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Richard M. Serbin

1522 N. 6th Avenue Altoona, Pennsylvania 16601
Firm: Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC
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Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC

Years In Practice

Phone Number (814) 944-6111

Richard M. Serbin is a leader in the Sexual Abuse Division of Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC, a national law firm that has successfully represented thousands of survivors of sexual abuse. Mr. Serbin has been nationally recognized as a “crusader” for the rights of those abused by Catholic Clergy and as one of the first legal advocates for survivors of abuse by Catholic priests and clergy. His diligence, commitment, experience, and accomplishments representing hundreds of survivors against the Catholic Church are widely recognized for helping to bring these atrocities to light. 

He has appeared on NBC National Nightly News, the Today Show, NPR and other radio stations, and has been cited or quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Daily Beast, and numerous other national and Pennsylvania newspapers. Mr. Serbin was recently on the cover and featured in the 2019 Pennsylvania/Delaware Super Lawyers® edition for his work uncovering the truth behind clergy sexual abuse.

Since 1987, Mr. Serbin has devoted himself to representing victims of sexual abuse, most often in the context of clergy child molestation cases. He was at the forefront of exposing the appalling and evil actions of bishops and church leaders in protecting priests who committed vile and unspeakable acts against innocent children fifteen years before the Boston Globe exposed nationally the scandalous conduct of the Boston Archdiocese. He has represented child abuse survivors in claims against every diocese in Pennsylvania, and in the process, revealed the ugly and unconscionable actions of church leaders, which were years later publicly disclosed in various Pennsylvania Grand Jury reports.

Mr. Serbin tried and won the first case in Pennsylvania against a diocese, bishop and child predator. That case, Hutchison v Luddy and the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, et al, created new law in the field of sexual abuse. It gave sexual assault survivors the right to bring a claim against the church for negligent retention and supervision of a pedophile priest, along with the right to recover punitive (punishment) damages for the outrageous acts of covering up and moving from parish to parish known child predators.

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury called upon Mr. Serbin to provide expert and factual testimony about the rampant sexual abuse he played a major role in uncovering. He assisted the PA Attorney General’s office in identifying 109 child predators, covering assignments in every diocese in Pennsylvania. His clients’ cases are profiled throughout the Grand Jury’s reports. The Hutchison v Luddy case is cited extensively in two Grand Jury Reports (March 2016 and August 2018) following a two-year investigation commissioned by the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Mr. Serbin has successfully argued major cases in the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme courts, which are cited throughout the country by other courts, in legal treatises and numerous law review articles, as establishing legal precedent in various areas of the law.

Mr. Serbin expanded his practice to representing survivors of abuse nationwide. He has represented hundreds of victims of child sexual abuse involving employers, teachers, counselors, coaches, and doctors. Additionally, he has successfully secured settlements for child sexual abuse survivors whose claims were outside the statute of limitations. He has earned a reputation for being a compassionate and understanding advocate for those who have endured the trauma of being sexually assaulted by someone who betrays their trust and respect.

He is the author of When Clergy Fail Their Flocks published in Trial Magazine, the Journal of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (May 2002). Mr. Serbin has lent his expertise and been a speaker at seminars offered by various trial lawyer and professional organizations.

What legal services does this lawyer offer?
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® 2006, 2011-2017, 2019-2023
  • Delaware Super Lawyers® 2019
  • Board-certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1989-Present

  • Member, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum

  • Listed in Who’s Who in American Law

Duquesne University
Graduated 1974
University of Pittsburgh
Graduated 1970
Contact Details and Office Locations
1522 N. 6th Avenue
Altoona, Pennsylvania 16601
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