At least 28 Catholic priests and clergy members within the Mobile Archdiocese are credibly accused of sexual misconduct involving minors, according to a list released by the Archdiocese. These crimes took place in parishes and schools in Mobile, Bayou La Batre, and Daphne, among other locations, and involved priests, brothers, and deacons.
Survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and clergy in Mobile and throughout Alabama deserve to see justice done the profound trauma they were forced to endure. They also deserve compensation from their abusers and the church institutions and organizations that facilitated or turned a blind eye to the abuse. Although survivors have limited ability to influence whether their abusers face criminal charges, they have far greater control over whether to seek damages and other forms of relief through taking legal action in a civil lawsuit.
Laws in Alabama do not make it easy for survivors to seek justice through a civil lawsuit. For most survivors, the time limit for taking legal action for childhood sexual abuse, known as the statute of limitations, extends only until their 25th birthday. However, there is cause for hope. Until a recent change in Alabama law, the time limit on taking legal action expired on survivors’ 21st birthdays. By amending the law, the legislature took a step in the direction of ensuring that survivors have enough access to the courts to see justice done.
The Archdiocese of Mobile Catholic Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA represent our Mobile neighbors in seeking compensation and other remedies for the harm they suffered as parishioners abused by Catholic priests. If you or a loved one survived sexual abuse by a priest a Mobile-area parish, school, or other pastoral setting and would like to know more about your legal rights to compensation, contact us for a free, 100 percent confidential case consultation with a Mobile Catholic priest sexual abuse lawyer.
We Represent Survivors of Catholic Priest Sexual Abuse
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are affiliated law firms representing Mobile residents in priest sexual abuse matters. Our teams of caring, dedicated trial attorneys possess the know-how and resources to advocate for injured and grieving clients in the most complicated cases against even the most powerful corporations and institutions.
An important focus of our collective law practices involves representing survivors of sexual violence, including clients who suffered abuse committed by Catholic priests and clergy members. These are special cases deserving of every ounce of compassion and determination our team can muster. It takes enormous courage for our clients to step forward to reveal their painful histories of abuse.
Our mission in these matters is, first-and-foremost, to listen to our clients and to understand their goals and priorities in seeking our help. We aim to craft personalized, intelligent legal strategies to meet each client’s unique needs, and to ensure that our clients always know they control how a case proceeds.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have impressive track records of success in obtaining compensation on behalf of their clients through settlements and jury verdicts. Our successes have enabled us to develop the know-how and financial resources to stand up to Church institutions in and out of court, no matter how many defense lawyers or insurance representatives stand between our client and a fair and just result.
We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, but we can’t guarantee that any Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA client will recover compensation through the actions we take on their behalf. We do promise, however, to treat our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve, and to fight day-in, day-out for the best possible outcome in their particular circumstances.
Legal Challenges For Mobile Survivors of Priest Sexual Abuse
Survivors of sexual abuse by priests in Mobile can encounter difficulty in seeking compensation for the harm done to them. As commentators have observed, statute of limitations laws throughout the United States have too often, failed to accommodate the particular difficulties that survivors of priest sexual abuse encounter in coming forward with their stories.
For many survivors, it can take years to be ready to tell those closest to them about the abuse they suffered, let alone reveal it to strangers in the course of a legal proceeding. By the time they are ready to take that courageous step, many find that the statute of limitations has already expired on their rights to seek compensation in Mobile courts.
Many states have begun to amend their laws to give survivors of childhood sexual abuse the time they need to confront their pasts, recognize what happened to them as the criminal, predatory abuse that it was, and reveal it in a manner over which they exercise some degree of control. Some states have even opened so-called “look-back windows” to give survivors whose rights had already expired under previous statutes of limitation the opportunity to make a claim.
Unfortunately, for now, Alabama is not one of those states, although a recent, modest extension of the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims is a step in the right direction. Today, Mobile survivors of priest sexual abuse have until their 25th birthdays to commence a legal action seeking money damages and other forms of relief in civil court. That time period is not nearly as accommodating of the special needs of survivors as laws in other states, but it is a start.
Even survivors of Mobile priest sexual abuse whose claims have already expired under Alabama’s relatively-strict statute of limitations laws may yet have the right to pursue. In releasing the names of credibly accused priests and clergy in the Mobile Archdiocese, the Church acknowledged its role in sheltering and failing to stop predatory priests from harming children and teens in their care. The Church may, in some instances, show a willingness to offer some amount of compensation to survivors of abuse that occurred long ago.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we encourage any survivor of priest sexual abuse that occurred in Mobile, no matter how far in the past, to speak with our team about the legal options available to hold abuser priests and Church institutions accountable. We strongly believe that no survivor should have justice denied to them solely because of how long it took them to be ready to reveal the trauma that a priest inflicted on them as children or teens.
