Will We Win the Case?

Sexual assault can be difficult to prove. There are no guarantees of winning a civil lawsuit. There are usually no witnesses. The alleged offender may claim that the survivor actually consented to the sexual assault, deny that the abuse occurred, blame the survivor, or rationalize their own conduct. These factors often compound the anxiety of going to court and telling the world what happened.

Before having a survivor of sexual assault go through this process, a lawyer will first decide if there is a realistic chance of winning the case. The lawyer must be able to prove on a balance of probability (i.e., more likely yes than no) that the assault occurred and that damage was suffered. There is no true consent if it is obtained by threats, intimidation, or through breach of trust.

Evidence is an important part of winning a case. Although there may be no eyewitness proof of a sexual assault, there can be other corroborating evidence. Perhaps the survivor told a friend, family member or health care professional of the assaults. In some instances, there may be evidence in the form of letters or diaries that the survivor kept during the abuse. The alleged offender may have a history of abuse, relevant medical or psychological history, or a tendency to violence. If the offender has been criminally convicted, this will help the survivor's case.

In reality the vast majority of civil cases do not end up in a trial. Rather they are settled out of court. The amount of the settlement depends on the strength of the case and the damages which the survivor has suffered.

Date

Type

Title

Related People

Related Services

May 2021

Presentation

Practicing in the Pandemic: The New Normal

OTLA Spring Conference

Loretta P. Merritt

April 2021

Presentation

Making the Most of Expert Evidence

OTLA Webinar

Loretta P. Merritt

March 2021

Article

Economic Losses in Civil Sexual Assault Cases

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

February 2021

Presentation

Civil Sexual Assault: Critical and Emerging Issues

Osgoode Professional Development

Loretta P. Merritt

February 2021

Presentation

Mentoring

Torkin Manes

Loretta P. Merritt

February 2021

Presentation

Compensation and Financial Management

Torkin Manes - Justicia Committee

Loretta P. Merritt

January 2021

Presentation

Imposter Syndrome

Torkin Manes - Justicia Committee

Loretta P. Merritt

December 2020

Presentation

Financial Management of Your Practice

Torkin Manes

Loretta P. Merritt

December 2020

Article

Publication Bans: Do They Help or Hurt Abuse Survivors?

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

December 2020

Presentation

Litigating Class Actions Claims Amidst Profound Change

12th Annual Class Actions Colloquium presented by the Canadian Bar Association

Loretta P. Merritt

October 2020

Presentation

Sexual Abuse: Developing a Claim for Vicarious Liability

OTLA 2020 Fall Conference

Loretta P. Merritt

July 2020

Presentation

Civil Sexual Assault - Practical Considerations - Civil litigation and other options beyond criminal charges

OTLA Webinar

Loretta P. Merritt

July 2020

Article

School Board Liability for Sexual Assaults by Teacher

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

May 2020

Presentation

Girao v. Cunningham: Latest Word on Trial Evidence by the Ontario Court of Appeal

Torkin Manes

Loretta P. Merritt

May 2020

Presentation

Sexual Assault: Credibility and Memory Issues

OTLA Webinar

Loretta P. Merritt

April 2020

Article

The problems with class actions for historical sexual abuse cases

 The Lawyer’s Daily

Loretta P. Merritt

December 2019

Article

Busting Sexual Assault Myths (Still)

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

May 2019

Article

Nude Video Chats Are Voyeurism

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

April 2019

Article

What Does #MeToo Mean for Lawyers?

OTLA - The Litigator magazine

Loretta P. Merritt

February 2019

Presentation

Credibility and Memory Issues in Sexual Assault Cases

Co-Chair - Sexual Misconduct in the #Metoo Era, Osgoode Hall Law School

Loretta P. Merritt

January 2019

Article

Ontario Government Auto Insurance Reform

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

October 2018

Article

Problems with Class Actions for Historical Sexual Abuse Cases

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

October 2018

Presentation

The Prudent Parent: Holding School Boards Liable

OTLA 2018 Fall Conference

Loretta P. Merritt

March 2018

Presentation

Pursuing Compensation for Victims of Crime: Civil Lawsuits

Office for Victims of Crime

Loretta P. Merritt

March 2018

Article

When Should the Survivor of a Sexual Assault Seek the Advice of a Civil Lawyer?

Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Loretta P. Merritt

Items 1 to 25 of 81