Renee E. WIlliams, Esq.
Chafica Khodr Agha
Leto Copeley, one of the founding partners of the firm Copeley Johnson & Groninger PLLC in Durham North Carolina, currently serves as President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. Leto handles cases in state and federal court, and has substantial experience representing adult and child victims of sex abuse and sexual harassment committed by clergy, medical professionals, teachers, massage therapists, counselors and employers. She also handles cases of serious personal injury and wrongful death. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and served as a law clerk to the Honorable James B. McMillan of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. She has taught continuing legal education programs sponsored by, among other groups, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, the American Advocates for Justice, the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, and the North Carolina Bar Association. She currently serves on the NCBA Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section Council, and was appointed by NC Governor Roy Cooper to serve on the Governor’s Crime Commission. Leto is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine, where she has been recognized as one of the top fifty women lawyers in North Carolina.
John Leighton, Esq. is the managing partner of Leighton Law, P.A., with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is a board certified civil trial lawyer who specializes in catastrophic injury, inadequate premises security/violent crime, sexual abuse, car/truck crash, medical malpractice and resort and vacation injury litigation. Mr. Leighton has been a leader in the field of inadequate premises security litigation for over 30 years and is the author of the two volume text, Litigating Premises Security Cases (Thomson-West Publishing). He is President-elect of the National Crime Victim Bar Association and Chairman of the Inadequate Security Litigation Group of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America/American Association for Justice (AAJ). His writings have been featured articles in Trial magazine seven times. He is a frequent national lecturer at legal programs and conventions and has spoken and taught at seminars, colleges and conventions in over a dozen states.
Mr. Leighton has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2008, voted as one of the “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide for the last 14 years, has been named a Florida SuperLawyer™ (and voted as one of the top 100 of all the state SuperLawyers), chosen as “Attorney of the Year” by Orlando Style magazine, and has been elected to Florida Trend magazine’s “Florida Legal Elite” Top Lawyers in Florida by peer selection. He is rated as “10.0/10 – Superb” by AVVO.com and holds an AV rating (highest possible) by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Leighton received his undergraduate and law degrees with honors from the University of Florida, where he was an editor of the Florida Law Review, competed on the Trial Team, and taught first year jurisprudence.
Jeffrey Anderson, Esq. is a nationally known trial lawyer and a pioneer in representing victims of sexual abuse across the country. He and his firm of dedicated professionals use the civil justice system and the crucible of the courtroom to seek justice for those abused by clergy and other trusted professionals by trial and through public advocacy for child protection. Jeff, a member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, was named a Top 100 Lawyer in Minnesota, 2003 Lawyer of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, and in Top 40 Personal Injury Lawyers and was recognized by William Mitchell College of Law as among the 100 Who Made a Difference. This year he received the prestigious Steven Sharp Public Service Award by the American Association of Justice and was a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice Foundation for his advocacy in representing hundreds of survivors in Southern California. Jeff is honored and inspired by the courage of survivors breaking the silence, knowing that together, every time we speak and act, children are protected across this nation.
Benjamin Andreozzi, Esq. After handling complex litigation matters at a large Philadelphia based law firm, Mr. Andreozzi decided to pursue his dream of starting a law practice that was dedicated to improving the lives of those who needed help the most. As the founder of Andreozzi & Associates, Mr, Andreozzi now focuses his practice on representing victims of crime, including those who are victims of sexual assault and molestation. He is experienced in providing legal counsel to children and their families as they struggle through the difficult times that follow a catastrophic event. He represents clients from across the country and has handled several high profile cases. As of the date of publication, Mr. Andreozzi is one of only two Harrisburg based attorneys to be recognized as members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive organization reserved for attorneys who have obtained an award of over $2,000,000 in a single case.
Daniel S. Chamberlain is a Partner at Cohen & Malad, LLP., an Indianapolis based but nationally recognized law firm. Founded 50 years ago, Cohen & Malad, LLP. includes a preeminent group of attorneys representing the wrongfully injured and killed and a dedicated staff supporting our mission to provide excellent legal representation. In 2012, Dan was named one of the Top 50 Indiana Lawyers and is a member of a select group of attorneys that is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Dan serves on the Executive Committee and Board of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA, Washington, D.C.), the Brain Injury Association of Indiana (BIAI, Indianapolis, Indiana), and the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA, Indianapolis, Indiana). Cohen & Malad, LLP attorneys represent consumers in Indiana and across the United States in catastrophic injury, brain, spinal cord, trucking, construction site falls, medical malpractice, birth trauma, National Football League (NFL) player claims, class action, mass tort, family and business law.
