Victim's Rights

Compassionate, Vigorous Representation of Victims in Criminal and Civil Proceedings

We are aware of no other firms in the country that have assembled such a multi-faceted team to address every possible issue you might face as a survivor.

Here are the types of cases our team has handled on behalf of survivors of crime:

  • Drunk and impaired driving and boating;
  • Physical assaults, shootings, robbery and homicide;
  • Sexual assaults of adults;
  • Child abuse and child sexual assault;
  • Clergy abuse;
  • Crimes at shopping centers, apartments, hotels, banks, ATMs and other businesses;
  • Illegal videotaping;
  • Criminal fraud;
  • Identity theft;
  • Child exploitation (child pornography);
  • Stalking;
  • Elder abuse;
  • Robbery and home invasion.

If you or a loved one has been victimized by crime, you are not alone. Many survivors are so overwhelmed they cannot find the strength to get out of bed in the morning. Yet, on top of the trauma you face, you are expected to navigate a convoluted criminal justice process by no choice of your own. Too many survivors feel re-victimized by a system that only recognizes the “state” as the “victim” while providing the actual living, breathing, victim with little guidance or support. We are here to help relieve your burden by helping through every aspect of your case, from your first contact with police to the day your perpetrator is (hopefully) sent to prison and through any claims you may assert against the offender or third parties. Where most lawyers focus narrowly on the civil case and leave you without representation in the criminal process, we stand with you every step of the way. We also understand your healing is equally important as seeking justice and we help you navigate the criminal and civil justice system with that in mind.

We understand because we have been there. Our victim rights practice group is led by Steve Kelly. In 1988, Steve’s older sister, Mary Kelly, was abducted, raped and murdered just miles from Steve’s family home. The murderer, though known, was never charged. That tragedy prompted Steve to attend law school and to become a national leader in victim’s rights and victim compensation. Steve and his team are available to consult with you seven days a week 24 hours a day.

We are your “one-stop shop” for the criminal and case. Recent advances in crime victim rights allow private attorneys to enter appearances in criminal cases on behalf of crime victims. Although you are not a “party” to the criminal case, you have certain critical rights which are often ignored by overburdened prosecutors and judges. We are recognized national leaders in crime victim rights and we will vigorously defend your rights in the criminal process in addition to analyzing and advising you on any civil claims against the perpetrator and/or responsible third parties. We can offer survivors this type of “one-stop shop” because we have assembled a formidable team to partner on our victim rights cases, including:

Our criminal law practice group consisting of five former prosecutors with more than fifty years of combined criminal prosecution experience;
Our catastrophic personal injury group, made up of some of the nation’s most accomplished personal injury specialists who have obtained substantial settlements and verdicts on behalf of their clients;
Our insurance coverage group, headed by a former insurance regulator, this group helps the victim rights team find and apply for all possible insurance coverage;
Our Internet law practice group works with our clients to defend survivor’s privacy and to resist attempts to gain access to survivor’s social media private Internet data.

To understand what sets us apart, you need to know the difference between criminal case and any potential civil case you may assert against the perpetrator and/or third parties?

  • The classic case illustrating the difference between a criminal and civil case is the OJ Simpson case in which Simpson was acquitted in the criminal case but found civilly liable in a wrongful death case brought by the Goldman family.
Criminal CaseCivil Case
Victim is not a party and (has input on) but does not decide what sentence to seek, what charges to bring, etc.Victim is the party plaintiff and has total control of litigation process
Requires proof beyond a reasonable doubtRequires less proof—usually preponderance of the evidence
Primary objective is punishment through jail time although victim may seek restitution for some lossesPrimary objective is compensation through compensatory and punitive damages
Public prosecutor represents the state, victim may retain private lawyer to defend his or her rightsVictim has private lawyer
Victim may obtain judgment of restitution for limited losses incurredVictim is entitled to pain and suffering and broader range of damages