Sunday, June 29, 2008

Joe Stephens and Richard Howell Win $8 Million for Families of Sexually Abused Boys

Nearly 18 months after winning the much publicized Clara Harris wrongful death trial, Joe Stephens and Richard Howell win another verdict for their clients.

Houston, TX (PRWEB) June 30, 2008 -- Attorneys Joe Stephens and Richard Howell recently won an $8 million civil suit on behalf of four boys who were sexually abused over a period of two years.

The eight-day trial in County Court No. 4 of Montgomery County (Case No. 02-07-01967), concluded on June 25 with an 11-1 verdict. The jury found that Jason Newsom sexually abused four boys for a period of two years. Three of the boys were nine and one was 14 at the beginning of the abuse. His dad Hal Newsom, who promoted his son in his business as safe, bonded, and licensed, was also found liable because he endangered the children by enabling his son to carry out his deviant acts.

It is expected that Judge Mary Ann Turner will enter judgment affirming the verdict finding that Hal Newsom, Jason’s father, has to pay 20 percent of the $8 million verdict because he knew about the abuse and didn’t alert the families or the proper authorities.

“These 4 boys had great courage to tell the police, and to tell their story. True American Heroes in my view,” said Stephens, their attorney. “Hopefully, it will make someone think twice before keeping secrets like this, in order to make a buck and in the process endanger our country's most precious assts.”

While Stephens stated the father has the assets to pay, the prominent lawyer said, “We hope the Court of Appeals upholds this verdict against Hal Newsom, which the jury committed a criminally negligent act. My God, he enabled his son to harm the children. Shamefully, many Judges on our courts of appeal in Texas will not hold people financially accountable for the most despicable acts. I am hoping that the Judges who look at this case do what is right for Texas children.”

This is not the first highly publicized case that Joe Stephens has handled. Stephens and Howell were the same attorneys who received international attention in the Clara Harris wrongful death trial in January 2007. Clara Harris was found liable for the wrongful death of her husband David Harris (Harris County, Texas District Court No. 2004-34761). Clara Harris was found guilty of running him over with her Mercedes after finding him in bed with his mistress. Stephens won the lawsuit on behalf of David Harris’ parents, winning $3.75 million in damages.

About Joe Stephens
Joe Stephens is a prominent trial lawyer in the Houston area with 23 years of trial experience. He has received acclaim as a Texas Super Lawyer by a blue ribbon panel and state wide vote. Fewer than 5% of Texas lawyers have achieved that stature. He is a double-board certified attorney. Fewer than 1% of lawyers in the America have attained two levels of certification. He is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law.

In addition, he is a Civil Trial Advocate, as recognized by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In 1999, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America awarded Stephens as its “Most Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer in America Award.” He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, thought by some to be the most prestigious group of trial lawyers in the United States. He also has attained recognition as a "Warrior" in the Trial Lawyer's College, an intensive training program sponsored by the hands-on training of famed trial lawyer Gerry Spence. He specializes in helping people who have suffered from extraordinary loss from catastrophic injuries or the death of a loved one. He represents those who need a high caliber lawyer to help them get justice. Fmore information, please visit

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[Via Legal / Law]

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