Carmen L. Durso, Esq. is a member of the Massachusetts Bar, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, MA, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been in practice for over 40 years, and has been an Assistant Attorney General, a Town Counsel in Boxborough, Tisbury and Medway, an Instructor at New England School of Law, a lecturer for the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, a Sustaining and Advisory Board member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, and a board member of Massachusetts Citizens for Children. In 2003, he was the recipient of the Frank Carrington Champion of Civil Justice Award.
Brad Edwards, Esq. is a nationally recognized Board Certified Civil Trial attorney who specializes in providing civil representation for children, victims of sexual abuse, and victims of violent crimes.
While he focuses on representing children and crime victims, his range as a trial lawyer is much broader. Brad has tried a broad range of cases before Judges and juries, from complex class actions to personal injury and wrongful death. Brad has represented victims of sexual abuse and violent crimes in state and federal courts across the country. Most importantly, he has passionately upheld the rights of crime victims throughout his legal career.
Before entering private practice, Brad began his legal career at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, where he became a lead trial attorney prosecuting many violent criminals. After leaving the State Attorney’s Office, Brad has continued to devote his practice and his life to fighting for the rights of crime victims, oftentimes in complicated and hotly contested complex civil jury trials. Brad has built a reputation for successfully handling the “civil” litigation aspect of these types of cases and oftentimes producing valuable evidence and information to prosecutors, who then can pursue the criminal case on behalf of the victims. Brad is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, the highest designation of competence by the Florida Bar, and he has tried more than 75 jury trials.
Despite his busy trial schedule, Brad provides hundreds of hours of pro bono services and educational presentations each year to Victims Advocate Services and victims’ rights groups in Broward County, Palm Beach County, and throughout the country. Brad is currently pursuing a precedent setting case in Federal Court, on a pro bono basis, on behalf of young girls who were sexually molested by a well-connected billionaire, wherein he is litigating to uphold the rights of victims under Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
Brad has been profiled in The Best Lawyers in America, recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorney’s Top 10 Under 40. In 2015, the National Association of Distinguished Counsel selected Brad as one of the Nation’s Top One Percent. In 2016, Brad was recognized for obtaining one of the Top 50 US Verdicts in all practice areas for a high profile sexual abuse case that he litigated in Federal Court in Chicago, Illinois. He was also recognized in the Daily Business Review Top Florida Verdicts & Settlements in 2011 and 2012 for separate elarge jury verdicts. Brad is rated AV by his professional peers through the Martindale-Hubbell © Peer Review Rating system. According to Martindale-Hubbell, the “AV” rating of “Very High to Preeminent” legal ability is a testament from peer legal professionals of the highest level of professional excellence and of unquestionable ethics. He has also been selected as a Top Rated Lawyer by ALM & Martindale-Hubbell. Brad has also been certified as a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Nicole Gorovsky, Esq is from Rochester, NY. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and was in the Honors College. Nicole attended law school at Washington University School of law. There she had a Scholar in Law Scholarship. Following law school in 2001, Nicole worked at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office under Jay Nixon. There, she was nominated for a David Dixon Award in Appellate Advocacy. Nicole then worked for the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office in Columbia, Missouri. She was an integral part in creating the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force; she sat on the local Child Fatality Review Board; and she was active in the Rainbow House Child Advocacy Center and the local Domestic Violence Shelter.
In 2007, Nicole became a Federal Prosecutor for the Southern District of Illinois. She was presented there with multiple awards from the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Department of Justice for her work. Nicole then switched to working in private practice. She went to the law firm of Chackes Carlson and represented victims of crime for six years.
Nicole has tried many cases and is excited to be at Burger Law. She sits on the Board of Directors of Your Words STL which is an organization dedicated to tutoring at risk youth. She also does pro bono work for the St. Louis County Family Court, and is active in the National Crime Victims Bar Association.
