Lawsuits Filed Against Alabama Abortion Ban

A lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday in opposition to the abortion ban proposed by the state of Alabama. The ban was recently signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey but has not yet become active.

House Bill 314 is also known as the ‘Human Life Protection Act.’ The legislation seeks to ban all abortions except in cases where serious health risk is posed to the mother. In addition to this, the bill criminalizes the abortion process and threatens doctors who perform the procedure with up to 99 years in prison.

Many who oppose the bill are horrified that no concessions are made for women or girls who are the victim of incest or rape, reports

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a week’s worth of protests throughout the country. Protestors have been adamant in the stand they have taken against the anti-abortion legislation that has been proposed and passed in Alabama and other parts of the country. More than 400 rallies were held on Tuesday alone in response to what abortion supporters see as an all-out assault on the abortion process.

A Tweet from Planned Parenthood characterized the ban in Alabama as an attack on both Constitutional and reproductive rights. The organization also reminded lawmakers they would sue in response to the attacks.

Staci Fox is the CEO and president of the southeast branch of Planned Parenthood. Fox explains abortions have been performed in a safe and legal manner in America for 45 years. She says Planned Parenthood has no intentions on seeing any part of this equation altered.

The near-total abortion ban proposed by Alabama is more extreme than any other legislature proposed since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling made by the Supreme Court. In the ruling, the nation’s highest court protected the right of women to receive abortions. Supporters of the ruling are hoping the Supreme Court will step in once again.

The Supreme Court has shied away from the topic in recent years but the make-up of the court has changed recently. Many anti-abortion activists see the appointment of conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh as an opportunity to have the court revisit the issue and rule in their favor.

Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky, and Georgia have all passed laws banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This happens usually around six weeks into a pregnancy and many women are unaware that they are pregnant at this point.

DNA Testing at the Border for Family Confirmation

Migrant families get arrested at our border with Mexico on a daily basis. What has come to issue is that a large percentage of those families weren’t families at all. According to, a “staggering increase” has been seen in the number of adults traveling with minor children who aren’t their children. Over five days, rapid two hour DNA testing was performed on immigrant adults and children who arrived at the border of Mexico and the United States. Results revealed that 30% of those adults who arrived at the border with children were not the parents of the children who accompanied them. The children had been misrepresented as family members.

Initially, authorities and social organizations were confused. They were concerned that some of the children might be adopted children or step-children. In some cases, when adults were told that they would be required to submit to DNA testing, they freely admitted that the children with them were not their children. has reported that cases of fake children have increased by 315% from October 2017 to February pf 2018. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reported that migrants are apparently taking advantage of laws that prohibit it from detaining migrant families for more than 20 days. The purported families are then set free.

The five days of testing operated as a pilot program in the Texas cities of McAllen and El Paso. The DHS will be evaluating the results of the program in determining whether it further DNA testing will be used in future border protection measures. The agency has not commented publicly on its intentions.

The American Civil Liberties Union has called the DNA collection program “an attempt by the government to intimidate and deter asylum seekers.” It called forced DNA collection “coercive and intrusive.” On the positive side, the DNA testing did verify many family relationships when the DHS was unable to do so.

Sackler Family Feels Strain Of Opioid Litigation

The united front that was once shown by the Sackler family is now beginning to weaken. The billionaire family is saddled with litigation regarding their responsibility in the American opioid epidemic.

The eight members of the Sackler family involved in the case have clashed twice in recent months over strategies to be used in their defense against claims their company, Purdue Pharma LP, used deceptive marketing practices to push painkillers that ultimately led to drug overdoses.

The split between the two camps that have formed within the family is so deep that advisors for the family refer to the two family factions as the A and B sides.

One hotly debated topic within the family is how Richard Sackler, former president of Purdue, should respond to the exposure of emails he sent in the past that expressed negative criticism of individuals battling opioid addiction.

There has also been a major disagreement over tactics for legal defense. One faction within the family felt it better to declare bankruptcy to stave off lawsuits rather than pay a settlement in a case filed against the company in Oklahoma.

The family is currently facing more than 2000 lawsuits from various jurisdictions in the United States. The lawsuits center around the allegation Purdue pushed painkillers into the market without adequately addressing the risk for addiction.

The Sackler family is currently worth $13 billion. Members of the family need to reach an agreement concerning the money they are willing to pay to resolve all their litigation issues.

The lawsuits point the finger directly at the Sackler family as contributors to an opioid epidemic that caused $400,000 deaths over a span of 18 years.

The two Sackler fashions issued a joint statement explaining they are taking part in internal talks aimed at reaching a decision that is best for all members of the family. The statement also said the disagreements regarding strategic handling of the litigation facing the family is not a sign of a split within the family.

