Find a Lawyer

A survivor can ask health care professionals, therapists, police (if the perpetrator has been prosecuted), family members, friends or lawyer referral services (such as the one sponsored by the Law Society of Upper Canada) to recommend a lawyer. The lawyer should be first, an experienced trial lawyer and second, experienced in sexual assault cases. It is perfectly appropriate to ask lawyers how many sexual assault cases they have handled in the past and for references from former clients. Of course, the lawyer will have to get permission before giving out names of former clients.

The survivor should ask the lawyer to describe the process of a civil lawsuit, a description of the main steps in the case, and rough estimates of the time involved. It is also advisable to discuss fees and understand the financial arrangements from the outset. Sexual abuse lawsuits typically take between 18 to 24 months if they settle and three to five years if they go to trial.

Finally, it is extremely important that the client be comfortable with the chosen lawyer, because the relationship between lawyer and client may be a long one and a sexual abuse lawsuit necessarily involves discussing personal and painful issues.

What should I do before meeting with my lawyer?

If possible, before the first meeting with the lawyer, the client should assemble a chronological history outlining personal background, education and work experience, a history of the abuse, a list of treating physicians, a list of potential witnesses, and copies of any relevant documents. This preparation can make the first step much more comfortable for the client and will help the lawyer assess the case.

Date

Type

Title

Related People

March 2018

Presentation

Pursuing Compensation for Victims of Crime: Civil Lawsuits

Loretta P. Merritt

March 2018

Article

When Should the Survivor of a Sexual Assault Seek the Advice of a Civil Lawyer?

Loretta P. Merritt

February 2018

Presentation

Current and Emerging Issues in Civil Sexual Assault:Credibility and Memory Issues in Sexual Assault Cases

February 2018

Presentation

Understanding your client and assessing causation in sexual abuse case

Loretta P. Merritt

December 2017

Article

Improving the Legal Experience of Sexual Assault Survivors

Loretta P. Merritt

October 2017

Article

The Problem with Class Actions for Historical Sexual Abuse Cases

Loretta P. Merritt

September 2017

Article

Appeal of $24K Damages Award Against Assault Complainant

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

August 2017

Article

Ontario Disability Support Program Changes Help Abuse Survivors

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

May 2017

Article

Relationship Lies

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

April 2017

Presentation

2017 OTLA Webinar - Sexual Assault Cases: Overcoming Significant Client Credibility Issues

2017 OTLA Webinar - Sexual Assault Cases: Overcoming Significant Client Credibility Issues

Loretta P. Merritt

March 2017

Article

The End of Limitation Periods for Sexual Abuse Cases in Ontario - CCAA

Abuse Hurts - Spring 2017

Loretta P. Merritt

September 2016

Presentation

Pursuing Compensation for Sexual Abuse Survivors Civil Actions - ILA Presentation

The Barbara Schlifer Clinic
ILA Presentation  

Loretta P. Merritt

July 2016

Article

No time limits on sexual crime compensation

This article originally appeared in the June 24 2016 issue of The Lawyers Weekly.

Loretta P. Merritt

May 2016

Article

'Revenge porn' brings 100k in damages

This article originally appeared in the April 29, 2016 issue of The Lawyers Weekly.

Loretta P. Merritt

April 2016

Article

Law makes civil sex assalut litigation easier

Law Times - March 14, 2016

Loretta P. Merritt

April 2016

Newsletter

The End of Limitation Periods for Sexual Abuse Cases in Ontario

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

October 2015

Presentation

Pursuing Compensation for Sexual Abuse Survivors: Civil Actions

Canadian Addictions Treatment Centres
A Lunch and Learn

Loretta P. Merritt

September 2015

Article

Negligence of Institutions: The Standard of Care

The Litigator - OTLA

Loretta P. Merritt

May 2015

Article

Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act

 

Loretta P. Merritt

May 2015

Article

Can a Children's Aid Society be Liable for Abuse by Foster Parents?

Loretta P. Merritt

March 2015

Article

When Should the Victim of a Sexual Assault Seek the Advice of a Lawyer?

AbuseHurts.com E-Zine

Loretta P. Merritt

February 2015

Presentation

Negligence and the Standard of Care in Civil Sexual Assault Cases

Osgoode PD Webinar Series
Key Issues in Civil Sexual Assault

Loretta P. Merritt

January 2015

Article

Why Are Damages In Civil Sexual Assault Cases So Low?

AbuseHurts.com E-Zine

Loretta P. Merritt

January 2015

Article

Vicarious Liability Update 2015

Loretta P. Merritt

October 2014

Article

Legal Proceedings: Civil or Criminal?

AbuseHurts.com E-Zine

Loretta P. Merritt

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