Melvin Hewitt, Esq. concentrates his practice on premises liability cases dealing primarily with victims of assault, rape and murder. He has been recognized as a security expert in cases involving issues of negligent security, and has been a guest speaker at the National Crime Victim Bar Association (NCVBA), National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA), Mealey’s Lexis-Nexis, the Georgia Criminal Justice Co-Ordinating Counsel, the Georgia Trial Lawyers and others. He has appeared as a guest on Law Talk television, has made several appearances on radio programs dealing with victim issues, and has been accepted into the ‘Million Dollar Advocates Forum’. He has authored articles for Trial Magazine, Calendar Call and The Connection and has provided commentary for API on the rape shield law and the Kobe Bryant case.
Brian Kent is a former sex crimes prosecutor as well as a founding partner and head of the crime victim department in the Philadelphia law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP where he leads a team made up entirely of former prosecutors who devote one hundred percent of their practice to representing victims of crime. Mr. Kent has nearly 15 years of legal experience specializing in crime victim cases and has taken on several high profile cases, including representing survivors of Jerry Sandusky, priest abuse as well as Judge William Bradley – a case that resulted in Judge Bradley’s removal from the bench, disbarment and admission to the abuse as part of the settlement. Mr. Kent’s representation of women across the country against massage franchise chain Massage Envy led to a Buzzfeed investigation and article regarding the company’s practices in covering up sexual assaults at its franchise locations which ultimately resulted in the company making changes to its policies and procedures to prevent assaults in the future as well as the implementation of a “safety team.”
Early on in his career, Brian was one of only 35 attorneys in the state of Pennsylvania to be named a “Lawyer on the Fast Track.” Since then, he has received a Top Lawyer rating from Super Lawyers every year. Brian has a Masters of Law in Trial Advocacy from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Drexel University Kline School of Law teaching advanced trial advocacy. He has served as an expert in sexual abuse and assault cases on several local and national news networks and programs and trains institutions and individuals on sexual abuse and assault prevention and investigations. Mr. Kent has served as a volunteer attorney for the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Project for the past ten (10) years and founded his own charity “A Week Without Worry” that provides fun and exciting trips to abused children and their families.
Konrad Kircher, Esq. graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in 1984 and then served five years as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Upon receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Marines as a Captain in 1989, Konrad attended the University of Dayton School of Law on a full scholarship. During law school, he served two years as a law clerk for Hon. John M. Meagher in Montgomery County, Ohio. Konrad was admitted to the bar in Ohio in 1992 and to Kentucky in 1995. He has focused his practice in recent years on the representation of child sex abuse victims and other crime victims. Konrad has appeared in the Ohio Supreme Court in four separate cases on behalf of child sex abuse victims, administratively supported the landmark successful prosecution of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 2003 for failing to report crimes against children, and was involved in monumental legislation in 2005-2006 which extended the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims. He is a partner in the law firm of Rittgers & Rittgers, headquartered in Lebanon, Ohio, but practices throughout the State of Ohio. Konrad is on the Advisory Board of the National Crime Victim Bar Association and is Co-Chair of its Child Sex Abuse Section. He is also an active member of the Ohio Association of Justice and is on its Legislative Committee. But Konrad is most proud of his five daughters, ages 17 to 26, who constantly remind him that he will never retire.
Laurie received her Bachelors and her J.D. from Duke University. Laurie has been in practice since 1991, starting out on the defense side of tort cases and migrating to the plaintiff’s side. She is the 2019-2020 President of the Oklahoma Association of Justice. She is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Now, Laurie is in solo private practice representing victims of crime in civil cases, with a particular focus on sexual abuse and assault. She has offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
She is a graduate of the Trial Lawyers College three week program and the Assistant Dean of Advanced Voir Dire for the Keenan Trial Institute. She started the Women Trial Lawyer’s Collective which sponsors annual mindfulness retreats for women lawyers so that women can connect to each other and practice voice technique, personal awareness, and other skills. Laurie is also co-author of Her Voice in Law, to be published by the American Bar Association in 2020.