How We Can Help Survivors of Priest Sexual Abuse in Mobile
Every survivor of priest sexual abuse who contacts the team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has a unique and intensely personal story to tell. It takes enormous courage to take that step. We commit ourselves, as lawyers and as human beings, to treat every survivor with dignity and compassion.
Survivors also decide to speak with for a variety of reasons. Some want closure. Others want the Church to acknowledge their unique, personal trauma. Many hope to receive financial compensation to support their healing process. Virtually all want to do what they can to protect children from predatory priests.
Our job as lawyers for priest sexual abuse survivors is, first, to listen and understand. When we believe we can help, we get to work immediately developing a legal strategy tailored to our client’s unique goals and priorities. We present our clients with options and give them our recommendations. Our clients, however, remain completely in control of their cases. We only act with their permission.
The specific legal options we recommend to our Mobile priest sexual abuse clients can vary, depending upon the circumstances. However, we frequently pursue one or more of the following options.
Civil Lawsuits Seeking Monetary Damages
No amount of money can erase the trauma of Catholic priest sexual abuse. However, in recommending to survivor clients that they authorize us to file a lawsuit for money damages on their behalf, we often encourage them to see that money can help them pay for the support they need. It can also serve as an acknowledgment from the Church that their trauma is real, justified, and deserves a remedy.
We can never promise a client that a lawsuit will get them money, nor can we say with certainty how much money (if any) they may receive from a settlement or jury verdict in their case. Every case has its own unique aspects that determine how it might turn out.
What we can and do promise, however, is that our team will work day-in, day-out to serve our clients’ interests, that we will listen to them and respond to their questions, and that they always have the final say about when and how to proceed with any legal action we take on their behalf.
Civil Lawsuits Seeking Other Kinds of Relief
Because money is not a cure-all, sometimes survivors of priest sexual abuse in Mobile ask us if their lawsuits can also seek other, non-monetary outcomes. Frequently, the answer is “Yes.” Courts have wide-ranging powers to order parties who appear before them to take specific actions. In lawsuits against Church institutions for priest sexual abuse, survivors have frequently asked courts to order the Church to take steps to increase transparency and deter future acts of abuse.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we encourage survivors to tell us if their priorities include forcing Church institutions to make those sorts of changes. Oftentimes, we can craft legal claims to include requests for those measures.
Participating in Prosecution of Sexual Abuser Priests
In Mobile, the job of pursuing criminal charges against perpetrators of sexual abuse belongs to the Mobile County District Attorney in most cases. Sometimes, the Alabama Attorney General may also get involved in the decision to prosecute sexual abuse crimes.
When deciding whether to prosecute a sexual abuser priest, those government officials will often seek input from a survivor. They may ask to interview the survivor informally, may request that the survivor make a formal accusation to law enforcement, and may seek to have the survivor serve as a witness in a criminal trial.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we strongly believe it is a survivor’s choice whether and how to assist prosecutors in preparing or pursuing criminal charges against a Mobile sexual abuser priest. Some survivors feel eager to participate. Others do not. We support our clients in making that decision by giving them sound, compassionate legal counsel, and by advocating for them in every setting so that their rights stay protected no matter what they decide.
Our Clients’ Interest Is Our Sole Interest
As lawyers for survivors of Catholic priest sexual abuse nationwide, the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA teams understand the immense responsibility we have to serve our clients’ best interests in everything we do. We are our clients’ sworn advocates, and we take that sacred duty seriously. Everything our clients tell us in the confidence of the attorney-client relationship stays completely confidential unless and until our clients permit us to disclose it in the course of our representation of them.
Survivors of priest sexual abuse in Mobile deserve nothing less than our total commitment to honoring their wishes, keeping their confidences, and serving their interests.
Advocates for Priest Sexual Abuse Survivors in Mobile
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA lawyers spend their careers fighting for justice and compensation on behalf of people injured by someone else’s wrongful actions. Survivors of priest sexual abuse who seek our counsel find a team ready, willing, and able to hear them, honor them, and advocate for them. We give our survivor clients clear, intelligent legal advice about their rights, design personalized legal strategies to fit their needs, and stand up for their rights against even the most powerful institutions.
If a Mobile Catholic priest or clergy member sexually abused you or a loved one, and you want to learn about your legal rights to seek justice and compensation in Alabama (or elsewhere), the compassionate, dedicated priest sexual abuse lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are here to help. We advocate for survivors of priest sexual abuse nationwide. Contact us online or toll-free at 833-552-7274 for a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation.
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