You Know the TV Show, Now Meet the Top LA Firm Representing Survivors
Whether or not you devote much free time to watching television, you’ve likely seen an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU), the long-running television drama with a devoted following. Despite the dark and often disturbing subject matter, millions of viewers have been tuning into the show each week for more than 20 years.
With such heavy topics as child sexual abuse, rape, workplace harassment, and human trafficking, what makes us continue to watch SVU week-after-week? Perhaps it’s a combination of witnessing the pursuit of some of the most heinous criminals imaginable, and the satisfaction in eventually seeing them brought to justice (in most cases). Perhaps it also has to do with the likeable characters, of which there have been countless over the years. For 21 television seasons, Detectives Olivia Benson, Elliot Stabler, Fin Tutuola, John Munch, and so many more have helped successfully track down pedophiles, rapists, and sex traffickers.
And then there’s the order part of the show, where – depending on the season – Assistant District Attorneys like Alexandra Cabot and Rafael Barba work tirelessly to prosecute these horrific crimes and put the perpetrators responsible behind bars.
Sadly, the sexual assault cases you see each week on Law & Order: SVU are much more common and widespread than you might realize, impacting hundreds of thousands of innocent victims each year. Some staggering sexual assault statistics include:
- Every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted
- Every nine minutes, that victim is a child
- Only five out of every 1,000 sexual perpetrators will ever end up in prison
- One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted)
- One out of every 10 rape victims are male
With such disconcerting figures highlighting the prevalence of sex crimes in America, a sobering fact to consider is that even if you have never personally been a victim of sexual assault, the chances that someone you know and love has are unfortunately quite high.
With that in mind, where should you or someone you love turn if you’re ever the victim of sexual assault (or if you are a survivor who has yet to report a sex crime)?
What Qualifications Are Important in Hiring the Best Sexual Assault Lawyer?
There are some standard questions that you should always ask a lawyer who might represent you in a sexual assault or abuse case. Five of the most important questions to ask a sexual abuse attorney include:
- Have you successfully handled sexual abuse cases similar to mine?
- How often do you take cases to trial versus settle out of court?
- How long will a case like mine typically take to settle or reach a verdict?
- Who will be the primary attorney handling my case?
- How much will my case cost, and what sort of damages award can I expect to receive?
For survivors, Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) answers to the above critical questions are what make us the best choice for every type of sex crime case:
1. Have you successfully handled sexual abuse cases similar to mine?
Samuel Dordulian and his team of Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) have successfully represented clients in virtually every type of case imaginable under the ‘sexual assault’ umbrella. Whether it’s taking on massive institutions like the Catholic Church or Boy Scouts of America, or representing survivors of rape, workplace sexual harassment, childhood sexual abuse, human trafficking, internet/revenge pornography, etc., Dordulian and his team have the experience, knowledge, and dedication necessary to help you prevail in your lawsuit and recover the maximum damages award available under the law.
2. How often do you take cases to trial versus settle out of court?
We handle each case with an individualized strategy established according to the needs and desires of the survivor. Unlike some firms, we are not afraid to go to trial. With over 100 jury trials under his belt, Samuel Dordulian has the skill and experience required to win in court.
3. How long will a case like mine typically take to settle or reach a verdict?
The time for a sexual assault suit to either settle or reach a verdict varies depending on the specific circumstances related to each particular case. However, rather than employing a tactic frequently used by other “mega firms” and rushing to secure a quick settlement offer (which could result in a significantly reduced financial award for you, the survivor), DLG evaluates each case individually, and takes the most prudent course of action to ensure the best outcome and highest damages award for each and every client. As stated above, we are ready and willing to go to court with any sexual assault claim to ensure the best interest of the survivor is always maintained.
4. Who will be the primary attorney handling my case?
DLG’s Founder & President, Samuel Dordulian, personally leads each sexual abuse case. Rather than meeting with the face of the firm and then being passed off to a junior associate with less experience (a common practice at “mega firms”), each DLG sexual abuse client can be confident that they will have direct representation from former LA Deputy District Attorney and sex crimes prosecutor, Samuel Dordulian. Additionally, all DLG clients are guaranteed 24/7 access and support from every member of his experienced SAJE Team, providing an unparalleled advantage only available through Dordulian Law Group.
5. How much will my case cost, and what sort of damages award can I expect to receive?
At DLG, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no up front or out of pocket expenses for our expert legal services. Depending on the circumstances of your case, financial damages awards for sexual abuse suits can vary from tens-of-thousands of dollars to hundreds-of-millions of dollars. At DLG, we always seek the maximum possible financial compensation award for you, including (when applicable) pursuing treble (triple) damages under AB 218 in childhood sexual abuse cases where a cover-up can be proven. Under AB 218’s treble damages clause, prevailing plaintiffs can be awarded triple damages by the court in the event of a cover-up (e.g. a $10 million damages award would actually amount to $30 million if treble damages were applied).