Paul Mones, Esq. has been a leading nationwide advocate for victims of child abuse for over thirty years, representing hundreds of people who had been sexually abused as children by their Boy Scout leaders, priests, ministers, coaches, employers, teachers, guidance counselors as well as by their parents and guardians. He has been at the forefront of representing Boy Scout victims of sexual abuse. In 2010 he and his co-counsel obtained the largest verdict ever against the Boy Scouts of America – $19.9 million – against the Boy Scouts of America. The trial represented the first time that the Boy Scouts’ ‘Perversion Files’ – confidential files maintained by the BSA on pedophiles – were admitted into evidence. The perversion files were finally publicly released in 2012 to national and international news coverage.
Paul has also represented numerous victims of Catholic clergy abuse throughout the nation. In 2000, he and his co-counsel tried the first sexual abuse case to a jury against the Archdiocese of New York (the case settled during trial).In 2007, he and his co-counsel obtained an $11.45 million award against the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on behalf of two victims –the largest verdict rendered against a Diocese in New York.
Seattle attorney Michael T. Pfau has practiced law for more than 25 years. He has tried over 50 cases to juries, the bench, and arbitration panels. Michael attended Boston College, graduated magna cum laude, and earned a number of other academic honors. After Boston College, Michael attended Michigan law school and graduated in 1991. He has been named a perpetual “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics magazine, receiving that honorable distinction every year since 2003. He is peer rated AV Preeminent. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Michael has dedicated a large part of his practice to representing victims of childhood sexual abuse against sexual predators and the institutions that employ and protect them. Michael has had tremendous success prosecuting claims of child sexual abuse in a number of different states and jurisdictions. In this endeavor, Michael has been lead counsel for hundreds of victims of sexual abuse in lawsuits against the Catholic church, the Mormon church, the Boy Scouts of America, and other institutions responsible for child sex abuse.
Michael has been involved in a number of the nation’s large Catholic bankruptcy settlements, including the Dioceses of Spokane and Milwaukee and those involving the Jesuit order and the Irish Christian Brothers.
Michael was also involved in a lawsuit on behalf of three minor girls sexually trafficked on the website Backpage.com, the largest online marketer of prostitutes in the United States. His clients obtained a landmark victory in the Washington State Supreme Court, and he now represents clients who were human trafficking victims on Backpage in cases in Washington, California, Texas, Hawaii, Illinois, Alabama, and New York.
David M. Ring, Esq. was named California Lawyer’s 2015 “Personal Injury Attorney of the Year” for his record-setting settlement of $14 million on behalf of two women who were sexually abused by their science teacher in the 1990s. The settlement is recorded as the largest per victim settlement paid by any school district in the nation. Also, in 2015, Vanity Fair referred to David Ring as “California’s go-to attorney for sexual abuse victims” in a detailed tell all of the horrendous negligence on behalf of Marlborough School, a prestigious all-girls school in Los Angeles, involving sexual abuse allegations against a former English teacher. David Ring is a nationally renowned plaintiff’s personal injury trial attorney and has obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of seriously-injured individuals or families who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident. For more than 20 years, he has represented victims of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, assault, molestation and sexual misconduct in cases against a variety of employers and entities, including schools, churches and youth organizations. He prides himself on providing aggressive, yet compassionate representation for children who have been sexually abused and women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. He also handles other major personal injury cases, including wrongful death, serious motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents, construction site accidents, product liability, premises liability, and employment actions involving discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination. David has consistently been included on the prestigious list of The Best Lawyers in America, and is named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers as well as to its “Top 100 Lawyers in Southern California” list for several consecutive years.
Paul Slager, a Connecticut attorney, has served on the NCVBA Advisory Board since 2015. He represents plaintiffs across Connecticut in complex, high-value cases, where people have suffered life-changing personal or financial injuries. His cases stem from catastrophic events involving medical malpractice, sexual abuse and exploitation, violent crimes, interstate trucking and other serious crashes, defective consumer products, and consumer fraud.
