James Marsh has been working 12-14 hour days during the week, and up to 10 hours on the weekends the last few months.
Midnight is a good quitting time, but he’s got old parking receipts reminding him he often stays later.
He didn’t go on a vacation this summer. His wife took a trip to Europe without him. His children are grown, his daughter works in the New York City but hasn’t seen much of him either.
When his family wants more than the rare glimpse of him, Marsh says he tells them: “If you miss dad you need to blame the legislature for making the Child Victims Act window only a year long.”
Marsh helps lead New York-based Marsh Law, one of the key law firms that are handling the mountain of sex abuse cases in New York. He loves the work. His staff loves it, too. But they also say the past few months, and months of litigation ahead, take a toll.
Jason Amala, of Seattle-based Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala has a family and he’s shocked by the repeated failures he’s seen.
“When you see the scale of this problem, you need to make sure there’s at least two adults around children, even if that makes you seem a little strange,” Amala said. “You need to make sure adults take it seriously.”
As the Aug. 14 window approaches, the second-hand trauma and hyper-vigilance around family is just part of the equation for attorneys on these cases. Many of them are working close to around the clock.
“Sometimes I walk into the office and I think I’m home,” Marsh said.
Her sentiment is shared by the others. Marsh said he treats every case like its his only case, which can be hard with so many. Attorneys like Simpson Tuegel faces the same circumstances.
For Marsh and his clients it’s about getting people who deserve to be heard their day in court, not about money.
“No abuse survivor is looking to get rich from their sexual abuse,” Marsh said.