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Jeff Anderson, Jeff Anderson & Associates
Jeff Anderson, Jeff Anderson & Associates

The POWER 30: Jeff Anderson

To many in Minnesota and elsewhere, the Catholic Church will never be the same since Jeff Anderson first sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where his client rejected a $1 million settlement that would have been confidential. But more secrecy wasn’t the point to Anderson or his client.

The legal profession also has never been the same after witnessing the effect of Anderson’s controversial strategy on media exposure that brought out other survivors. Jeff Anderson & Associates now has offices in California, New Jersey and New York City. Five states, including Minnesota, have opened windows in their statutes of limitations, allowing claims to survive.

The litigation has shown that efforts to conceal the systemic abuse extends throughout the church, up to and including the Vatican, which Anderson sued last year. To date, 28 dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11.

Recognition of the efficacy of the litigation against the church allowed the practice to expand to include other vulnerable populations, especially children.

The Boy Scouts of America comes to mind, where Anderson and other lawyers were able to uncover the existence of so-called “Ineligible Volunteer Files,” aka “Perversion Files.” A small percentage of names of Boy Scout leaders have been released, but most are still sealed. Anderson said that the Boy Scouts have been “on his radar” for 20 years and that “they are now deeply exposed.”

The Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy reorganization, and the courts set claims deadlines on Nov. 16, 2020. Bankruptcy is a shield and a sword for both the scouts and the church, Anderson said, noting that that 90,000 claims have been filed against the scouts as a result of the reorganization-imposed deadline.

Anderson has litigated these cases for about 40 years. He says he can keep up the pace because he has passion, purpose, and 75 devoted employees working for a safer tomorrow.

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