Janet Janet & Suggs

Speaker Bio

Richard M. Serbin is a leader in the Sexual Abuse Division of Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC, a national law firm that has successfully represented thousands of survivors of sexual abuse. Mr. Serbin has been nationally recognized as a “crusader” for the rights of those abused by Catholic Clergy and as one of the first legal advocates for survivors of abuse by Catholic priests and clergy. His diligence, commitment, experience and accomplishments representing hundreds of survivors against the Catholic Church are widely recognized for helping to bring these atrocities to light. His work on behalf of victims has been featured in numerous national outlets, including The Daily Beast, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Wall Street Journal.

He has appeared on NBC National Nightly News, the Today Show and radio, and has been cited or quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Daily Beast, the Philadelphia Inquirer and numerous local Pennsylvania newspapers, including those in Pittsburgh, State College, Johnstown, Altoona, Harrisburg and York.

Since 1987, Mr. Serbin has devoted himself to representing victims of sexual abuse, most often in the context of clergy child molestation cases. He was at the forefront of exposing the appalling and evil actions of bishops and church leaders in protecting priests who committed vile and unspeakable acts against innocent children fifteen years before the Boston Globe exposed nationally the scandalous conduct of the Boston Archdiocese. He has filed lawsuits against nearly every diocese in Pennsylvania, and in the process, revealed the ugly and unconscionable actions of church leaders, which were years later publically disclosed in various Pennsylvania Grand Jury reports.

Mr. Serbin tried and won the first case in Pennsylvania against a diocese, bishop and child predator. That case, Hutchison v Luddy and the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, et al, created new law in the field of sexual abuse. It gave sexual assault survivors the right to bring a claim against the church for negligent retention and supervision of a pedophile priest, along with the right to recover punitive (punishment) damages for the outrageous acts of covering up and moving from parish to parish known child predators.

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury called upon Mr. Serbin to provide expert and factual testimony about the rampant sexual abuse he played a major role in uncovering. He assisted the PA Attorney General’s office in identifying 109 child predators, covering assignments in every diocese in Pennsylvania. His clients’ cases are profiled throughout the Grand Jury’s reports. The Hutchison v Luddy case is cited extensively in two Grand Jury Reports (March 2016 & August 2018) following a two-year investigation commissioned by the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Mr. Serbin has successfully argued major cases in the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme courts, which are cited throughout the country by other courts, in legal treatises and numerous law review articles, as establishing legal precedent in various areas of the law.

Mr. Serbin has represented hundreds of victims of clergy sexual abuse, employer sexual abuse/harassment, and counselor/child sexual abuse. Additionally, he has successfully secured settlements for child sexual abuse survivors whose claims were outside the statue of limitations. He has earned a reputation for being a compassionate and understanding advocate for those who have endured the trauma of being sexually assaulted by someone who betrays their trust and respect, especially while they were a minor.

He is the author of When Clergy Fail Their Flocks published in Trial Magazine, the Journal of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (May 2002). Mr. Serbin has also lectured to attorneys at seminars offered by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the National Business Institute.