ASWT Managing Partner Mike Arias was featured on the front page of the Daily Journal discussing “‘Roes’ and ‘Does’ clog court dockets as attorneys raced to beat expiring sex assault law”.
The feature discusses the flood of civil cases seen last month in California state courts using the placeholders of Doe and Roe. This is thanks to AB 218, a 2019 law that opened a three-year exception to the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. Plaintiff attorneys specializing in civil sexual assault claims, like Mike Arias, agree that the law and its deadline are widely misunderstood.
Permanently the law raised the age at which plaintiffs would need to file a special “certificate of merit” from 26 to 40.The law also opened a temporary three-year window from 2019-2022 for plaintiffs over 40, to file cases without meeting those requirements.
Mike Has experience filing dozens of cases under AB 218 in multiple state courts and noted that “the law amended the state code of civil procedure to require a plaintiff over the age of 40 to be named by ‘Doe’ designation in any pleadings or papers filed in the action until corroborative fact as to the charging allegations against that defendant”. He believes this has to do with how far back some of the claims seeking damages for abuse go, some occurring in the 1960’s or earlier.
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