The Sacklers have not spoken publicly about their disagreements but individuals close to the family have reported some of the conversations under the condition of anonymity.

Purdue did not comment on the Sackler family talks bud did take the time to explain the Food and Drug Administration approved the labels the company used to warn doctors and patients of the danger of opioid abuse. The company also denies any wrongdoing that contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Family Of Minneapolis Shooting Victim Receives $20 Million Settlement

The city of Minneapolis agreed on Friday to pay the family of Justine Ruszczyk a settlement of $20 million. Ruszczyk was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer after she called 911 to report a disturbance in an alley not far from her home.

The settlement is one of the largest ever in a shooting incident involving an officer and was announced three days after the conviction on murder charges for officer Mohamed Noor. Noor is a black, Somali-American who is also Muslim. With the conviction, Noor became the first officer in Minnesota to be found guilty of murder for a shooting that took place while on duty.

Ruszczyk was shot when she approached a police cruiser where Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, were seated. The forty-year-old yoga instructor called the police moments before her own shooting to report she heard a woman being attacked in the alley.

Defense attorneys say the shot by Noor was in defense of his partner. He testified to hearing a thumping sound and then seeing a figure next to the driver side of the vehicle where Garrity was seated.

Noor faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison but is expected to receive a sentence significantly less than the maximum.

Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the media and said there are no winners in the situation involving Officer Noor and Justine Ruszczyk. The mayor also said the settlement represents an effort on the part of the city to provide closure to the family of the victim and move on from the matter.

A lawyer for the Ruszczyk family, Robert Bennett, says the settlement will send a distinct message to the Minnesota Police Department.

Experts on the matter felt the settlement was necessary to avoid the case being heard by a jury who could possibly award the victim’s family much more.

Advocates for social justice see the issue in a slightly different light. The advocates have already been vocal regarding the racial dynamics of the case and say the large settlement offered to the Ruszczyk family is another sign of the great disparity that exists between black and white victims of violence at the hands of police officers.

An expert with an opposing view says the large settlement and attention given to the Noor case is a result of the significance Americans have placed on addressing police shootings.

Superior Court Rules against the California Crisis Pregnancy Facility Law

The justice court terminated a California bill that requires anti-abortion disaster pregnancy to issue content on matters like the termination of a pregnancy. The ruling also cast doubts on similar bills in Illinois and Hawaii. The California law was reported to have taken action in the year 2016. It required the health centers that were licensed to inform clients about the availability of various services like abortion, contraception and prenatal care that are at no cost. All the centers that were not licensed were required to put up a sign that said so. However, the Supreme Court struck down the law. The health centers reported that they were forced to deliver the information on which most of them had disagreed. The state of California reported that it wanted all the poor women living in the State to understand their options clearly.

In his majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said the health centers are more likely to prosper in their constitutional protest. Justice Clarence went on to reveal that even as the law is currently on the papers, the petitioners can still go back to court and receive an order that will halt the enforcement. The attorney for the challengers reported that they expect whatever Justice Clarence had ruled with immediate effect. However, the state of California had not been enforcing the law. Thomas wrote for himself and others like Justices Samuel Alito, Kennedy Anthony, Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts, that California can’t co-option the licensed health facilities to deliver the message that they intended. He termed the requirement by the State of California to the unlicensed centers as rude, burdensome and unjustified.

Justice Breyer reported that among the reasons that the California law should be upheld is because the Supreme Court had already upheld the laws. It required the doctors working in these facilities to inform all women who came seeking an abortion to tell them about other services offered like adoption. Beyer stated in a dissenting opinion that the law should be evenhanded. All anti-abortion groups and the US Attorney General Jeff Session were among the people that were singing and celebrating when the law was upheld by the court. President Donald Trump’s administration reported that the State of California was violating the rights of all the health centres that were licensed but had no objection to the directive that was issued. The Trump’s administration went on to say that speakers shouldn’t be forced by their governments to report things that they disagree.


Vermont Passes Law To Protect Pregnant Women

A team of agencies in Vermont are working together to come up with additional protections for pregnant women. There was a law passed in January that required workplaces to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women.

Cary Brown is the executive director of the Vermont Commission on Women. He stated that they are working hard to ensure that pregnant women are not mistreated in the workplace. He also stated that pregnant women need to know that they have a right to not be discriminated against in the workplace.

Many pregnant women are forced to stop working because their workplace does not make the necessary accommodations. Making one small change can help pregnant women stay in the workplace. According to an article published by the “New York Times”, pregnancy discrimination is a widespread problem.

Cary stated that he has not done a lot of research on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. However, he stated Vermont is ahead of a lot of other places because of the law that was passed a few months ago. Cary said that he has heard a lot of stories of women who did not have any accommodations made for them while they were pregnant. He has also heard stories from women who were discriminated against because they were pregnant. In fact, some women have been fired just because they were pregnant.

