Online Documents

  • 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)

  • Messa Case

  • 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 available online.

  • 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 online review.

  • 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..."

    The 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

    Also available: correspondence between priests relating to their sexual interests.

  • Testimony of 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.

  • Messa Case

    • In a 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.

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