Paul has represented victims and survivors of some of Connecticut’s most notorious violent crimes. He has handled civil cases on behalf of: the family of Annie Le, a Yale University Ph.D. student who was murdered while doing research in a Yale facility; Mary Margaret Farren, who was seriously injured in a brutal attack by her husband, former Deputy White House Counsel, in an act of domestic violence; a mother and her children who were attacked and sexually assaulted at gunpoint in the Stamford Marriott parking garage; and, the survivor of the highly publicized home invasion, strangulation, and sexual attack at the Willow Springs Condominiums in New Milford. Paul also has represented numerous child victims and adult survivors of child sexual abuse against institutions including Boy Scouts of America, public and private schools, the Roman Catholic Church, and other responsible institutions. In 2014, Paul attained an award of more than $12 million on behalf of an adult survivor of sexual abuse after a jury trial against Boy Scouts of America in Waterbury, Connecticut.
As a result of his advocacy for victims of domestic violence, in 2015 Paul was named a First 100 Plus Leader by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In 2019, he was named to the State of Connecticut General Assembly’s Task Force to study whether the statute of limitations should be extended for Connecticut victims of child sexual abuse. Paul is currently the President of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, a bar association serving over 1,300 member Connecticut trial attorneys. He is the only attorney to have three different cases inducted as winners in the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Personal Injury Hall of Fame, and he has been listed by Connecticut Super Lawyers as one of the Top 10 Connecticut Attorneys.
David Thiruselvam, Esq. is a member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, and is an active advocate for victims of crime. Mr. Thiruselvam has been practicing law for the past twenty ﬁve years. After ten years of practicing criminal defense in Philadelphia, he represented insureds of a national insurance company. After working for a couple of private personal injury law ﬁrms, Mr. Thiruselvam started his own law practice in 2007,which is devoted almost exclusively to ﬁnding civil remedies for victims of crime in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Many of the clients he has represented have been victims of shootings, stabbings, beatings, rape and sexual assault. He has also represented many juvenile victims in assault and sexual assault cases. Mr. Thiruselvam’s practice aggressively pursues compensation for his clients and he has tried over ﬁfty jury trials to verdict.
Mary E. Alexander, M.P.H., J.D., San Francisco. Principal, Mary Alexander and Associates, specializing in personal injury, products liability and business litigation. J.D., University of Santa Clara; Master of Public Health, UC Berkeley. Member: American Association for Justice (President, 2003); National Crime Victim Bar Association (President 2012); Roscoe Pound Institute (President, 2005); Consumer Attorneys of California (President, 1996); American Board of Trial Advocates; College of Master Advocates & Barristers (Senior Counsel). Prior to her legal career, she was engaged in scientific research in medical toxicology and was director of environmental health at the Stanford Research Institute. Ms. Alexander has been repeatedly named one of the “Top 10 Trial Attorneys” in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle. The California Daily Journal named her one of the Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California and one of the Top 30 Women Litigators as well as one of the Top 50 Women Litigators. She was named a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Most recently, she was elected to California State Bar Association’s Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Victims of Crime. Ms. Alexander’s reputation for steadfast commitment to the protection of consumer rights is well-known throughout the United States and has an outstanding record of success and achievements.
Keith S. Franz, Esq. is a Sustaining member and past President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, has long been a crime victim advocate and is highly regarded for his compassionate representation in wrongful death and serious personal injury claims. He has gained a national reputation in the field of complex injury litigation, and in particular airline crash litigation. Consistent with his firm’s policy of taking on important victims’ rights causes, often without charge, Keith has provided substantial pro-bono assistance to victims’ advocacy groups including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Maryland Crime Victim Resource Center, and Bereaved Parents of the USA. Azrael, Gann & Franz has recently completed representation of several families touched by the horrors of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Keith’s work on behalf of clients who died in each of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and on CBS, CNN, MSNBC and FOX networks and on numerous local broadcasts. Keith has represented victims in many high-profile civil cases throughout the country, including multi-district complex litigation arising from aviation disasters. His work has helped expand Maryland’s wrongful death statute. Keith is regarded as a leading legal authority on victim’s rights and lectures frequently on the subject throughout the region.
Jeffrey P. Fritz, Esq. is experienced in representing crime victims on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, molestation, murder and assault. He represented multiple victims of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky in claims against Penn State University for child sexual abuse, as well as victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and comedian Bill Cosby. He was a member of the Tropicana Casino & Hotel garage collapse trial team, which obtained the largest construction accident settlement in U.S. history, totaling $101 million.
