Not all cases are won at trial. Most are won before trial.
Our client, JB, was charged with 5 separate counts of 2nd degree Criminal Sexual Contact, each carrying the possibility of 15 years in person plus lifetime sex offender reporting. Most sex abuse cases happen outside public view, but not this one: according to the police, JB abused his step-granddaughter at her birthday party that took place at a bowling alley while twenty or so family members and friends were present. Not only did this case get filed, but it was pending in the courts for nearly 18 months before the prosecutor dismissed it just as trial was set to start.
This was a classic he-said/she-said. We did not achieve this good (and right) result at once, but slowly over time. Through patience over the course of many meetings and court appearances we were able to show the many weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case:
We pushed for the girl’s counseling records to show inconsistencies in her reporting of this event;
We uncovered and then highlighted the girl’s highly dysfunctional family environment, not the least of which was the fact that her mother and many of her female relatives had all complained about being sexually abused by other family members in the past.
In time, the prosecutor recognized that the case lacked merit so he dismissed it. That was not only a good result for the client, but it was the right call. Michael Gildner handles far more civil cases than this kind of criminal case, but the key to winning both kinds of cases is thorough investigative and pretrial work and dogged determination to get the best result for the client.