There are several ways that you can employers can make accommodations for employees. For example, they can give a stool to a pregnant woman. They can also allow a pregnant woman to take extra breaks. Employers and employees can work together to come up with accommodations that are reasonable.

Washington D.C. and 22 other states have laws that require workplaces to make accommodations for pregnant women. Pregnancy discrimination is one of the most common forms of workplace discrimination in the United States.

Parents Arrested for Supplying Teen Son With Marijuana to Stop Seizures

A family in Georgia is in a legal quandary after their 15-year-old son was taken from their custody and control and placed in a group home. A therapist tipped off police that the teen’s parents were supplying and medicating him with marijuana in order to control his frequent daily seizures. Regardless of the fact that pharmaceutical drugs weren’t working, the parents were arrested for supplying the boy with marijuana. They spent six days in jail. Georgia law still prohibits possessing, buying or transporting marijuana.

The teen’s parents report that marijuana kept the boy free of seizures for 71 days. His mother reported that during those 71 days, he was able to ride his bike and lift weights. Then, deputies from the Twiggs County Sheriff’s Department came knocking. The parents were ordered to stop treating their son with marijuana. The parents complied, but within 14 hours, they were rushing the boy to the emergency room with what the mother said was the “most horrific” seizure she has ever seen.

The boy has now been in the group home for more than a month pursuant to a juvenile court judge’s order. He was taken into custody by the Georgia Department of Child and Family Services. He’s been separated from his service dog that is able to smell the seizures coming, and he’s only allowed to communicate with his parents through short personal visits and phone calls. Neither of the parents is charged with possessing or distributing marijuana. They’re both charged with reckless conduct, and they face the possibility of fines and even more jail time. Reckless conduct in Georgia is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000.

Last month, Georgia’s governor signed a bill into law that allows cannabis oil to be used to treat certain conditions, including seizure disorders. What came to issue is that the parents obtained the marijuana for the boy and gave it to him. He smoked it daily. The boy’s mother firmly stated that nothing else was working. She told a local television station “I can’t have my kid dying because “no one wants to listen.” For purposes of hiring an attorney and moving to a state where marijuana use is legal, the parents have started a GoFundMe page.

Parents Win Lawsuit to Kick Deadbeat Son Out

A couple from Camillus in upstate New York got so tired of their 30-year-old son living with them that they sued him and had him evicted. They had tried giving him cash to move, but he used the money for other purposes. They served him with legal notices, and he still wouldn’t move out. They pleaded with him to start getting on with his life, and wrote, “There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you. Get one–You have to work!”

After an order of possession of the parents’ home was granted in their favor and against the son, he was furious. He remarked that it was “really unfair to me and really outrageous.” He told the New York Post that he didn’t really want to stay at the home of his parents. He complained that his parents had stopped feeding him and cut off the family phone plan. When asked if his parents were trying tough love, he replied “I really don’t think trying to destroy somebody is tough love.”

The freeloading son refused to vacate the home after receiving eviction letters that were signed by his parents on February 2 and March 18 of 2018. Another letter stated, “You have heretofore been our guest and there is no lease or agreement that gives you any right to stay here without our consent.” Another letter was dated March 5, 2018. It give the son 11 days to vacate. In their final letter, the parents even offered to pay for repairs to the son’s broken down car so he’d have transportation to move and get work.

Upon the filing of the lawsuit, the son was served. He appeared in court and acted as his own attorney. He moved to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the law allowed him six months to leave. The motion was denied, and the parents were granted exclusive possession of the premises. The court characterized the six month contention as outrageous.” The son will be allowed to remain in the house until such time as a formal eviction date will be set.

The millennial stated that he intended to comply with the judges eviction order, so long as he doesn’t have to move within the next 30 days. It’s his opinion that three months is a reasonable period of time. He might be in for another surprise when the sheriff comes knocking.


(UPDATED) Jeff Herman: Your Child’s Champion

Why do it?  For the children.  Jeff Herman didn’t go to law school to become an advocate for survivors of sex crimes. For a number of years, Jeff was a commercial litigation lawyer, meaning he represented businesses large in small in negotiations and at trial.  Jeff was good at what he did, great even.  But he eventually realized that representing corporations was neither rewarding nor fulfilling.

Everything changed twenty years ago.  Two parents reached out to Jeff and asked for help.  They shared with him every mother and father’s worst nightmare: their four-year old child came home and said “Mr. Dan” touched his “pee-pee.” Mr. Dan was a volunteer at a preschool for autistic children.  And, as it turns out, Mr. Dan was a convicted pedophile.  He had moved from California to Florida hoping to escape his record, and he succeeded.  The preschool in question never completed a proper, simple background check.  And as a result, over twenty precious children were abused while he was volunteering.

