Andreozzi & Foote, PC: Lawyers Advocating for Victims of Abuse
This is what sets A+F apart from what has become a crowded field of lawyers vying for sexual abuse cases across the country. Since the #Metoo movement began to emerge and sexual abuse cases dominated the headlines, personal injury attorneys have flooded the airwaves with advertisements and aggressive tactics to take on these cases.
The main problem with this is they are not trained, skilled, or experienced in the specific legal nuances of sexual abuse cases. Andreozzi + Foote has handled sexual abuse cases for well over a decade, long before it was popular or financially lucrative.
We did so because we cared, we wanted to make a difference and give justice to victims who had been historically denied access to the courts.
While we cannot promise clients an exact result at the outset of the case, there is one thing we can promise. At Andreozzi + Foote we pledge to always be honest and tell our clients the truth. It is our belief that most survivors have been betrayed and suffered an abuse of power, and it is very difficult for them to trust others. To help our clients reclaim their power and restore their trust, we view it as our absolute obligation to be forthright with our clients even if that means sharing information that may not be well received.
Unfortunately, lawyers in the past several decades have done very little to shake the professions deceitful reputation. However, we refuse to be defined by those who do not share our values. Our integrity is reflected not only in our communications with clients, but in every way we conduct our business. We work hard to gain the respect of opposing parties and judges and believe that this approach leads to better results for our clients.
We are proud to have gained the trust of many strong leaders and advocates in the sexual abuse survivor community. Our clients include: Mark Rozzi, Pennsylvania State Speaker of the House who has embarked on a life long journey to revise the statute of limitations for civil cases in Pennsylvania; Shaun Dougherty, President of Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests (“SNAP”) who has traveled the world supporting survivors in their quest for accountability; and Patty and Lara Fortney, two sisters who courageously told the story of how their large family was torn apart by sexual abuse, only to prevail many years later.
At Andreozzi + Foote, our practice is dedicated to representing victims of sexual abuse in civil cases. That means every single day our entire staff, from intake coordinators, paralegals, attorneys, and others, are solving problems for hundreds of our sex abuse clients. Compare and contrast that with most personal injury law firm who probably handle 80% car accidents, 20% slip and falls, and maybe a handful at most sex abuse cases. In our opinion, if you don’t deal with the same issues every single day, multiple times a day, you are not best prepared to deal with them. As an example, think about issues that arise in the medical profession. Is a family doctor in the best position to perform surgery on your shoulder?
He or she may know something about orthopedics, and they may have assisted in shoulder surgery many years ago while in school, but chances are they are not up to speed on the best practices and wouldn’t know what to do if something went wrong. Fortunately, a family doctor will almost certainly give you a referral to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders and probably performs surgery a few times a week.
Unfortunately, many personal injury lawyers would rather fly by the seat of their pants and pursue a sexual abuse case, even knowing it should be referred to a sexual abuse attorney. Sadly, many attorneys are clouded by the possibility of a lucrative settlement and disregard the fact that their client would be in better hands elsewhere. That’s why we think it’s very important that you be able to distinguish between a personal injury law firm and a sexual abuse law firm.
As of the date this article is being published, we are not aware of any other law firm in Pennsylvania that has dedicated their entire practice to representing survivors of sexual abuse like Andreozzi + Foote. In fact, there are probably only a handful of law firms throughout the country who exclusively focus on sexual abuse cases. There are many reasons personal injury law firms don’t focus on sex abuse case. The most obvious reason is that assault and abuse cases tend to be very complex, and they are not easy to “churn and burn” in volume like other types of personal injury cases.
Because our firm is dedicated and focused on pursuing sex abuse cases for survivors, we believe we give our clients a competitive advantage over other law firms. We know the laws pertaining to sexual abuse, the attorneys who routinely handle the cases, the experts who often testify, and other issues that often end up in a case. Compare that with a law firm who may be dealing with a legal issue, lawyer, or expert they have never dealt with before.
Our commitment to survivors has helped us better understand what they want out of their case and how they want to get there. Andreozzi + Foote understands that all survivors have paths that are unique to them, to their histories, their circumstances, their trauma, and what they want or need to move through their experience to a different place. Andreozzi + Foote is committed to listening to each client and taking the time to understand their needs and desired outcomes. We will not make promises we cannot fulfill. We will chase down every possible avenue for justice for our clients. We understand deeply how important information is to survivors, so much of filing a civil suit is about learning what happened to them and who knew what and when.
