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Stephen C. Rubino – Sexual Abuse Attorney

New Jersey Sex Abuse Attorneys

Stephen Rubino is one of the country’s early pioneers representing survivors of sexual abuse in institutional settings.

Stephen C. Rubino - AttorneyStephen 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 several hundred 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.

Some of the Proven Results of Stephen Rubino, Achieved with National and International Partners

  • $198 Million – Counsel for 144 victims of childhood sexual abuse announced a settlement in the amount of $198,125,000, resolving all claims arising from sexual abuse by clergy and other employees of the Diocese of San Diego and the religious orders that operate within its jurisdiction. I have had the privilege and honor of representing several of these brave individuals. Read More
  • $660 Million – Counsel for more than 508 of victims of childhood sexual abuse announced an historic settlement resolving all claims arising from sexual abuse by clergy and other employees of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the religious orders that operate within its jurisdiction. Read More
  • $100 Million – On December 2, 2004, 87 survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the Diocese of Orange are pleased to announce the successful negotiation of the settlement agreement which will conclude the cases against the Diocese of Orange. Read More
  • $21.5 Million – Eighty-two Nunavut men have won a $21.5-million settlement from the governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories in compensation for sexual abuse they suffered as boys at the hands of Edward Horne, a teacher who worked for the GNWT between 1971 and 1985. Read More

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) on a pro bono basis. He also represented 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, 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, Steve has consulted with various law firms and law enforcement agencies in investigating clergy sexual abuse. He will soon publish Act of Faith, a searing multi-generational historical novel 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.


  • Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Meets the Civil Law – In 1984, the Roman Catholic Church began to experience the complex and highly embarrassing problem of clergy sexual misconduct in the United States. 2004 by Fordham Urban Law Journal. Author: Thomas P. Doyle & Stephen C. Rubino
  • The Cross Examiner – As scandals engulf the Church, one of the most prominent antagonists is a Margate lawyer – and a devout roman catholic. June 2002 – Philadelphia Magazine
  • The Sins of the Fathers – Westmont attorney Stephen C. Rubino grew up a faithful Catholic. Now he’s trying to prove that the church he belongs to turned a blind eye toward abusive priests – and helped cover up the scandal. Sept. 1996 – New Jersey Monthly Magazine

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


  • 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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