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Stephen C. Rubino
Of Counsel

Accomplishments

Stephen Rubino is a practicing attorney who has concentrated his practice over the last 34 years by representing survivors of early childhood and adolescent sexual abuse.

Initially working in New Jersey, Steve’s practice grew and led him to a national presence, ultimately representing well over 1,000 abuse survivors in seventeen states, the District of Columbia, St. John’s Newfoundland, the Canadian Northwest Territories and Nunavut, in the Eastern Arctic.

Steve graduated from the Catholic University Law School of America in 1974 and completed his first criminal jury trial in the clinical program for the State of Florida in the state’s law student prosecutors’ program. While working in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in Fort Pierce Florida Steve tried cases in the Felony, Misdemeanor, and Juvenile Divisions, eventually heading-up the Criminal Intake Division. During his tenure, Steve achieved certification status as an instructor for both the Florida Police Standards and Florida Correctional Standards Academies.

Early on, Steve acquired insight into the depth of harm that victims abused by clergy endure and was the first to develop the concept of “religious duress” as an essential element in explaining why survivors waited for so many years to speak of their abuse. Subsequently refined by Thomas Doyle, Marianne Benkert, and Richard Sipe in ground-breaking research, “religious duress” became the building block for a survivor’s statute of limitations to be equitably tolled. Recognizing that statutes of limitation were barring most victims from the Courts, Steve fought harder and wiser to stretch the parameters of justice. Ultimately, his unrelenting efforts not only assisted thousands of survivors but also likely prevented an untold number of children from having their innocence shattered.

Sexual Abuse Litigator | Published Author & Lecturer

1993 – Was the first attorney to file and settle a civil racketeering lawsuit against the Catholic Church in Federal Court in New Jersey in 1993. As a published author in both professional and traditional media, Steve’s work has been profiled in numerous print outlets and television networks.

1993 to 2010 – For 17 years, served as Chairman of the Childhood Sexual Abuse Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. (Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) He also participated in the national pro bono program representing 9/11 victims harmed by the terror attack on the World Trade Center as part of the Trial Lawyers Care Project.

2008 – Selected as one of nine finalists for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Public Justice Foundation for inspirational work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Diocese of San Diego Catholic Abuse Litigations.

2010 to 2013 – Accepted a Judicial Appointment as President and CEO of The Estate of Martin Luther King Jr., Inc. As head of the corporation, Mr. Rubino administered all of the intellectual property of Dr. King throughout the world.

2014 – Received the “Pioneer Award” from the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Steve was honored for his “commitment to the advancement of individual rights, civil liberties and deep compassion for the survivors of sexual violence”

Steve has lectured extensively on the intricacies of the cover-up in the Catholic Church, the Secret Archives, internal record keeping and how Catholic Bishops have used draconian statutes of limitation to suppress what would otherwise be viable claims against the Church.

Clergy and Sexual Abuse | Act of Faith

Most recently, prior to joining Baldante & Rubenstein PC, Steve has consulted with dozens of law firms from across the country, as well as several law enforcement agencies and State Attorney Generals in investigating clergy sexual abuse. In 2022, Steve published Act of Faith in 2021, reaching Amazon’s coveted # 1 status. www.actoffaithbook.com. The historical novel is a searing multi-generational story drawn from Steve’s 34 years of experience in representing survivors. The novel is an unflinching account of the largest criminal cover-up in American history. Act of Faith chronicles the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as it hides a sexual predator in plain sight and how two siblings, both abuse survivors, use the judicial system to shine light into the darkness of systemic corruption.

What People Have Said About Act of Faith

Told through the lens of an empathic, tireless advocate, Rubino sheds important new light on a story we’ve sadly heard before.  This perspective offers unique and valuable insight and hope. A compassionate champion for the truth, Rubino’s Act of Faith is an important contribution to the movement.  A novel that reads like fact because it is based on the experience of a tireless advocate for so many. Jeffrey Anderson, Founder of Anderson & Associates representing victims of child sexual abuse since 1981

Fast paced and elegantly written, Act of Faith offers a deep dive into the truth about the corruption at the highest levels of the Catholic Church. A work of fiction woven in the harsh reality of fact. At six hundred plus pages Act of Faith is a necessary addition to anyone’s library on the history of the Catholic Church abuse scandal.  Thomas P. Doyle Former Priest Secretary to Papal Ambassador Pio  Lagi, Vatican Whistleblower

Act of Faith is a legal thriller, adroitly plotted by a practitioner who knows the snakes and daggers that threaten cases seeking true justice. Layered into the suspense, Steve Rubino advances the riveting story of an Italian family awakening to painful secrets that bring them to a profound spiritual reckoning. Jason Berry, author of Lead Us Not into Temptation

Spellbinding! This captivating novel conveys the epic courage of Catholic sex abuse victims who came forward in the early 90s, when no one wanted to believe them.  Never has the story of these early whistleblowers been told with such feeling, and small wonder – Steve Rubino knows this story better than anyone. Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director, BishopAccountability.org

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court for the State of New Jersey
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Publications

  • Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Meets the Civil Law
    • Stephen C. Rubino – Thomas P. Doyle
    • Fordham Urban Law Journal Publication
    • Volume 31, Issue 2 2003 Article 6
  • Connecticut Law Review
    • Volume 39 February 2007 Number 3
    • Comment by Stephen C. Rubino
    • A Response to Timothy Lytton:
    • Staunch Resistance to the Inclusion of Laity in Priest Discipline Has Stymied Permanent Change to the Structure of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Suffer the Parents: Clergy Sexual Abuse of Children
    • Trial Magazine February 1996

Media Profiles

  • Larry King Live 1993
    • Hayes v. Diocese of Camden
  • RTE Primetime Irish Television Documentary 2001
    • Betrayal – The Christian Brothers of Ireland
  • NBC Dateline Special with Jane Pauley
    • Father Figures – The Diocese of Camden
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    • The Cross-Examiner – June 2002
  • New Jersey Monthly Magazine
    • Sins of the Fathers – September 1996

 

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