Our team will stay in touch with the client to keep them informed and up to date every step of the way. Information and preparation are key to ensuring survivors can trust their lawyers. We understand that and make sure our survivors feel connected and empowered. A survivor’s needs rarely stop at the legal aspects of their case, there are often other areas of concern where assistance, research, and referrals are necessary for that survivor’s overall healing. We strive to provide holistic services to every survivor we work with.
We understand how the laws often work against survivors in many states across the country and provide unnecessary barriers to justice. We have stood at state capitol buildings with survivors calling for legislative change, we have written our lawmakers, spoken out in the media on the need for legislative change and educated lawmakers and the community on the impact these changes can have on the lives of survivors.
Our attorneys have represented well over a thousand victims of sexual abuse with their civil cases. Many of these involve cases straight out of the news headlines like Penn State/ Jerry Sandusky, the Catholic Church, and the Boy Scouts. However, for every case that makes national headlines, there are hundreds of other cases that we handle that are not in the press. While our practice area is very specific to representing victims of sexual abuse, we have broadly handled different types of sex abuse cases including but not limited to cases against schools, churches and places of worship, child care providers, health care providers, group homes, government and municipal agencies, foster and adoptive care providers, youth organizations, sports teams, peeping Toms, child pornographers, bars and restaurants, and any other entity that is charged with the care and protection of children.
We are proud of the work we have performed, particularly when it improves the lives of survivors. Our lawyers are some of the first in the country to take on sexual abuse cases and win settlements that have changed their lives and set a legal precedent to do the same for other survivors. We have taken the calls and cases most attorneys would not. We have spent countless hours researching every aspect of the variables that impact cases within the laws across the country to create legal strategies and arguments that win cases. Our attorneys have been doing this work since well before the #Metoo movement cracked open the conversation around the breadth and scope of sexual abuse in this country. Our lawyers were quietly taking cases, meeting with survivors, filing motions, writing letters, and finding creative solutions to help our clients receive the justice they deserve.
Even when the law precludes us from filing, our attorneys have found creative ways to gain access to information and to advocate on their behalf to the institutions that hurt them by covering up their abuse. We have fought behind the scenes, on the steps of courthouses for legal change, and in the courtrooms for years. We pride ourselves on helping our clients regain their sense of empowerment through success in the civil litigation process. We are proud of the groundbreaking economic recoveries we have made for clients, including a $88m jury verdict for a single survivor in a case that is believed to be the largest jury verdict in a Pennsylvania sexual abuse case.
In other cases, we have either won trials or received settlements for tens of millions of dollars for our survivor clients. However, we are equally proud of the non-economic results we have obtained. Without a doubt, our clients have forced dozens of institutions to change their operations and enact more stringent child protection procedures. Intern this will protect children in the future and prevent sexual abuse.
Our attorneys are sought-after experts in the field of sexual abuse representation. When stories break, we are often the first call reporters make to get an in-depth legal analysis of a case, or a new law and how it impacts survivors. We have been interviewed numerous times by all major networks including NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, HLN, and more.
We have been quoted in and given expert interviews to all major newspapers and magazines across the country including The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, The Associated Press, and more.
Our lawyers are committed to trauma-informed lawyering, this means we consider the unique traumatic experiences our clients face, and we build that into our overall approach. We do this by first taking the time to understand the impact of the trauma on our clients. We understand that patience is a key factor in building a trusting and lasting client-attorney relationship, we do not rush our clients and we understand that they may only share parts of their story as they are ready. We offer accommodations to help survivors feel safe during interviews and witness preparation.
Because survivors have often been fearful about telling their stories and have had negative or re-traumatizing experiences, we do everything we can to ensure that they are not re-traumatized by the system or media during our representation of them. Finally, we encourage self-care and emotional support for our clients, by understanding what they have been through we can help them create a self-care plan that includes things like therapy with trained trauma-informed counselors, support groups, advocacy organizations, treatment facilities, and more.
Our lawyers have received training in identifying trauma, adapting the client-attorney relationship to meet the needs of the client, and coming up with creative litigation strategies taking all these factors into account. Our attorneys have also lectured across the country and presented seminars to advocates and other attorneys on issues related to childhood and adult sexual abuse. We have also been called upon by legislators seeking to make changes to the law that might advance the interest of survivors.
Our best measure of success remains in the satisfaction and empowerment of our clients. When we can help someone find their voice, tell their story, hold their perpetrators and the institutions that failed to protect them accountable, and receive hope, healing, and justice. That is the greatest win of all. We have witnessed transformations in clients that have been miraculous to watch, clients who have gone on and sought treatment and found recovery from substance use, who have gotten the therapy necessary to create new paths in their lives, to getting married and having children when they never thought they could.
This is why Andreozzi + Foote is the firm you want representing you in a sexual abuse case.