What is Law & Order: SFU?
Although Law & Order: SVU is a source of semi-fictionalized entertainment for many, it’s also a fairly accurate depiction of how the judicial system, particularly in terms of investigating and prosecuting sex crimes, operates every day in major cities across the country, including Los Angeles.
Law & Order: SFU (Sam For You) means that if you’re a survivor of a sex crime that you may have seen on Law & Order: SVU, Samuel Dordulian – former sex crimes prosecutor as Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County – is the best sexual assault lawyer to handle your case due to his years of experience, 99% trial success rate, and DLG’s unique team of Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) available to you 24/7.
Dordulian Law Group – Los Angeles’ Law & Order Firm for Survivors
DLG is the premier sexual assault firm representing survivors who have endured every type of abuse imaginable – including rape, sexual battery, forcible touching, sexual harassment, incest, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, child pornography, and much more. If you take a moment to consider any case featured on Law & Order: SVU, it’s virtually impossible that the experienced and dedicated team of sexual assault professionals at DLG hasn’t successfully handled a similar case over the years, helping survivors secure the justice they deserve as well as recover a maximum financial damages award.
But before we outline the myriad ways Dordulian Law Group exceeds the competition, let’s take a moment to provide some context so you may better understand how DLG was founded, and why it has become the superior sexual assault firm for survivor clients in Los Angeles and throughout California.
DLG’s Founder – Samuel Dordulian – Found His Calling Early in Life
Samuel Dordulian is a highly-regarded and veritably successfully attorney who has practiced both sides of the law – first as Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County prosecuting sex crimes, and today in his own practice as a skilled and fiercely loyal advocate for survivors in sexual assault civil lawsuits. Whether prosecuting deplorable sex offenders or advocating for sexual abuse survivors, as a litigator Mr. Dordulian’s job requires excellent public speaking skills. However, as a young kid in junior high, those skills didn’t exactly come naturally.
As a student in the 9th grade, Sam Dordulian was extremely shy and afraid to speak in front of the class. His history teacher, Mr. Drummond, presented the class with an assignment where each student would act out a role in a mock trial. Terrified, Dordulian hoped Mr. Drummond would choose someone, anyone, other than him to speak in front of the class. As it happened, Mr. Drummond chose Dordulian to be the prosecutor in the mock trial (the very career he would obtain in the district attorney’s office only a few years later).
Dordulian nearly had a full-blown anxiety attack just before he was about to present to the class, but Mr. Drummond was very encouraging and helped him through the process to overcome his fears. To this day, Dordulian vividly remembers the moment he summoned the courage to walk up in front of the class and give a presentation, as if he were a legitimate prosecutor within the mock trial.
Mr. Dordulian has described that feeling as overwhelming, as if he somehow transformed and instantly discovered a power he never knew he possessed. “I felt alive. That feeling, it was so powerful, like nothing I’d ever experienced before.” In that very moment, Dordulian knew he wanted to be a prosecutor. He was only 14 at the time.
That experience transformed Dordulian from a shy kid with a fear of public speaking to a career attorney who would eventually rise to the ranks of Lead Sex Crimes Prosecutor in the Deputy District Attorney’s Office (for Los Angeles, it’s the equivalent of the role you see played by characters like A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot and Rafael Barba on TV’s Law & Order: SVU). Today, Dordulian is LA’s most preeminent sexual abuse attorney, leading a team of Sexual Assault Justice Experts within a firm that has successfully recovered over $100 million for clients.
*Side note: Mr. Dordulian hopes to one day find Mr. Drummond and express his profound gratitude for the impact he had on his life and career. Mr. Drummond, if you’re reading this, Sam is grateful you encouraged him to take that step and find the courage to speak in front of the class. Not only did your support help change Mr. Dordulian’s life and find his true calling, it has positively impacted hundreds of personal injury victims – the majority of which are survivors of sexual assault – helping them secure justice and recover the financial damages they so deserve.
Anyone Can be Affected by Sexual Abuse
As a junior high student, Samuel Dordulian was on the YMCA basketball team. His coach was a sergeant in the local police force. One day, Sam was pulled out of class by a police officer who had many questions to ask regarding whether or not the coach had ever acted inappropriately or engaged in sexual behavior against him or any of his teammates. Sam was one of the lucky ones. The coach had never attempted to sexually abuse him at any time.
However, as Sam would later learn, the coach had been victimizing several other teammates. It was Dordulian’s first exposure to the notion of childhood sexual abuse and how it can impact someone close to you. As a child in junior high, it’s often difficult to process the thought of a trusted adult like a coach engaging in such horrific acts with those closest to you. Though Dordulian may have not fully grasped the gravity of the situation at the time, it would play a pivotal role in his future career trajectory.