He is a member of the bar in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has been admitted pro hac vice in other jurisdictions. He is also a charter member, advisory board member and past president (2010 & 2011) of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. He has also been named a 2005 & 2006 “Rising Star” by Philadelphia Magazine and Super Lawyers and “Best of the Best” by South Jersey Magazine for crime victim representation.
Jeffrey P. Fritz has authored several articles regarding civil justice for crime victims in national publications such as Trial Magazine, The Victim Advocate and Victim Voice. He has provided commentary on crime victims’ rights to the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and has appeared on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, HLN, Fox-29 & truTV. He has trained crime victim service providers in obtaining civil justice on behalf of the National Center for Victims of Crime/National Crime Victim Bar Association (NCVBA) and has been an invited lecturer on behalf of the NCVBA, American Association for Justice (AAJ), New Jersey’s Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association regarding crime victim representation.
Philip M. Gerson, Esq. is a board certified civil trial lawyer who has practiced law in Miami, Florida for more than 47 years. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami Law School, where he was a member of the editorial board of the Law Review, a Moot Court winner and student instructor in legal research and writing. Mr. Gerson is admitted to practice in all Florida Courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. Mr. Gerson is a sustaining member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Dade County Bar Association, and the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association. He is also an EAGLE patron of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers and has served on the Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee, Professionalism Committee and was chairman of a Grievance Committee. Mr. Gerson currently serves on the Board of Directors at St. Thomas University School of Law. He has been a Guest Lecturer on Responsibility and Remedies for Torts for School Administrators, Florida International University; American Society for Industrial Security, Liability for Crime Because of Negligent Security; an Instructor for Hospitality Security Officers Training Program, Barry University and other prestigious programs. Mr. Gerson was the founding board president for the National Crime Victim Bar Association Mr. Gerson is a partner at Gerson & Schwartz, PA and limits his practice to plaintiffs injury and death cases, with a focus on third party liability for criminal acts, maritime accidents, motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and other complex litigation.
Michael A. Haggard, Esq., is a compassionate, empathetic and fervent advocate for victims of crime, dedicating his career to the pursuit of justice on behalf of his clients in the courtroom securing unprecedented awards and as an activist who continuously lobbies for permanent solutions and change through local, statewide and federal legislation. A Coral Gables, Florida native, Mike has distinguished himself in 25 trials working as an Assistant Public Defender before turning to personal injury law. After a year of practicing with a leading Miami personal injury firm, he joined Haggard & Parks, where he handles a broad array of cases, concentrating on pool drowning accidents, negligent security, wrongful death, unsafe premises, products liability, and insurance coverage matters. He has swiftly assumed positions of leadership in the Florida Justice Association and recently served as president of the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. He has gained a significant amount of national exposure after winning two back-to-back record setting $100 million verdicts in cases dealing with pool accidents involving children. He also obtained the first verdict in the nation dealing with the issue of cell phone distraction when he and his father, Wm. Andrew Haggard, won a $21 million verdict for Alicia Bustos in December of 2001. In 2001, Haggard was named partner of the firm.
Marc Lenahan, Esq., served as the 2014 President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, and has been a Member of the Board continuously since 2008.
In 2018, the National Center for Victims of Crime asked Marc to serve as the permanent Chairman of the National Compassion Fund, which it developed in partnership with victims and family members from past mass casualty crimes, including those from Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Oak Creek Temple, NIU, Columbine, and 9/11. The National Compassion Fund provides a single, trusted way for the public to donate directly to victims of a mass crime, such as a shooting or terrorist attack. After the El Paso tragedy in 2019, the FBI advised any members of the public seeking a scam-free way of donating to the victims to do so through the National Compassion Fund.
Marc represents victims of terrorism internationally, 18-wheeler victims all across the continental United States, and victims of crime, wrongful death, and severe injuries Texas-wide from his firm’s Dallas headquarters.
Marc’s litigation on behalf of his clients has been covered nationally because of the significance of the cases, and because his clients empower him to use their tragedies to go beyond the courtroom to make nationwide changes in safety practices. He clients have spanned five continents of the globe, he has sought justice for injuries occurring in every single state, and he is believed to have achieved record results in more than one county for the kind of case at issue.