Jeff Herman found his calling.  From that moment on he devoted his professional career to holding institutions accountable for doing the right thing to protect the people they serve.  Often these schools, churches, and other institutions have oversights at the regional level which lead to not hiring the highest quality of employee because of lack of options or time and neglect to make the safest choices for the ones who matter most: the children.By filing suit and litigating these matters in civil court, Jeff gives a voice to the victim and helps ensure that this abuse never happens again.  And today, he can think of no better way to use his legal training.

Talking to your children about sex crimes and predators.  It’s a difficult topic for any parent to bring up, but one that is equally as important (if not more so) than “the talk.”  Many child predators openly admit to taking advantage of children precisely because they have no idea what sex is, and they use this innocence to lure, manipulate, and “groom” their victims.  “Grooming” is a strategy often used by predators to get their victims to trust them. This can be done by anything from gift giving to tickling (to desensitize the victim) to asking them simple questions to come off as a friend. When a child is sexually abused, one of two things happen: either the child doesn’t realize they’ve been hurt (and consequently he or she lets the abuse continue) or they recognize what has happened and feel shame, which leads to emotional and behavioral problems.

Even the best parent cannot completely shield his or her child from sexual predators, but families can educate children, keep open the lines of communication, and teach what it means to set healthy boundaries. Below are some more specific guidelines that Jeff recommends.

  • Keep the conversation at age-appropriate level.Parents should start talking to their children at an early age about their bodies and boundaries, but the littlest ones need age-appropriate language and vocabulary. For example, younger kids can learn the correct terms for their body parts, but they don’t necessarily need to know all the details about sex. They should understand which parts are private and off-limits to others. This, combined with an anatomically correct vocabulary, will help them to appreciate what’s not acceptable and give them a way to discuss things later if something ever happens.

For tweens and teens, the conversation needs to be more mature because this is an age where children are becoming interested in sex and may even be dating. Helping young adults to understand that they do not have to do anything they don’t want to do, and that past permission does not obligate them to future sexual activities, can help prevent a negative sexual encounter.

  • “No” means “no.”At any age, children should understand that they always have the right to say “no” if somebody is making them feel uncomfortable. Many children are abused because they have been taught to respect adults, and they feel uncomfortable telling them no, even when they are acting inappropriate. Other times, children are abused by a friend, even one their own age, because they felt awkward telling their friend to stop. Children must understand that nobody has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Continue the conversation. Educating children about sexual abuse cannot be a one-time conversation.  Instead, preventing abuse means keeping an open-line of conversation with children, engaging in their lives (including their online activities), and reiterating the risks of abuse and the importance of keeping personal boundaries.
  • The red flags: spotting a predator. It is a sad world that not a week goes by that we do not hear about a teacher, clergy, coach, or community leader being arrested for child sexual assault. Jeff Herman has filed civil lawsuits involving many of them.  There are plenty of indicators of sexual abuse, but for attentive parents who may already be uneasy about a specific person in their child’s life, there are some key red flags one should observe.
  • An adult spending time with your child alone.Children should never be alone with a male non-familiar adult. Period.  There are some female predators as well, but coaches, Boy Scout leaders, or teachers should not be spending personal time with children.  Parents should demand that this behavior stop and report the offending adult to the pertinent supervisor.
  • A coach without children.Most adults who volunteer to coach youth sports are genuinely caring adults who enjoy helping children, most likely because their own son or daughter is on the team. It is a serious red flag when a man coach has no children of his own on the team and especially when he has no children at all.  Something is not right if this individual wants to give your child “extra” practice sessions.
  • Gift giving.Gift giving is a classic indication that a child molester is grooming his victim.  He does this to obtain trust or keep a child quiet after he or she has been assaulted.  Question the motive behind the gift, because it may not be that your child’s math tutor is especially proud of your son.
  • Social media communication.Sex offenders use social media frequently to contact and prey upon children.  It’s important to have the passwords to all your child’s internet activity and know who they are communicating with.  Adult figures should not be following, friending, messaging, or liking your child’s internet activity.

You’ve got mail: how the internet is the new playground for sex offenders.  Thirty years ago, a pedophile may have fantasized about having sex with children without acting out on these thoughts because he felt no else could understand him or what he was thinking was outside the mainstream. Now, the internet provides websites and online chat rooms dedicated to pedophiles where they can share pictures, grooming techniques, the best places to find vulnerable children, and even share stories of their conquests.  This has driven closet pedophiles into full-blown sex offenders because they receive encouragement from equally disturbed abusers across the globe.

