Vince W. Finaldi

Vince Finaldi, New York abuse lawyer

Education

  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 2002
  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 2005

Practice Areas

Litigation of civil actions involving childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, and harassment, electronic harassment, and violation of civil rights; Marsy’s Law representation of victims in criminal proceedings; advocacy for changes to legislation for the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • Western District of Michigan

Professional Biography

Mr. Finaldi’s practice is concentrated on litigation of civil actions involving sexual harassment, assault, exploitation, molestation and abuse in educational, sports, familial, recreational, employment, religious and other settings, and actions involving violation of civil rights.

A highly skilled sexual abuse trial lawyer with numerous substantial verdicts to his name, and a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated litigator, ranked at the highest level of professional excellence, Mr. Finaldi has successfully tried and litigated multiple significant, national media-garnering sexual assault claims against individuals, religious entities, public entities and Fortune 500 companies, at the trial, appellate and Supreme Court levels, helping to define the liability and duties of these entities with respect to such claims.

Mr. Finaldi’s practice extends beyond litigation to Marsy’s Law representation of victim-witnesses in criminal proceedings, consultation on sexual abuse matters throughout the U.S. and Europe, participation in community outreach and training, and advocacy for changes to legislation for the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Mr. Finaldi has been a featured legal commentator on sexual abuse issues in television, radio and print media, including in-depth investigative reports by Brian Ross of ABC’s 20/20, HDNet’s Dan Rather Reports, CNN and most of the major media outlets.

Published Decisions

C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High School Dist., (2012) 53 Cal.4th 861—This landmark precedent-setting California Supreme Court decision sets the scope of a California public entity’s liability for the sexually abusive acts of its agents. Mr. Finaldi represented a minor who sued his high school district and guidance counselor for damages arising out of sexual harassment and abuse by the counselor. The District moved to dismiss the claim, contending that it could not be held liable for the negligence or supervisory failures of administrative personnel who knew or should have known, of the counselor’s activities. After the trial and appellate courts agreed with the Defendant’s position, Manly, Stewart & Finaldi fought this case to the California Supreme Court and prevailed. The Supreme Court issued a published decision holding the minor’s claim against the public entity, for negligently hiring, retaining and supervising the perpetrator, was legally viable.

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Notable Cases

Mr. Finaldi has assisted in the recovery of over 1.7 billion dollars on behalf of his clients. Here is a small representative sample of his trial, litigation and arbitration experience:

  • Denhollander v. Michigan State University, et al., (“Dr. Larry Nassar Cases”) (2018) Various Courts in Michigan and California, – $500,000,000.00 global settlement on behalf of 333 female athletes, mostly gymnasts, and some of whom were United States National Team members and Olympians, who were sexually abused by Dr. Lawrence Nassar, a team doctor.
  • John AJ Doe v. Torrance Unified School District, et al., (“Wrestling Cases”) (2018) Los Angeles Superior Court, –$31,000,000.00 global settlement, on the eve of trial, in a multi-victim sexual abuse case involving boys who were sexually assaulted by their wrestling coach at Torrance High School, Mr. Thomas Snider.
  • John Does v. Army and Navy Academy, et al., (2018) San Diego Superior Court, – $5,750,000.00 settlement on behalf of two boys who were sexually abused by Jeffrey Barton, the former headmaster of the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California—a residential military boarding school for boys.
  • Gagliardo v. Diblin, (2018) San Diego Superior Court, – $3,561,648.91 jury verdict, after a three-week trial, on behalf of a woman who whose housemate bludgeoned her with a mallet and attempted to sexually assault her.
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton Bankruptcy, (2017) U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of California, –$15,000,000.00 global settlement of on behalf of multiple victims of child sexual abuse by priests and employees of the Diocese of Stockton, California, after the Diocese filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • John Does v. Making Waves Academy, (2017) Contra Costa Superior Court, – 4,750,000.00 global settlement on behalf of boys who were molested by their teacher, Ronald Giunto, at a magnet school in Northern California.
  • Hagan v. Army and Navy Academy, et al., (2017) San Diego Superior Court, – $2,761,761.00 jury verdict, after a four week trial, on behalf of a boy who was sexually assaulted by Juan Munoz, an employee at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California—a residential military boarding school for boys.
  • John ZB Doe, et al. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al., (“De La Torre Cases”) (2016) Los Angeles Superior Court, –$58,000,000.00 global settlement of an 18-victim child sexual abuse action that included infliction of emotional distress awards for 19 parent plaintiffs of the victims. The victims were sexually fondled by Robert Pimental, their teacher at George De La Torre Elementary School, in the Los Angeles Unified School District, over the course of several years.
  • John KV Doe, et al. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al., (“Telfair Cases”) (2016) Los Angeles Superior Court, –$23,805,000.00 global settlement of 10-victim child sexual abuse action. The victims were sexually assaulted by notorious teacher Paul Chapel III at Tel Fair Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This is believed to be the largest per-victim documented settlement of a child sexual abuse action against a public entity.
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup Bankruptcy, (2016) U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Mexico, – $17,600,000.00 global settlement on behalf of numerous victims of childhood sexual abuse by priests and employees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico.
  • John BB Doe v. Redlands Unified School District, et al., (2016) Riverside Superior Court– $6,000,000.00 settlement on the eve of trial on behalf of a boy who was molested by his teacher, Laura Whitehurst, at Citrus Valley High School, in Redlands California, became a pregnant, and birthed a child.
  • John TDC Doe, et al. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al., (2015) Los Angeles Superior Court, – $6,195,900.00 jury verdict in a 2-victim child sexual abuse action after a four-week trial. The victims were sexually fondled by Paul Chapel III, their teacher at Tel Fair Elementary School, in the Los Angeles Unified School District, over the course of several years.
  • A.M., et al. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al., (“Miramonte Cases”) (2014) Los Angeles Superior Court, –$139,500,000.00 global settlement of 81-victim child sexual abuse action that included infliction of emotional distress awards for 131 parents of the victims. The victims were sexually assaulted by notorious teacher Mark Berndt at Miramonte Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This is believed to be the largest documented settlement of a child sexual abuse action against a public entity.
  • John MG, PH, DM, AE Does v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, et al., (2013) Los Angeles Superior Court, –$9,990,000.00 global settlement of four child sexual abuse actions, at the precipice of trial, in cases involving sexual abuse by notorious Los Angeles Roman Catholic priest Father Michael Baker.
  • Diana C. v. Lodi Unified School District, et al., (2013) San Joaquin County Superior Court, – Jury verdict of 90% liability against a public school district, after the four-week first phase of the trial, in a case involving the sexual molestation of a mentally disabled child by her school bus driver. $4,750,000.00 settlement achieved during the second phase of the trial.
  • John TH Doe v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Orange, et al., (2012) Orange County Superior Court, – Consummation of$2,000,000.00 settlement of child sexual abuse action, on the first day of trial, in a case involving the sexual abuse of a student by notorious Orange County Roman Catholic priest Father Michael Harris, by successfully arguing the Serviceman’s Civil Relief Act tolled the statute of limitations on the United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel’s claim.
  • John TZ Doe v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton, et al., (2012) San Joaquin County Superior Court, – Unanimous jury verdict on all counts, after a 9-week first phase of trial, in a case involving the 25-year-old recovered memories of sexual abuse of a boy by notorious Roman Catholic priest Father Michael Kelly, and $3,750,000.00 settlement during second phase of trial.
  • John VG Doe v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, et al., (2011) Los Angeles County Superior Court, – Consummation of $1,500,000.00 settlement on behalf of victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of Father Fernando Lopez-Lopez, an extern priest serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by way of Tivoli, Italy.http://www.hd.net/blogs/coming-up-on-tuesday-june-21/
  • John MR Doe v. Army-Navy Academy, Carlsbad, California, et al., (2011) San Diego County Superior Court, – Consummation of $650,000.00 settlement on behalf of former cadet of the Army and Navy Academy of Carlsbad, California, who alleged severe sexual hazing and abuse at the hands of peer cadets at the military boarding school.
  • John AT Doe v. City of Los Angeles Fire Department, et al., (2011) U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Los Angeles District Office, – Consummation of $494,150.00 conciliation between client firefighter and City of Los Angeles Fire Department, in a case alleging discrimination on basis of sex and religious status. The agreement mandates implementation of non-monetary changes to the policies and procedures of the fire department to protect against such further harassment and abuse against members of the fire department.
  • Doe v. Doe, (2010) Orange County Superior Court; Doe v. Doe, (2010) Los Angeles County Superior Court, – Consummation of $2,200,000.00 settlement on behalf of victim alleging childhood sexual abuse at the hands of notorious priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles—Father Michael Stephen Baker—on the eve of trial.
  • 110 Separate Actions Against the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, (2007) Various Superior Courts in the State of Alaska, – Consummation of $50,000,000.00 global settlement of 110 separate sexual abuse claims against the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.
  • Jane CR Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, et al.; Jane ALS Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, et al.; Jane KE Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, et al.; Jane A. Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, et al., (2007) Orange County Superior Court, – Consummation of $6,685,000.00 global settlement of four high-profile cases involving the sexual abuse of students at Roman Catholic high schools and parishes in the County of Orange, during the third week of trial in the Jane C.R. Doe matter.
  • In Re: The Clergy Cases II (JCCP No.: 4297), (2007) San Diego Superior Court, – Participation in, and consummation of$198,100,000.00 global settlement of 144 sexual abuse claims during the sixth month of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. The Diocese had filed for Chapter 11 protection just days prior to Manly & Stewart commencing trial in the John B. v. John Doe 1, et al. matter.
  • In Re: The Clergy Cases I (JCCP No.: 4286), (2007) Los Angeles Superior Court, – Participation in, and consummation of$660,000,000.00 global settlement of 508 sexual abuse claims just days prior to Manly & Stewart commencing trial in the John Doe v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Los Angeles, et al. matter.
  • John PJ Doe v. Doe 1, et al., (2006) Alameda Superior Court, – $700,000.00 settlement, during the fourth week of trial, on behalf of Plaintiff who alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a lay teacher at Roman Catholic High School in the late 1970s.

Personal Biography

After completing high school, Mr. Finaldi served four years as an Infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning numerous decorations and a meritorious promotion before his honorable discharge in 1997. He went on to complete an internship with Georgetown University Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic and his undergraduate education at U.C. Berkeley, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in Legal Studies in 2002. Mr. Finaldi completed his legal education at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, where he served as an Editor for the Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, participated in joint study courses with the Georgetown University Law Center and University College of London, and worked as a legal clerk for Manly & McGuire (presently Manly, Stewart & Finaldi), earning his J.D. in 2005.

An avid European vintage motorsport enthusiast and marque specialist, Mr. Finaldi occasionally renders legal services and dispute resolution in the areas of national and international motor vehicle transactions, provenance, compliance, and marketing.

Mr. Finaldi is admitted to the State Bar of California, the United States Federal District Courts Eastern and Central, and is a member of the Orange County Bar Association.

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