Civil litigation defense attorney for Oregon churches and religious schools - Kaempf Law Firm

Child Abuse

John Kaempf specializes in defending churches, religious schools, and other religious entities sued for child sex abuse allegedly committed by their employees or volunteers.

John also defends child sex abuse lawsuits against individuals.

He has 25 years of experience successfully defending child sex abuse cases in Oregon’s state and federal courts, both at trial and on appeal.

Oregon has been at the epicenter of child sex abuse cases nationally for decades. John has defended some of the largest civil child abuse cases in the country.

He is well versed in Oregon’s unique laws about vicarious liability for child abuse and the statute of limitations for child abuse claims. He has extensive experience successfully defending these often volatile cases at trial and on appeal. He is one of the few defense lawyers in the country who has tried a civil child abuse case to a jury. The case favorably settled after two weeks of trial when the plaintiff refused to testify.

The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment John obtained for his clients in the trial court in J.S. v. Franciscan Friars of Oregon, 215 Or. App. 500, 170 P.3d 8 (2007), a Multnomah County case involving the alleged sexual abuse of a child by a Catholic priest. The court upheld the trial court's rulings that the defendants were not vicariously liable for the priest's alleged conduct, and that the statute of limitations barred the plaintiff’s claims because the alleged abuse occurred decades earlier.

John obtained the pretrial dismissal of a multi-million dollar child sex abuse action filed in Oregon against a major international church and one of its pastors. The trial court ruled that, even assuming the alleged sexual abuse by the pastor occurred, the statute of limitations barred the claims. The case is JMS, et al. v. Roberts, et al., Multnomah County Circuit Court case number 0705-05015.

In 2017, John succeeded in getting the plaintiff to drop his multi-million dollar child sex abuse lawsuit without being paid any money after an investigation revealed that his own brothers said the allegations were false. The lawsuit was dismissed after John’s clients made it clear to the plaintiff and his attorney that no money would be paid. The case is David Smith v. Province of The Holy Name, Multnomah County Circuit Court case number 16CV05662.

Thus, John won these cases, and his clients avoided the time, expense, stress, risk, and negative publicity associated with a trial.