Adding to the danger is the prevalence on new social media apps. Most adults are familiar with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and may have accounts themselves. But new programs are being developed precisely with the purpose deceiving mom and dad.  For example, some messaging applications look like calculators or compasses on a mobile device, but in reality they are more like Snapchat, an app that allows a user to send a picture or text that will self-erase after a few moments of being viewed.  Child predators and sexual bullies have infiltrated this new, lesser-known apps and now send inappropriate communications with the knowledge that the evidence of wrongdoing will be immediately erased.

But the news is not entirely bleak. While the internet has made today’s child more vulnerable to sexual abuse, it can also serve as a tool for investigators to catch molesters and prosecute them.  What goes out on the internet is never truly ever erased or deleted, as every action leaves a “digital footprint” allowing law enforcement the opportunity to recover evidence of abuse from social media service providers.  In other words, if a child has been contacted by an adult, the very technology used to make contact may be precisely the proof needed for the police to arrest them and for Jeff Herman to file a civil damages lawsuit.

The best way for parents to protect their children online is by having regular access to all their electronic devices and monitoring their interactions and messages.  No adult should have electronic contact of any kind with a child without a parent being copied on the correspondence.  This is not about privacy, this is about safety.

Theme parks and cruise ships: how to protect children at play away from home.  A family preparing to visit a theme park or take a cruise should be concerned about keeping the children safe from predators. Theme parks and cruise ships do not just attract families looking for an adventure. They attract child predators, too.  Not only do these place attract potentially dangerous visitors, they also attract predators and molesters who seek employment as a way to have regular and easy access to unsuspecting children. Background checks are notoriously lax at these accommodations, but families can still make happy memories, so long as parents take a few extra, simple steps.

  • Talk to your children.Communication is key. Talking to children about the dangers of sexual predators – think “stranger, danger” – should be part of the vacation checklist.  Discuss personal space, inappropriate contact by workers and visitors, and remind children to stay by a trusted adult. Also remind children to be cautious about being approached by an unknown adult when alone.  Some predators initiate casual conversations with older children, get their name, and find them on social media later.
  • Emergency and first aid.The family should locate the emergency and first-aid centers together and instruct children to go there if they get lost or separated.  Many parents know it is not difficult to lose a child in overcrowded and chaotic environment.  It’s a good idea to snap a quick photo of all children in attendance when they arrive at the park or on the ship. This way, patrons and employees know what the child looks like and what he or she is wearing if something happens.
  • Restrooms.One of the most dangerous places for a child is a public bathroom.  Predators often stalk their victims here and sometimes take pictures.  Others are bold enough to initiate physical contact. It’s important to not let a child go to the bathroom alone; waiting for them outside the stall by the sink is a good safety precaution.
  • Cruise ship cabins.Parents need to remember that cabin attendants have key cards to guest rooms.  Cruise ships, with a “free-range” attitude, often encourage parents to leave their children for the night as they enjoy a casino or a bar. It is easy for a crew member to slip into a cabin when the children are alone, and parents should be mindful of this as they plan their evening activities.

Suspected abuse: when the unthinkable happens. If a parent suspects an adult in their child’s life has acted inappropriately, it is important to take action immediately.  Jeff Herman knows that ignoring intuition can put a child at risk of future harm.

But identifying abuse can be tricky because predators are clever and children are impressionable.  First, at an early age little ones are taught that teachers, members of clergy, and coaches are supportive and safe.  They should not be questioned.  But this atmosphere makes it too easy for sex offenders masquerading as protectors to prey upon, groom, and abuse boys and girls.  Psychologists have studied this extensively and, while the reasons are complex, because the child is embarrassed and feels ashamed about what has happened, they often have trouble sharing their discomfort with their parents or other family members. In their mind, they feel they have “consented” to the abuse. And of course legally no child can “consent” to sex with an adult.

Observant parents need to be on alert for warning signs that often manifest themselves as behavioral and physical clues.

Behavioral and emotional signs. These types of warning signs vary slightly by the age of the child, but the core remnants are still the same.  First, if the child is acting out in any way that’s out of character, especially if it’s after spending time at a place of worship, then it could be an indication that something is going wrong.  Parents should be mindful of the following maladaptive behaviors:

  • aggressive or cruel behavior towards family members or others
  • promiscuous behavior or excessive masturbation
  • acting out or disrespecting authority figures
  • using drugs and alcohol
  • running away from home
  • noticeable changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • withdrawal from loved ones and social activities
  • regression or depression
  • mood swings and sensitivity

Physical signs.  Some sexual abuse consists of exposure, masturbation, or sexual comments, and as a result, there really will not be any physical injuries. Other times, though, sexual abuse is more physical and could leave marks that cannot be ignored.

  • Pain or soreness in their private areas
  • bloody or stained underwear
  • trouble sitting or walking
  • mouth sores
  • bedwetting or other involuntary urination
  • self-induced injuries or suicide attempts

If a child displays any of the above behavior or physical signs, they should see a doctor immediately.  And if sexual abuse is suspected, then the crime should be reported to authorities.

