SEXUAL ASSAULT, GENDER VIOLENCE & TITLE IX

Students and other victims of sexual violence have meaningful options for seeking justice, regaining the upper-hand, and beginning the process of putting life back together.  Our team’s school litigation experience is unmatched.  For example, the national Title IX movement expertise and gender violence training of Cari Simon, Laura Dunn, Monica Beck and Lisa Cloutier make us uniquely effective legal counsel for survivors of gender violence in schools, universities, fraternities, sororities and the workplace.  Ms. Dunn established SurvJustice, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization improving the prospects for survivors of gender violence to obtain justice.  Ms. Dunn was an invited participant in the White House ceremony commemorating re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act presided over by President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden.  Her recent TED Talk, entitled, “It’s time for the law to protect victims of gender violence,” has been viewed by approximately 1,000,000 people.  Ms. Beck recently obtained a $1.8 Million verdict in federal court against former MLB player Chad Curtis after he was convicted of sexually assaulting four high school students.  Ms. Beck immediately followed that verdict with a settlement in excess of $1 Million against a school district whose employee sexually assaulted an elementary school student.  Ms. Simon, an alum of Harvard Law School and the Inaugural Fellow at the Harvard Gender Violence Clinic, has achieved millions of dollars in settlements on behalf of survivors, and ensured survivors obtain justice in school proceedings nationwide.  While many of these “victories” are in confidential university proceedings, our clients and their families know exactly how it feels to win, and how that feeling promotes recovery.  Ms. Cloutier, an alum of Harvard  Law School and its Gender Violence Clinic, has a professional background that includes “big law firm” litigation training, employment as a Supervisory Attorney at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and consulting work on behalf of numerous women’s rights organizations, including Futures Without Violence.  Attorney Jon Fazzola recently argued a Title IX case involving multiple women sexually assaulted at Kansas State University before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.   And, more than 25 years ago, Mr. Fierberg established the legal specialty representing victims of school violence, and has obtained tens and tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of survivors, victims and their families in cases across the country, including on behalf of approximately 20 families arising out of the massacre at Virginia Tech University.  The law firm worked hard to put this team together for two principal reasons:  1) We believe in our clients; and, 2) We believe our clients’ pursuit of justice must be supported by intelligent, trained, passionate firepower.

We also represent survivors of sexual violence defend lawsuits brought against them by perpetrators. These lawsuits are often based upon alleged defamation, and are almost always intended to harass and punish survivors for coming forward in campus proceedings to pursue their rights. We also help survivors bring counterclaims against perpetrators in these lawsuits because, ultimately, survivors are entitled to dismissal of the defamation claims and entry of judgment on their claims for sexual assault, battery and infliction of extreme emotional distress.

We build legal teams combining local attorneys and national expertise so you get the best legal representation wherever you are.

We have unique, close relationships with the country’s leading nonprofit advocacy groups, with whom we regularly confer, and, at times, “partner” on cases to increase a victim’s ability to obtain justice and cause systemic change. Such groups include: National Crime Victim Law Institute; Clery Center for Security on Campus; Public Justice Foundation; Know Your IX; SurvJustice; Futures Without Violence; Harvard Gender Violence Program; National Crime Victim Bar Association; and National Center for Victims of Crime.

“I had tears in my eyes when I said goodbye to ‘John Doe’ and his mom.  To think of what he went through …  I am proud our law firm helps survivors like ‘John Doe’ and other victims get justice and resources to help them change their lives.  I saw a lot of attorneys in that court room today (8, counting me), and I was the only one talking to “John Doe” and his mom, encouraging them, letting them know how amazing it was THEY brought this lawsuit and held a school district responsible for its failings, and what an honor it has been to work for them.  That’s what we all do, as I’ve heard and seen, every day, all of us, on the phone, in letters, in court filings, in very hard work.  We do the complicated legal work and handle the emotional side of these issues like nobody else.”

  –Monica Beck

OUR CLIENTS MEAN THE WORLD TO US! HERE ARE A FEW COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE WE HAVE REPRESENTED: