After much controversy, Justice Brett Kavanaugh was added to the U.S. Supreme Court this fall to replace Justice Kennedy, who retired. This is good news for supporters of (1) religious liberty; (2) the right to life; and (3) opponents of judicial activism, often called “legislating from the bench.”
The nine-member Court now consists of a majority of 5 conservative Justices appointed by Republican presidents.
This article will not delve into the 1980s sexual assault allegations against Justice Kavanaugh. Readers have different views on that issue. Rather, the focus here is on how the newly configured Supreme Court will affect the rights and interests of religious people and religious institutions.
John Yoo, a University of California at Berkeley Law School professor who attended Yale Law School with Justice Kavanaugh, recently wrote in The National Review that with “a fifth conservative justice joining Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, for the first time in about eight decades, the country may have a truly conservative Supreme Court.” Legal commentator Rich Logis, writing for The Federalist this fall, stated: “President Trump is reforming the Supreme Court to how the Founders envisioned it.” Continue reading
Oregon, my law firm’s location, has been at the center of the explosion of child sex abuse claims nationally for decades. For 26 years, I have defended child sex abuse lawsuits in Oregon and nationwide, including some of the biggest in the country. This includes a recent child abuse lawsuit against a private school involving over 70 plaintiffs.
I practiced for 16 years at a large insurance defense firm where I defended dozens of child sex abuse cases. I have defended many more at my boutique firm for the last decade. I took a child sex abuse case to trial in 2012. It favorably settled after two weeks of trial when the plaintiff refused to testify in front of the jury. I raised fair concerns about his credibility.
Based on my extensive experience defending child sex abuse lawsuits against corporations and individuals, in trial and appellate courts, this article summarizes the best strategies for defending—and sometimes even winning—these volatile, high exposure cases
.These lawsuits show no sign of stopping and are often based on allegations of sex abuse occurring many decades ago, which can make them hard to defend. These cases can be successfully defended, however. Here, I present 12 effective strategies I use.
FIRST, determine if you have insurance that may cover any damages awarded, a settlement, and/or your attorney fees. When you receive notice of a child sex abuse lawsuit against you or your business, immediately tender your defense in writing to your insurer(s) at the time of the alleged abuse. An attorney can then be selected and paid to defend you if you have insurance coverage. However, insurance often does not cover child sex abuse claims. This is another reason to fight back hard and early against these claims. Continue reading
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering whether to exercise its discretion to accept the following four religious liberty cases for review. In the law, this is called a “petition for certiorari.” If at least four of the nine Justices agree to accept one or more of these cases, they will be decided by the full Court in the 2018-2019 term.
Patterson v. Walgreen Co. involves a Walgreens training instructor in Florida whose Seventhday Adventist religious beliefs do not permit him to work on Saturdays. He was fired by Walgreens after he refused to conduct an emergency work session on a Saturday. A federal appellate court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Atlanta, ruled in favor of Walgreens on the ground that it had provided a “reasonable accommodation” by offering him other positions within the company. The church stated in a press release: “One of the Supreme Court’s primary jobs is to resolve these types of conflicts. The Supreme Court has not addressed the issues in this case since 1977 and 1986. With more than a 30-year silence on these issues and disagreements among lower courts, the Supreme Court is more likely to take his case.” Continue reading
This fall, Pope Francis summoned bishops from around the world for an unprecedented three-day meeting at the Vatican in February, 2019 focused on protecting minors from sexual abuse by priests. Pope Francis has called for every president of the 114 Catholic bishops’ conferences of the world to meet at the Vatican to discuss the sexual abuse crisis. Holy See spokesperson Paloma García Ovejero said the meeting will be about the “prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.”
This announcement came amid new accusations of pervasive child sex abuse by Catholic priests worldwide for many decades, and a related alleged cover-up, that have shaken the Roman Catholic Church. This includes the United States, Germany, Ireland, Australia, Chile, and the Philippines. Continue reading