Reporting child sexual abuse: the criminal case.  Sexual abuse is a traumatic event for everyone who has experienced it. But the devastating reality is that it often goes unreported.  But this crucial first step is necessary for emotional well-being and legal justice.

An official criminal complaint is required to prosecute the sex offender. No private attorney can bring charges on behalf of the victim or the state.  Reporting the crime also validates that one was committed and serves as a foundation for a civil lawsuit seeking money damages.

While speaking to a police offer or detective can provide some initial relief, many victims and their families face frustration and anxiety afterwards. It is not easy to give a statement accounting for a graphic, painful act. And because charges are brought on behalf of the people and not the child, once a statement has been given, the victim has little say in the direction of his or her case.  Instead, the victim’s only role is that of a witness.  He cannot chose to charge, make a deal, or dismiss.

It’s a sad fact that most sexual abuse cases will not get criminally prosecuted because of the class “he said, she said” scenario.  When the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt” and when there is typically no evidence other than a victim’s statement, it often difficult for jurors to believe one story over another.

A money damages remedy: the civil case.  Because of the way the criminal system works, civil litigation is often the only way a sex-abuse victim can have justice.  While a prosecutor must prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt, a plaintiff in a civil suit has a much lower burden.  This “preponderance of evidence” standard means that the evidence is just barely greater than 50%.

In a civil case, most often the institution employing the perpetrator is sued for negligence, or doing something (or not doing something) that allowed the child to be sexually abused.  While negligence laws vary state-by-state, in general, when courts consider negligence action, they look to whether a crime was foreseeable or reasonably foreseeable such that the institution knew or should have known that the abuser was dangerous.


From surviving to thriving.

Rape and sexual abuse can be committed against anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, culture, or social status. But regrettably, we know that most sexual abuse isn’t reported, detected, or prosecuted. Therefore, support for the victims and their families is crucial for recovery once abuse is suspected. This support ranges from professional help to informal support from family and friends. It’s not always easy to know what to say when someone tells you that they or their child have been sexually assaulted. For a survivor’s family, disclosing to someone they care about can be very difficult, and I encourage you to be as supportive and non-judgmental as possible. Because sometimes support means providing resources, helping them seek medical attention, or reporting the crime to the police. But often listening is the best way to support a family in crisis.

Most importantly, believe the child.  There is little evidence that children make false allegations of abuse. Instead, what is more common is a child denying that abuse happened when it did. Memories of the event may return in fragments or random waves. Some events may be blocked temporarily or permanently by a phenomenon known as traumatic amnesia. Explore the situation in a non-accusatory, non-confrontational way. A phrase like, “I’m glad you told me, thank you” and “You are very brave” can help go a long way to build trust and begin the healing process. When the abuse is known, adults must face the problem honestly, protect the child at all costs by re-establishing safety and place responsibility appropriately with the abuser.  You may be feeling anger, guilt, fear, loneliness, and loss.  All of these are normal feelings, and it’s important that family member likewise get the support and compassion they need.  Because if they don’t take of themselves, then they will not be in the best possible position to take care of the child.

Adult survivors of child sexual abuse of their own unique challenges.  Episodes of daily life may be triggers and romantic relationships can be difficult.  There is also a tendency to be victimized repeatedly as the result of general vulnerability in dangerous situations and exploitation by untrustworthy people. If you are the partner and friend of someone who was sexually abused in childhood, you can be an important part of their recovery, and resources are available for help to you as a supportive adult.

Therapy is also important, particularly at the beginning of a case, since it provides the opportunity to explore the healing process with the guidance of an experienced therapist. Professionals assist victims to work through the event itself and the negative emotions associated with such an event. They help the child understand the abuse is not and was not her fault.  This is because abusers often try to convince the child into believing that he was an equal partner and therefore complicit in the abuse. They assume there is something they could have done to stop the abuser. They regret what they did or what they did not do. They wonder if the perpetrator would have stopped had they screamed louder or fought harder. They ask themselves if they could have avoided the situation, the location, the person.

A victim’s family and friends can also assist by continuing providing assurance to the victim and helping recovery in any way they can throughout the process. This provides added support from those who are very close to the victim, giving the support a much more personal touch than can be received from professional help.

Jeff Herman is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and advocate for survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.  His law firm is dedicated to helping victims of horrible crimes heal the wounds of their abuse by empowering them through the legal process. Jeff Herman is the voice for victims. He is your child’s champion.

Follow Jeff on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Up next: “Smallville” Actress Allision Mack Arrested on Sex Cult Allegations

Check The Rich Family’s Weird Basis For Suing Out – IIED Gone Weird

Seth Rich was thoughtlessly murdered in his own neighborhood – one of many crime-heavy Washington, D.C. areas – on July 10, 2016, for seemingly no reason. Local police haven’t been successful in their efforts to find motives that fuelled the killing, or any suspects of interest.

