WELCOME   ---   

Stephen C. Rubino is one of the country's early pioneers representing survivors of sexual abuse in institutional settings.

I offer a depth of knowledge, experience and resources by concentrating my practice in the area of sexual abuse.
Valued partnerships allow my firm to offer specialized legal services and through pro hac vice admission nationwide as well as in Canada.
Cutting-edge computer technology, in-house video and results-oriented solutions are the foundation of my long-standing relationships with my clients and the community.
Clients are kept fully and timely informed of their matters, ensuring maximum responsiveness and accountability. I strive to always provide successful, prompt and cost-effective service to my clients.
I am committed to the pursuit of excellence. I demonstrate the strictest personal and professional ethics as well as the utmost concern for my clients.

Panel Approves Bill Eliminating Statute Of Limitations in Civil Child-Abuse Suits

David Gialanella All Articles
New Jersey Law Journal
January 5, 2012

A bill that would abolish the civil statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse victims won an Assembly committee approval Thursday and seems on track for final passage.
The measure, A-3622/S-2405, would replace the current limitations statute, which requires filing suit within two years of “the time of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act of sexual abuse,” with a blanket statement that such actions may be brought “at any time.”
It also would expand the pool of individuals who might be found liable in those suits and provide for liability of “public entities,” including religious and educational nonprofit organizations.
It would amend several statutes, including the state Charitable Immunity Act, and remove the time bar on any suit alleging sexual abuse of a minor, including abuse stemming from negligent hiring, supervision or retention of a nonprofit employee or agent.
The bill, released by the Assembly Judiciary Committee in a 4-1 vote, also would impose liability on nonprofits organizations, their trustees and employees for willful and wanton conduct, and for gross negligence.
According to the bill’s accompanying statement, judicial efforts to define when the statute of limitations starts running for victims of past abuse have yielded complex and unclear results, and the bill would give victims access to the courts when they learn of the impact of the abuse many years after its occurrence.
The Charitable Immunity Act was amended in 2005 to limit nonprofits’ immunity in sex abuse cases, and Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, the Senate sponsor of the current bill, said organizations that effectively vet and monitor their staff should not be worried.
But Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth, expressed concern that “it provides that organizations will be liable for negligence that results in the commission of a crime.” A situation in which officials learn of and conceal abuse is “a completely different legal issue than general negligence,” which the bill would make actionable, said Casagrande. “I just want to be certain that we’re making laws here that make sense, that aren’t dragging people to court who really had little to nothing to do with the abuse, who were volunteers, who were trying to do a good job,” she said. “I don’t know that subjecting them to civil lawsuits is necessarily the best way to protect our children,” she added. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, R-Morris, said that exposing the organizations to civil liability could take money away from their charitable functions and cause them to close to close their doors. “At the end of the day, the people who are going to pay these judgments are not the perps. The people who are going to pay these judgments are the people who benefit from the programs,” Carroll said. “These organizations may cease to exist.” Committee Chairman Peter Barnes III, D-Middlesex, a sponsor of the measure, said compensation to victims — who spend huge sums for psychotherapy as a result of suffering from abuse — is paramount. “We’re talking about child sex abuse,” Barnes said. “The bill increases the statute of limitations for that very narrow tort.”
“The Penn States of the world, the churches of the world, the peewee organizations ... either they’re going to take a hit, or the victims are going to take a hit,” Barnes said. “It’s a zero-sum game.” The committee approved a handful of amendments, including one that would lighten liability for trustees and employees: It would make those individuals liable for negligent acts only if they had supervisory or oversight roles. Casagrande abstained from voting on the measure. Carroll voted against it. The Senate Judiciary Committee released the Senate version of the bill in December 2010. The Assembly committee’s action on Thursday clears the bill for action in both houses

New York Child Victim's Act Update from Assemb. M. Markey

I am writing to update you about recent positive developments concerning the Child Victims’ Act of New York as public attention and support for this important legislation continues to build. I urge you to continue to speak up about the importance of this bill, which will make it possible for victims of childhood abuse to get justice and will also expose pedophiles who continue to remain hidden. Following are some of recent activities you should know about.

Portions of Amicus Brief for New Jersey Supreme Court

"In determining whether or not a 'reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act of sexual abuse' was understood by the survivor, it is crucial to acknowledge that the survivor’s perception of the events constituting child sexual abuse may cause the survivor to misinterpret or recast the event as something other than what it was. Simply because a child sexual
abuse survivor is aware of sexual contact does not mean he will associate that contact with harm. Likewise, simply because a child sexual abuse survivor is aware that he is depressed, confused about his gender identity, or otherwise "different" than normal people does not mean that the harm in his mind is associated with the abuse. Stated another way, predatory sexual contact with a child is not only a physical insult but a toxic assault on the still developing mind of a child engendering confusion, self loathing, fear, secrecy and a variety of other well documented sequellae. To many judges, lawyers, therapists and other objectively situated observers it is a simple crime of power and sex with predictable injuries and impacts. For the survivor it is far from simple straight line understanding of cause and effect. The road to understanding these types of events is a path filled with mixed messages, confusion and denial all of which evolved from an out of context event and on immature psyche of a child left to process the event. In this way, child sexual abuse and how it impacts the operable accrual language of the statute in question makes the child sexual abuse survivor litigant different from any other tort victims." More



 


  << NEWS