Pro Bono Spotlight: Crew Janci LLP
May 31, 2016
Although based in Portland, Oregon, the law firm of Crew Janci LLP provides tenacious advocacy and expert advice for crime victims in civil cases in Oregon and around the country. They are currently representing 25 victims of sexual abuse in Minnesota in cases against the Boy Scouts and 15 survivors of sexual abuse at the elite Pingry School in New Jersey. Their work sometimes extends beyond US borders – including their success in 2015 on behalf of 13 women abused at the elite American School in Japan, and their current pro bono representation of a group of American women who were victimized while living in Bangladesh as the children of missionaries sponsored by a US-based missionary organization.
These cases are just the most recent expressions of the decade-long commitment of partners Stephen Crew and Peter Janci to representing victims of sexual violence and other crime.
As a trial lawyer for more than 30 years, Stephen Crew has tried more than 100 jury trials – including an $84 million antitrust jury verdict (the largest such verdict ever in the Pacific Northwest). But Crew says his greatest satisfaction has come during the last decade of his career, where he has focused almost exclusively on representing crime victims – predominantly survivors of childhood sexual abuse against perpetrators and institutions that have enabled them (including the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, the Mormon Church, schools, and other organizations).
Crew’s partner, attorney Peter Janci, has focused his career from the outset on representing victims of sexual violence. Over nearly a decade, Janci has represented more than 100 victims of sexual violence, including his work in 2010 as part of the Plaintiff’s trial team in Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts of America in Portland (which resulted in a $19.9 million verdict for the Plaintiff).
Crew explains the common theme running through all of their firm’s cases: “Each victim has a unique story about what happened and the impact it has had. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in healing and recovery. We believe the legal process should serve the survivor in their healing – not the other way around. Our caring and experienced team is dedicated to empowering victims to achieve the healing they need and the justice they deserve in a way that best serves the particular individual.”
Crew and Janci explain that they got their start in representing victims of crime by working alongside their former colleague, famed Oregon champion for victims, attorney Kelly W.G. Clark. For nearly twenty years, Clark was a leading advocate for victims of child abuse, both in the legislature and as a civil attorney representing hundreds of people sexually abused by trusted adults. Following Kelly Clark’s unexpected death in 2013, Crew Janci committed to carrying on Clark’s legacy of excellent advocacy for survivors of sexual abuse and other crimes.
Janci explains: “It is a great privilege to observe the positive transformation that takes place when victims accept the truth: that it was not their fault and that they deserve to be respected and protected. These survivors – speaking out and demanding justice and change – they are the ones making the world safer and protecting the next generations. They are the heroes.”