Abuse

Courts do not tolerate physical, sexual or emotional abuse of any person, and especially any child. When one of our clients is a victim, we know the immediate steps to take, 24 hours a day. We have experience in all forums dealing with abuse, from the initial contact with law enforcement, ex parte orders of adult and child protection, investigations by juvenile authorities and guardians ad litem, and the securing of testimony by expert counselors, therapists and other healthcare professionals.

Dan Pingelton has always aggressively litigated cases for abuse victims. Under no circumstances should any case ever be resolved on the basis of fear. Certain cases require maximum protection, and when necessary, we have obtained orders denying all contact with abusers, as well as monetary compensation for injuries. (One of these sexual abuse perpetrators remains in prison, almost twenty years later.)

False Allegations. Some of the most troubling events are false accusations of abuse, especially sexual abuse. Here is an example from a case that Dan Pingelton handled about 15 years ago:

Mom and Dad had joint custody of daughter, age 12. The daughter chose to spend most of her time at Dad’s house. The parents had a strained relationship. Mom took daughter in to see a new pediatrician. She “heard through the grapevine” that this pediatrician had a new contract with the juvenile office to provide expert services in cases where sexual abuse had been alleged. The pediatrician hot-lined Dad, reporting that during her first examination of the child, she claimed being sexually abused by her father. Dan Pingelton reviewed the pediatrician’s report. He noticed that part of it appeared to be coached. After additional investigation, Dan Pingelton agreed to represent Dad. Initially, every social service agency believed Mom and disbelieved Dad. They did not perceive elements of coaching that we recognized. Dan Pingelton worked more than a year, through several court hearings, five different DFS caseworkers, and an untrained guardian ad litem to finally convince the court that Mom had coached the daughter. Eventually, even the daughter recanted, testifying that her mother had encouraged the false report. None of it was true. In the end, after the judge had ruled in Dad’s favor, Mom admitted that she had lied. The daughter returned to Dad’s home.

This not only damaged the child, but wasted precious resources that should have been used to help real victims of abuse. The social service agencies, therapists, investigators and guardians ad litem usually do a good job, and they get it right. But once in awhile, for various reasons, they get things really wrong. And when that happens, you need a competent, aggressive attorney who is not afraid to tell all the other “experts” that they’re just wrong. Dan Pingelton has done that before, and he will do it again if necessary. Hopefully, you will never have to deal with this. But if you do, Dan Pingelton will be there for you.

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