering up the abuse for decades.
In schools, pre-schools, or daycares, adults who were not properly vetted should not have been authorized to work in these school environments often engaged in child sexual abuse. Institutions, such as schools and youth groups, failed to properly conduct background checks or ignore the red flags of these adults who eventually end up sexually abusing children. Similar to the Roman Catholic Church, many schools and youth groups are used to the notion of secrecy. Often, even if other adults know of the abuse, they failed to report such abuse, which then allowed the abuse to continue.
Besides the abuser, if an adult sexually abused you while you were at school, at Church, or part of a youth group, then the organization that was supposed to protect you may be responsible as well. The first step to determining who is responsible for the abuse other than the abuser is looking at whether or not the institution or organization was negligent. This analysis requires determining if the organization saw red flags, knew or should have known that the abuser was either abusing children or would potentially abuse children, and failed to take any action. Usually, this can be determined based on the abuser’s history. If the abuser had previously abused a child and the institution knew about that abuse but still allowed the abuser into the environment where you were, then the institution could potentially be held responsible.
Another legal theory for holding the institution responsible is called respondeat superior. This theory is also known as vicarious liability, which means that the employer is responsible for what the employee did since the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment. In recent years, multiple victims have come forward regarding abuse against the Roman Catholic Churches, Universities, Schools, the Boy Scouts of America, all of which have resulted in mass settlements paid out to the victims by the institutions themselves. Courts are repeatedly finding that if an institution was negligent and that negligence enabled the abuse to happen, then the institution is liable as well.
Children are highly vulnerable to ‘grooming’ behavior, which can include buying the child gifts, flattering the child, increasing attention to the child, and targeting the child to gain the child’s trust. The adults in a child’s life should be familiar with the red flags and signs of predators. You can learn about these red flags on my website and take the quizzes with your child to ask the hard questions on whether or not there’s someone they should be concerned about.
Further, parents should always watch for any changes in their child’s demeanor, habits, actions, and well-being. Adults are responsible for ensuring children are safe and are in stable, nurturing environments. You should also speak to your child about what is right and not right, how they control who can touch their bodies, and which parts of their bodies are ‘private.’ It is crucial to speak to your child often and make them feel comfortable talking with you. If something does happen, your child should feel safe coming to you and telling you about anything that happens.
Finally, institutions and organizations must improve their vetting processes before allowing any employees in an environment with close proximity to children. Youth and family-serving organizations, faith communities, schools, and public/governmental agencies must have the training and available information to prevent child sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse occurs in many forms. It is committed by many different types of people in your life and effects many different types of victims. Consequently, sex abuse lawsuits are extremely varied and require varying approaches.
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