The young, 20-something Rich’s parents, Joel and Mary Rich of Omaha, Nebraska, are riding on the coattails of an unresolved legal suit brought against Fox News by those innocent parents. Joel and Mary claim they were traumatized by Fox News’s “sham story,” causing both of them pain, shame, and suffering.

As alleged, Fox News on-air personalities Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky, both listed as defendants alongside Fox News in the suit, conspired to fuel a totally false theory about Rich’s death.

Here’s what Zimmerman and Butowsky asserted, more or less: Republican and right-wing groups – in America, those two terms are essentially the same – had touted a false theory that Seth Rich was murdered in response to allegedly passing on thousands of Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks roughly two years ago. Since the emails unarguably harmed Democratic candidates’ chances of winning, the false theory circulated as fact that Rich was killed in retaliation to betraying the DNC could have made sense.

You likely already know about this issue, as it’s been circulated throughout news media outlets across the past year-plus, but you might not understand the oddity that is the basis for the Rich family’s claim.

Intentional infliction of emotional distress – often shortened to IIED – creates a basis on which claimants can sue others for acting with outrageous character that “[goes] beyond all possible bounds of decency.”

IIED serves as the grounds for the case in question, which states that on-air personalities – Zimmerman was a full-time anchor, whereas Butowsky was a less-frequent contributor – Butowsky and Zimmerman, alongside Fox News, purposefully exploited the murder of son Set “through lies, misrepresentations, and half-truths.”

Joel has allegedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, whereas Mary has been weighed down by the symptoms of social anxiety disorder, both of which purportedly stem directly from Fox News’s coverage.

Traditionally, courts often don’t side with claimants that point their proverbial fingers at media members’ liability. Experts believe the case is strong for the Rich family, supported strongly by the fact the plaintiffs were subjected to invasive, confrontative, and aggressive methods of news reporting.


Laura Wasser Reveals Top Reason That Celebrities Get Divorced

Many people do not care when celebrities decide to end their marriage. It happens so often that many people do not pay attention to it. However, many people are curious to know about what will happen after they get divorced. They want also want to know what caused the divorce.

Many people would be surprised to know that celebrities are not that different from us. Laura Wesser is an attorney whose practices focuses on family law. She has represented Jennifer Garner, Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie in divorce court. She stated that the top reason that celebrities get divorced is because they grow apart.

On, Laura stated that celebrities do not always admit this, but this is the top reason that people split up. Money problems and adulterous affairs are some of the things that contribute to divorce. However, the underlying cause is that the couple is no longer on the same page.

Laura stated that the natural evolution of the couple is the reason that they grow apart. In many cases, a breakdown in communication is one of the reasons that couples split up. She stated that in order to maintain a successful relationship, you have to communicate with your partner.

Laura stated that even if you do not have a prenuptial agreement, there are things that you need to discuss with your partner. What religion will my children have? Will your parents live with us when they get old? When will we retire? Are you going to go back to work after having children? Will my children go to private or public school? Those are important things for people to discuss.

Laura also has advice for people who are going through a divorce. She stated that you should look at divorce as a business relationship. You have to leave the emotions out of it. You also have to figure out what is best for the both of you.

Attorney Laura Wesser Shares Her Craziest Breakup Story

Laura Wesser is a 49-year-old divorce attorney. She had worked with several celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Garner and Brittney Spears. She had also handled a lot of divorce drama including fights and water glasses being thrown. Laura has also created her own website called itsovereasy. This website is focused on helping people get over their divorce.

Laura also shared the details of the craziest divorce she has ever had to deal with. There was a divorcing couple whose children were all grown. However, they shared a cat. After the couple split up, the wife moved into a lavish condo. When the couple split up, they shared custody of the cat. The cat spent was with the mom for three days. After that, it was with the dad for three days.

However, things changed when the mom started dating again. The husband was obviously not happy about the wife having a new boyfriend. The ex-husband gave the cat a laxative, and it ended up having diarrhea. Laura she stated that she felt bad for the cat. She also stated that she now understands why the wife left the husband.

One of the reasons that Laura is a sought-after attorney is because she tries to make it easier for people to go through a divorce. Her goal is to keep the divorce out of court and help it go smoothly. Additionally, mediation is the preferred way to handle a divorce. Laura said that mediation makes sense because it saves time and money.

Laura hopes that the tips she has on her website will make her job easier. She stated that people date online, shop online and bank online. It just makes sense for them to go online to look for legal advice. Laura’s website also guides people through the legal steps involved in getting a divorce.


