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Richard M. Serbin - Altoona, PA

1522 N. 6th Avenue Altoona, PA 16601

Super Lawyers®

1

Updated: 06/05/2024

Altoona Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Overview

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...

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.

He has appeared on NBC National Nightly News, the Today Show, NPR and other radio stations, and has been cited or quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Daily Beast, and numerous other national and Pennsylvania newspapers. Mr. Serbin was recently on the cover and featured in the 2019 Pennsylvania/Delaware Super Lawyers® edition for his work uncovering the truth behind clergy sexual abuse.

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 represented child abuse survivors in claims against every diocese in Pennsylvania, and in the process, revealed the ugly and unconscionable actions of church leaders, which were years later publicly 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 and 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 expanded his practice to representing survivors of abuse nationwide. He has represented hundreds of victims of child sexual abuse involving employers, teachers, counselors, coaches, and doctors. Additionally, he has successfully secured settlements for child sexual abuse survivors whose claims were outside the statute 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.

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 lent his expertise and been a speaker at seminars offered by various trial lawyer and professional organizations.

About Richard M. Serbin

Practice Areas

  • Sexual Abuse

Litigation

  • 100%

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Preeminent Sexual Abuse Attorney

Qualifications

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1974
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1974
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1981
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1985
  • North Carolina, 1996

Specialties and Certifications

  • Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1989

Other Affiliations

  • American Association of Justice
  • Pennsylvania Association for Justice

Education

  • Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1974
    J.D.
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1970
    B.A.

Pro Bono Activities

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Blair County
  • Lecturer - Various Legal Association/Institutes

Classes and Seminars

  • What Civil Judges Want You to Know, NBI, 2010 - 2012
  • Various Instructional Courses, PBI
  • Panelist, PA Conf State Trial Judges

Achievements

Other Sources of Feedback About Richard M. Serbin

Included on the 2024 Pennsylvania list


Past Lists

  • 2023 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2015 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2013 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2012 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2011 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list
  • 2006 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Richard M. Serbin on Super Lawyers

Honors

  • Pennsylvania Legal Awards — 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, 2024
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers 2006, 2011-2017, 2019-2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2022 - 2023
  • Martindale Hubbell - AV Rating
  • Million Dollar Advocate Forum
  • Who's Who in American Law

Photo

Office Information

Address

1522 N. 6th Avenue Altoona, PA 16601

Publication

Articles

  • When Clergy Fail Their Flocks, Trial Magazine, May, 2002

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