We Don’t Just Handle Clients, We Empower Survivors
We have represented thousands of victims of childhood sexual abuse in cases against individual offenders and the institutions that harbor them. In addition, we are engaged with a national network of clergy abuse attorneys who share our mission, and when we take a case, we exhaust every imaginable resource in order to serve our clients' needs.
An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in the United States today. One in four girls and one in six boys experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18, and one in five children will be solicited sexually on the internet.
In most cases, childhood sexual abuse goes unreported or victims break silence many years after the abuse occurs. While there are many legal barriers to prosecuting those responsible for abuse, our firm has worked to overcome these barriers for more than 25 years. As pioneers of child protection through civil litigation, we are aggressively committed to this cause and capable of handling the most complex legal problems in courts across the United States.
Meet Our Christian Brothers Abuse Team
Jeff Anderson is widely recognized as a pioneer in sexual abuse litigation and a champion of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In nearly four decades as a litigator Jeff has represented thousands of clients and has tried over two hundred and fifty jury trials to verdict. Known for his optimism, energy and compassion for clients, Jeff is credited with being instrumental in exposing the large scale cover-up of pedophile priests in the early 1980's. As one of the first trial lawyers in America to publicly and aggressively initiate lawsuits against sexual predators—and the institutions that conceal and protect them—Jeff’s efforts have obtained justice for thousands of survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Jeff Anderson's bar admissions include Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Mike Finnegan has worked all aspects of childhood sexual abuse litigation, including a significant case against the Boy Scouts of America in Colorado, clergy abuse cases in numerous states, vulnerable adult sexual abuse and discrimination cases. His law review article on the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Minnesota was published in 2004 and has been widely acclaimed in the halls of legal academia and by those seeking legislative relief for victims of childhood sexual abuse who are burden by unrealistically short statutes of limitation.
A creative thinker and keen legal strategist, Mike is an attorney of record in the highly visible case filed by the Jeff Anderson law firm against the Vatican for the Catholic Church’s concealment and protection of abusive priests. The case, John V. Doe v. The Holy See is currently moving into discovery and trial in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.
Mike Finnegan’s bar admissions include Minnesota, Wisconsin and California.
Marc Pearlman, who represents Jeff Anderson & Associates in the Chicago area, is committed to advocating on behalf of and protecting the interests of those who have been sexually abused as children. Over the past 15 years Marc has worked with Jeff Anderson to provide justice for dozens of Chicago area survivors of clergy abuse. Marc graduated from Cornell University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1991.
An accomplished athlete, Marc played four years of football at Cornell, and was a black belt in judo and a ten-time United States judo champion. In 1984, he was the youngest member invited to the U.S. Olympic trials. Marc attributes some of his most positive workplace qualities - teamwork, loyalty, discipline and determination - to having participated in these sports.
Anthony DeMarco, who manages the California office of Jeff Anderson & Associates, has worked with Jeff Anderson as liaison counsel on hundreds of child sexual abuse cases in California.
Since 2002, Mr. DeMarco has represented more than 350 survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Mr. DeMarco was intimately involved in all aspects of the southern California Catholic Clergy Abuse cases which resulted in more than $1.2 billion in settlements. For his work on these cases, Mr. De Marco was a finalist for the 2008 National Trial Lawyer of the Year award from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.
Mr. DeMarco was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from California State University at Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 1992 and earned his Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School, in Los Angeles in 1996.
Sarah Odegaard, a compassionate advocate, is honored to work on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She has litigated numerous cases with Jeff Anderson & Associates since joining the firm in 2009. Sarah works on cases in many states, including California. She is also actively engaged in the international dimensions of the clergy abuse crisis, working on utilizing the Federal Alien Tort Statute in childhood sexual assault cases and contributing in the firm’s London office, Jeff Anderson Ann Olivarius Law.
Sarah graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School. During law school, she served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Sandra L. Margulies in the California Court of Appeal. She also worked as a student attorney in the University of Minnesota Law School Civil Litigation Clinic.
Between college and law school, Sarah worked as an AmeriCorps member at Admission Possible, a Twin Cities-based non-profit that helps low income students earn admission to and succeed in college. She graduated with honors from Macalester College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Economics and played varsity basketball and tennis.
J. Michael Reck, is an experienced trial attorney for Jeff Anderson and Associates who vigorously litigates on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by those in a position of power. During the past decade, Mike has become a prominent, nationwide force on behalf of victim’s rights. His recent successes on behalf of survivors include his instrumental role in a settlement with the Diocese of Wilmington and several independent religious orders in excess of 100 million dollars and the forced public release of thousands of previously secret documents. These documents and the accompanying disclosures brought allegations against numerous abusive priests to light and led to a successful criminal prosecution.
Mike’s litigation practice was forged in both state and federal courts where he successfully handles trial and appellate cases. As an avid environmentalist, during his early years Mike worked for a government agency regulating air quality emissions.
Raised in southern California, Mike attended the University of California at Irvine where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Mike’s Juris Doctorate was awarded cum laude from Whittier Law School where as a member of the law review he authored a published article entitled “A Community with no Conscience: the Further Reduction of a Juror’s Right to Nullify in California v. Sanchez.”
With an extensive background in the legal and investigative fields, and having worked as a field investigator for a large insurance company and as an assistant to a California county coroner, Stacey Benson adds great value to our firm. Adding to that value is impressive educational achievement, including a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Masters in Forensic Science.
Among other experiences, Stacey has volunteered at CornerHouse, a child abuse evaluation and training center, and the internationally recognized Innocence Project.
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