Stan Marks, Esq., has been certified by the state of Arizona as a specialist in personal injury and wrongful death. Representing victims and survivors of crime has been his specialty since he began his legal career in 1965. He is a founder and past chair of Arizona MADD, a founding member and past president of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. He is a past president of the Arizona Trail lawyers Association, and a Charter Member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. He presently serves on the Board and the Executive Committee of the Foundation for Burns and Trauma. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. Stan is the managing partner of Begam, Lewis Marks and Wolfe in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jerry O’Neill, Esq. is a partner with the law firm of O’Neill Kellner & Green in Burlington, Vermont. He currently devotes his practice exclusively to litigation on behalf of injured persons and their survivors, fraud and commercial matters. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney for District of Vermont before going into private practice. While with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he acted on behalf of the United States Department of Justice in using all remedies available under federal law to pursue wrongdoers whose conduct violated federal law. This included criminal cases, but also the use of civil forfeiture statutes to recover the proceeds of crimes and to deprive criminal defendants of the means they had used to commit crimes. Since entering private practice he has used the civil justice system to purse individual and corporate criminals so as to obtain restitution from the wrongdoers for the injuries they have caused. This has included damages for physical crimes resulting in deaths or serious injuries caused by drunk drivers or the establishments that over served them as well as adult and child sexual abuse victims. He also has used the power of the civil justice system to recover losses brought about by wrongdoers who defrauded his clients. He is a member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, the International Society of Barristers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, a past president of the Vermont Association for Justice, serves on its Board of Governors, is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, serves as a Trustee of AAJ Education’s National College of Advocacy and as is a past co-chair. He is the chairman of the Vermont Supreme Court Evidence Rules Committee, serves as an evaluator for the Early Neutral Evaluation Program for the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont and is a member of the U.S. District Court Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the Commission on Judicial Selection to assist in selecting a U.S. District Judge for Vermont, a role in which served in 1994 as well. He is recognized by the American Association of Justice as Diplomate of Trial Advocacy and is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocates. He has served as the chairman of the Burlington Police Commission since 1999.
Erin K. Olson, Esq, a member of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, specializes in the representation of victims of child sexual abuse and elder financial abuse in both civil and criminal courts. She has litigated dozens of clergy sexual abuse cases against the Archdiocese of Portland and various religious orders, as well as child sexual abuse cases against individuals, private secular organizations, and governmental entities such as school districts and the Oregon Youth Authority. She often represents her civil clients’ interests in the criminal prosecutions of their abusers, and occasionally is called upon to represent victims and witnesses in criminal cases when their constitutional or statutory rights are not being honored. Erin spent the first ten years of her legal career as a prosecutor, working for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon, and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. During her four years with the Massachusetts Attorney General in its Insurance Fraud Division, Erin was lead counsel in the prosecution of the principals, employees, and associated medical practitioners of the state’s largest personal injury law firm, successfully defending a challenge to the prosecution before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court based on the defendants’ assertion that the victims’ funding of the Insurance Fraud Division through a statutory assessment against all insurers violated their constitutional right to a disinterested prosecutor. More recently, Erin co-wrote an amicus brief filed with the Oregon Supreme Court by the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and the National Crime Victims Law Institute in State v. David O. Burleson, arguing that a trial court judge’s refusal to order a dental surgeon to disclose the identity of victims who were sexually abused by an anesthesiologist while sedated deprived the victims of their rights under Oregon law. Erin was raised in Madras, Oregon, and has a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.S. in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut.
Rebecca Roe, Esq. served as a Senior Deputy Prosecutor in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Seattle from 1981 to 1994 prior to joining Schroeter Goldmark & Bender (SGB). Most of those years she was the Supervising Attorney of the Special Assault Unit. Rebecca is a nationally recognized leader in the prosecution of crimes affecting women and children. In 1993, she was the first public sector attorney to receive the King County Bar Association Outstanding Lawyer Award. Since joining SGB in 1994, Rebecca has focused on personal injury cases for victims of violent crime and sexual assault as well as employment law with particular emphasis on wage and hour class actions, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Rebecca is a Sustaining member and President-elect of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, which recognized her commitment to serving victims of crime by presenting her with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.