Rhode Island Temple sued for abuse by its Cantor
Complaint with exhibits - Doe v Temple Am David (pdf)
Suit charges temple knew of molestation
Synagogue sued for molestation in 1999 (pdf)
We recently obtained a decision after trial in a contentious divorce which
centered on the issue of whether mother suffered from factitious disorder,
more commonly known as Munchausen's Syndrome. Trial involved testimony
from multiple experts, and boxes of medical records. A copy of the decision is
On April 10, 2004, we obtained custody in an interstate case transferred
to Rhode Island from Florida, after father left that State with the children,
thwarting visitation. The case involved dueling claims of parental alienation,
and was tried over the course of five days in March of this year. We have
posted the full text of the decision for
Nadeau v. Nadeau, is one of the leading Interstate and International Custody
decisions in Rhode Island, addressing the limits upon "emergency"
jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (now the
Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act) and the Parental
Kidnapping Prevention Act. We argued the case on behalf of the father.
Child Sexual Abuse:
On July 1, 2002, the hon. Robert P. Krause, of the Rhode Island Superior
Court, released a 9 page decision that overruled objections from attorneys
for the Diocese of Providence to questions and demands for documents issued
by plaintiffs nearly a year ago, and directed that documents be produced
to attorneys representing the victims. The Court explicitly rejected the
Diocese's argument for secrecy, noting:
"By no elastic stretch of the most fertile imagination can one rationally
conclude that such information or any such communication deserve or merit
confidentiality as expression of religious freedom..."
complete text of the decision is available online.
On April 28, 1998, Mr. Conlon, on behalf of the Plaintiff's Counsel
Committee, filed a 145 page
amended complaint, that serves as the model from which all the Rhode Island cases are pled.
This is not a short read, however, the document synthesizes the history
of sexual misconduct in the Church, starting from the point at which the
church had purchased an island, on which it intended to exile offending
clerics, and continuing through the present. The document presents the
legal claim that church officials and institutions are liable for sexual
misconduct of clerics based on allegations that those officials, mindful
of the effect that scandal could have on the institution, deliberately
engaged in a series of actions to protect priests and the institutions
of the church, to the detriment of children.
A priest by priest analysis of the history of clergy sexual abuse in Rhode
Island, and documentation relating to reports by priests to church officials
regarding clerical misconduct, and the
"scandal of little boys," including:
Affidavit of Thomas Moriarty
Affidavit of Edward E. Erpelding
Affidavit of Rita M. Condon
Affidavit of Dennis Dobbyn
Affidavit of Barbara Dobbyn
correspondence between priests relating to their sexual interests.
Bishops Louis E. Gelineau, Daniel Reilly, and various experts, including
Elizabeth Loftus, and
Bessell van der Kolk. The reader may review the bishops' assertion of a first amendment
privilege allegedly prohibiting the bishop from responding to questions
about sexual abuse of children.
ten-page decision released May 8, 1998, Superior Court Judge Alice Gibney rejected former Providence School Superintendent
Robert Ricci's request for summary judgment in the matter of Doe v.
McKenna, et al, CA 94-7084, a civil suit filed against Ricci and other
former administrators of the Providence schools.
The suit arises out of the misconduct of former school teacher Thomas Messa,
who was convicted on charges of second degree child molestation with students
in Providence Schools.
The decision, available in its entirety above, referenced repeated incidents,
years before Messa's arrest, in which school officials learned that
Messa had been accused of touching students on the "rear end"
or in the "private parts." These incidents were not reported
by school officials, or documented in Messa's personnel file.
Former Superintendent Ricci, one of 9 administrators named as defendants
in the case, had argued that because he did not know of Messa's misconduct,
he was immune from suit. Judge Gibney's decision recognizes the special
duty of superintendents and principles to students.
The Family Court has prepared materials regarding helping children cope
with divorce. The Court has promulgated Automatic Orders, which govern
during the pendency of any divorce or custody proceeding, and are intended
to prevent a lot of the abusive tactics that had been common in divorces.
Each of these materials should be reviewed by any one involved in a divorce
in this state.
Whether you are interested in our firm, or just browsing for legal services,
it can't hurt to review the Rhode Island Supreme Court's statement of
Rights and Responsibilities, which sets forth basic information about the attorney-client relationship,
and provides a useful set of guidelines about what you should and should
not expect if you hire a lawyer.