How to Choose a Boy Scout Abuse Lawyer?

Five Questions Victims Should Ask

With the Boy Scouts of America filing bankruptcy in February of 2020, there has been increased media attention towards claims of child sexual abuse against the national organization and its local councils.  The Bankruptcy Court’s recent establishment of a “claims bar date” (the deadline for submission of bankruptcy claims – now set at November 16, 2020) has also increased advertising by attorneys who are interested in representing victims.  A quick google search will show paid Google “ads” for various law firms.  Similarly, scrolling through Facebook and other social media reveals dozens of sponsored posts from lead generation services offering “free claims evaluations” or “free claims reviews.”  There are even TV commercials urging victims to “Call Now!”

With all of these competing voices and noise, how can victims of abuse in scouting select a lawyer to effectively help them seek justice from the Boy Scouts.

As attorneys who have spent more than a decade taking the Boy Scouts to court on behalf of victims, we believe there are five (5) questions victims should ask of any attorney or legal services company that they speak with:

The Five Key Questions You Must Ask

1

How long have you represented victims of child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse cases against youth-serving organizations like the Boy Scouts have unique dynamics (like complex emotional harms) and legal issues (like statutes of limitations). These cases are not everyday, “run of the mill” personal injury cases like car crashes and dog bites. Victims of child sexual abuse deserve attorneys who have experience litigating for victims against big organizations.

Our attorneys have been suing organizations on behalf of victims of child sexual abuse for more than a decade. We’ve pursued lawsuits in courts across the United States for hundreds of survivors child sexual abuse involving large organizations, including not only the Boy Scouts but also the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, private and public schools, and others.

Many people would feel uncomfortable selecting a general family practice doctor to perform a specialized surgery. Similarly, victims should very carefully consider whether their best interests are better served by an attorney with extensive experience litigating against the Boy Scouts rather than a general personal injury attorney.

2

How many cases have you litigated against the Boy Scouts before they filed bankruptcy?

Even among attorneys who have represented victims of child sexual abuse or are hoping to represent victims in the Boy Scout bankruptcy, there are some who have never actually sued the Boy Scouts or litigated a case against them before the bankruptcy. In comparison, the attorneys at Crew Janci LLP have spent nearly 15 years litigating over 100 cases against the Boy Scouts of America and their local councils across the United States. That type of specific experience in dealing with the Boy Scouts provides an extra level of knowledge that cannot be replicated by reading newspaper articles. Our attorneys have obtained the secret documents, obtain testimony from the key witnesses, and know “where the bones are buried” when it comes to the Boy Scouts of America.
3

How many sexual abuse trials against the Boy Scouts have you participated in?

Given all the risks for all parties, child sexual abuse trials are rare. And there have only been a few child sexual abuse trials against the Boy Scouts. Attorneys at Crew Janci LLP were part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America, which resulted in a $19.9 million jury verdict against the Boy Scouts — the largest sex abuse verdict ever against the Boy Scouts. This verdict included $18.5 million in punitive damages to punish the Boy Scouts for their conduct in allowing child abuse. That trial also forced the public release of a large portion of the Boy Scouts secret files (the “ineligible volunteer files” or “IV files”).
4

How is your firm different than others?

Our team is made up of people that genuinely care about survivors of child sexual abuse. We do our best to tailor our processes and communication to those who are suffering from the long-term impacts of childhood trauma. We understand that trust is difficult for survivors of abuse, and we do our best to earn and maintain our clients’ trust through consistent and responsive communication, providing extra-legal resources (like referrals to counselors, support groups, etc.), and maintaining a personal connection with our clients. At the end of the day, we understand that we are working for people, not just pushing cases.
5

What percentage of your cases are child sexual abuse cases?

Even many attorneys who have represented some victims of child sexual abuse do not have extensive experience in this field. Many may handle an occasional child sexual abuse case, while also working on medical malpractice cases, car crash cases, and slip and fall cases.

Our attorneys are completely devoted to representing victims of sexual violence. This is the only type of work that we do. When you spend nearly 15 years fighting for victims of sexual abuse against large organizations, you learn a lot of lessons about how to obtain great results for your clients. As they say, there simply is no substitute for experience.

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