Dan Schiavetta Presented a Thoughtful CLE Program Covering the Sexual Abuse Defense Landscape
Dan Schiavetta, who has defended the Catholic Church in sexual abuse cases for over twenty years, presented a thoughtful CLE program covering the current sexual abuse defense claims landscape. Dan offered insider perspectives on the attitudes of the Church hierarchy, clergy and laity, the inner workings of how the Church controls the defense, legal issues in suing the Church and providing a defense, and the special difficulties in handling evidence from witnesses, victims, and abusers.
A notable quote from the presentation: Dan opined, "Defending sexual abuse claims is different from handling other kinds of cases. You have to be able, with your witnesses and with the other attorneys on the defense side, to speak frankly and in detail about sex. This might seem obvious, but the plain fact is that most of the attorneys in this field, that I’ve seen, are not able to do that."
Feedback for the program was positive, with participants noting "the tone was objective," the presentation was "extremely well-done and informative," and that it was "the first lawyer training in which I’ve heard St. Paul being quoted."
Key topics included:
• The Catholic view of how the Church’s attitude toward sex created the abuse crisis
• Corporation structure of the Church and whom to sue
• Legal theories that will and will not succeed
• Suing for sexual abuse in foster care and school settings
• Priests, laity, and victims as witnesses
• Reaching available insurance