Lawyer Giving Free Aid To Homeless People

A lawyer in Dover is helping homeless people get the legal help that they need. Alfred Cataflo III is giving free legal assistance to homeless people. Anyone who is staying at the homeless shelter located on 106 Brock Street in Rochester. Last week, the shelter asked for help from attorneys, auto mechanics and landlords. Alfred was one of the people who responded to the call.

Many homeless people have had legal issues with their landlords. They have not been able to get those issues resolved because they cannot afford an attorney. Most homeless people spend all of their money on trying to survive. Alfred said that he feels compelled to help. He stated that he hopes that he will be able to help these people get back on their feet.

Alfred comes to the shelter every Monday to meet with people. He also meets with people on the weekend. He stated that people have to be willing to help sometimes. He also stated that he is happy to help.

The Rochester Community Center is a temporary shelter. It opened in response to the record low temperatures. The city experienced a 10-day cold snap where the temperatures dropped to the single digits.

Alfred is hoping that other attorneys will respond to the call. He is also hoping that more resources will become available for the homeless people. The cold weather has brought attention to the homeless crisis. People’s lives are at risk. However, Alfred is hoping that people do not ignore this issue now that the cold snap is over.

Alfred stated that any homeless person who is interested in getting legal help should get in contact with him. They can call him at 742-7558. They can also email him at He looks forward to handling several legal cases involving housing and criminal issues.

A Federal Judge in Texas Blocks a New Abortion Law

A federal judge in the state of Texas has issued a ruling stating that the state’s new abortion law is unconstitutional. The law in question involved the right of women to carry out the second-trimester abortion which is very common in America. He said that the current law adds on women an undue burden. The decision was referred to as a complete victory by a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. However, officials in the state issued a statement saying that they would not hesitate in filing an appeal. Should this happen, it means that the case is likely to appear before the Justices of the United States Supreme Court. The law has been referred to as the Senate eight bill, and it was passed at the beginning of spring.

According to the details of the bill, state doctors were required to ensure that the heart of the fetus is stopped before they can carry out the dilation-and-evacuation abortion. The only exception would be a medical emergency. For starters, these abortions are commonly abbreviated as D&E abortions. The doctor begins by dilating the cervix of the patient. This is then followed by removing the fetus, which in most cases comes out in pieces. Medical professions argue that this is the safest form of abortion in this state. However, critics often argue that the abortion is barbaric. The SB8 law was permanently blocked by Judge Lee Yeakel. He had earlier issued a temporary injunction preventing the law from going into effect during its trial period. The judge said that he followed the precedent of the Supreme Court in making the decision. He said that the Supreme Court had earlier stated that there is no way that a state can add a medical procedure to this type of abortion.

The procedure can only be added if it’s necessary. He said that if the state implements the law, it will be interfering with the rights of the woman. The plaintiffs were represented by Alex Lawrence. Some of the plaintiffs were Planned Parenthood and Whole Woman’s Health. However, the victory didn’t last an hour before the attorney general’s office in Texas issued a statement saying that it would go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to try and overturn the verdict. Ken Paxton is Texas attorney general. He said that they had demonstrated to the court using expert witness testimony as well as extraordinary evidence that the new bill was lawful.

Federal Judge Blocks Alabama’s Abortion Laws

On Thursday, US District Judge Myron Thompson nullified two abortion laws in the Middle District of Alabama. The two laws SB 205 and SB 363 required all clinics within 2,000 feet from K-8 public schools be shut down and ban doctors from performing the fetal-demise (dilation and evacuation) abortion procedure from the second trimester. In 2016, the same court had provisionally blocked both laws through a preliminary injunction and the appeal verdict was pending under the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. ACLU Alabama had appealed for the two laws on behalf of two women’s clinics in Alabama claiming that abortion providers were being subjected to strict legal requirements.

The judge claimed the two laws were undemocratic and bade the state from enacting the procedures, which had been signed into law in 2016 by former Republican an Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. In his ruling, Thompson claimed that the school vicinity law, which was only of a kind in the United States, and the fetal-demise law placed a superfluous gratuitous burden on a woman’s ability to opt for an abortion. He added that it would lead to a closure of two of the five abortion clinics in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa where 72% of the state’s abortions are conducted. This would create long trips for women seeking abortion services and devastate the low-income earners.

The decision adds to other 41 abortion restriction laws enacted by the state legislatures in the US in the first half of 2017. Last year, the Supreme Court also annulled a law in Texas requiring clinics to meet hospital-like standards and clinic doctors to have admission rights at nearby hospitals.

However, the ruling was a huge blow to pro-life activists in Alabama and conservatives in other states. They claimed the verdict undermined the US Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the case of Wade vs Roe 1973. The American Civil Aviation Liberties Union in Alabama supported the judgment claiming that the laws would have imposed a climate of hostility.