Attorney Jeff Herman has weighed in his thought on the Harvey Weinstein Case and civil litigation overall. He says that it is entirely possible that Harvey Weinstein will be able to get a not guilty verdict in regards to all of the allegations of many women that he has engaged in sexual harassment and sexual assault for years. The reason for this is that in a criminal trial the prosecutor has to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crimes they are charged with.
Jeff Herman is a trial lawyer who supports victims of rape and any other form sexual abuse. He is the founder of Herman Law and is currently the Firm’s Managing Partner. Jeff Herman is dedicated to his work in helping victims find justice. In his firm, he has created an analytical unit that assists him to break down his cases to either facts or theory. He usually visualizes his work on whiteboards at his office to avoid destruction. For over a decade, Herman has made national headlines exposing sexual predators and the institutions that protect them.
Proving a crime occurred beyond a reasonable doubt is difficult in many cases but is really difficult to do in sexual crimes. Jeff Herman says that the reason this is the case is that the evidence generally comes to a “he-said-she-said” situation where it is one person’s word against another’s. Right from the start, the prosecution in these types of cases is facing an uphill battle from the get-go.
However, regardless of how the criminal case ends the victims of sexual crimes can sue in civil court. Jeff Herman says that it is in civil court that victims of sexual crimes often find their only justice. There are a number of reasons that victims find more success in civil courts over criminal courts. One of the largest reasons for this is that the burden of proof is much lower. The victim has to prove that it is more likely the crime was committed than what it wasn’t rather than the very high hurdle of proving beyond a reasonable doubt.
Another thing helping victims in civil court, Jeff Herman says, is that they have a say in how the case is handled. In criminal court, the victims are merely witnesses to the crime for the prosecution and have no say at all in how the case is prosecuted. In civil court, though, their own lawyer is handling the case so the victim does have a say in how the case is handled. If the victim wins in civil court they generally receive money damages from the defendant. More of Jeff Herman’s thought on civil litigation can be read in this article.