Jeff Herman is a nationally recognized attorney who specialized in representing victims of sexual abuse in civil court. To help people understand what he does, Herman wrote a piece for Medium.com describing the differences between civil and criminal courts.
Herman is the founder of Herman Law, a firm that fulfills his goals of advocating for victims. He has represented over a thousand women, men and children in civil sexual assault trials. For over a decade, Herman has made national headlines exposing sexual predators and the institutions that protect them. In November 2011, Jeff Herman won a $100 million Lawsuit for a client who was molested by a catholic archbishop. Herman has been identified for his distinctive techniques of cross-examining. He also coaches various organizations on how they can help victims of sexual abuse heal through.
In a criminal case the victim is not the one bringing the charges against the accused. The state has gotten enough evidence to bring a trial against the assaulter for violating state laws, not for violating the victim. The defendant has an easier time in criminal court than the prosecution, as the prosecution has a very high bar to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
According to Jeff Herman, In criminal law the victim of sexual assault has no say in the case made by the prosecutors. They aren’t employed by the accuser: Prosecutors work for the state and rarely consult with the victim. As a result the victim is left as an observer to whatever the prosecution decided to do, be it pursuing maximum charges or dropping all charges or anything in between. The victim is left without a voice or sense of involvement in the case.
Much of this is the opposite in civil court. The plaintiff in a civil case brings the charges they want to and the judge decides if there is enough evidence to allow the charges. By hiring their own attorney who works for them, not the state, the victim maintains a great deal of control and involvement in the case, if they choose to. The burden of proof for a civil case is much lower than for a criminal case, resulting in more civil verdict in favor of the victim than in criminal court. Go To This Page to learn more.
A civil court can award money, while a criminal court has limited powers to provide restitution. However, a civil court cannot result in a criminal record or prison time. The two have very different areas of authority, but both are helpful.
Follow Jeff Herman on https://twitter.com/jeffherman