Samuel Dordulian Joins the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
Fresh out of law school and at the ripe age of 25, Sam’s first case in the DA’s office involved a natural father molesting his own daughter. Given the severity of the case and the fact that it was his first experience in the DA’s office, it was difficult for Dordulian to accept why it was inexplicably filed as a misdemeanor.
As such a young and inexperienced DA, Dordulian was facing a considerable challenge in his first case. The defense had hired an expert witness to put forth the defense of child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome (CSAAS). At the time, Dordulian knew nothing about the condition. Nevertheless, he persevered day and night throughout the trial, researched every book he could find on the subject (which, prior to hearing the defense witness’s testimony, he knew absolutely nothing about), and ended up convicting the pedophile, prevailing in his very first trial.
After being handed a sexual abuse case for his first assignment in the DA’s office, Dordulian recalled the incident with his coach in junior high. Those two factors played a major role in shaping Dordulian’s career aspirations from that day forward. Inspired by his ability to help an innocent child who had been subjected to abhorrent abuse at the hands of her father, when the day came for Dordulian to choose a specialty unit of focus within the district attorney’s office, he immediately chose sex crimes. “I feel I was kind of destined to do this kind of work,” Dordulian said. “And it’s hard to express just how rewarding it is to help survivors secure justice, many after years of suffering in silence.” “It’s definitely been the right move for me,” he added.
In a few short years, Dordulian worked his way up to Senior Sex Crimes Prosecutor. In that role, he handled not only the city’s largest and most notorious cases, but also a number of the nation’s most prominent sex crime cases, including those involving institutional abuse like the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America, and many more. During his time in the DA’s office, the majority of cases Dordulian handled involved representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Founding DLG to be The Top-Rated, Most Successful Sexual Abuse Firm in Los Angeles, California
When Samuel Dordulian began his career as a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, a passion for advocating on behalf of sexual assault survivors is what drove him to become a sex crimes prosecutor. In that role, Dordulian felt he could have the greatest impact, as a committed advocate for defenseless survivors such as children.
Taking heinous criminals off the streets and putting them behind bars is implicitly impactful. But as a sex crimes prosecutor, whether trying a domestic abuser, serial rapist, or a predator pedophile, Dordulian was able to give survivors something that other prosecutors often couldn’t provide their clients – a chance, in some cases, at a new beginning.
Dordulian witnessed first-hand the blind devastation that sexual assault can wreak on anyone, of any age, at any time. Sexual assault does not discriminate. No one is immune to it, and yet no case is the same. Moreover, no singular path of healing exists for survivors.
In his years spent prosecuting sexual predators, Dordulian came to realize that because each sexual assault case was unique, a unique approach to legal representation was also required. When he eventually made the jump to open his own firm, Dordulian made a commitment to approach sexual assault cases, first and foremost, by addressing the various needs of survivors.
All-Encompassing, Individualized Representation and Support
Sexual assault can manifest in many different ways, and survivors can be affected, individually, in equally as many ways. Through his experience in the DA’s office, Samuel Dordulian came to understand that, with cases of sexual abuse, in order for justice to truly be achieved it must be according to the survivor’s own terms and needs. What a survivor requires to obtain justice on paper (outwardly) can be completely different from what she or he needs in terms of personal healing (internally).
Survivors may to want to come forward, but feel unable to do so due to a number of personal circumstances and considerations. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to come forward and report a sex crime is one that can only be fully understood by the survivor.
As Deputy District Attorney, Dordulian witnessed that fact day-after-day. He also realized that one of the most important questions to ask in a sexual assault case is, “What do you, the survivor, need?” As it turns out, survivors often need far more than just legal representation in order to begin the healing process. The best way to meet those needs, as Dordulian came to understand firsthand through representing countless victims of sexual assault, is through an all-encompassing legal approach that offers individualized options for survivors.
“I can be confident in my ability to help a survivor in the courtroom, but I realized their needs extend far beyond my legal expertise. I need an expert team around me to provide support that helps this person truly heal beyond a guilty verdict or a million dollar settlement award.”
That’s when Dordulian came up with a four-tiered approach to meeting the needs of survivors by providing every individual client with professional and exemplary:
- Legal representation
- Investigative representation
- Psychological/Medical support
- Emotional support
Thus, the DLG Sex Crimes Division SAJE Team was founded.
DLG’s SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts)
Perhaps the best way to explain the DLG Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) Team is by attempting to relate each team member with a character from Law & Order: SVU. What makes the SAJE Team unique is that, rather than traditional firms which simply provide a single attorney to represent a survivor, DLG provides a four-tiered team that includes professionals from both the Law and the Order side of the Law & Order: SVU equation:
- Litigation/Case Lead: Samuel Dordulian – Think of Dordulian as a dynamic sexual abuse lawyer possessing the skills and traits of multiple Law & Order: SVU characters. With his experience as a sex crimes prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, Dordulian could be considered a combination of Raphael Barba and Alexandra Cabot in terms of legal prowess and experience. However, given his founding of DLG and extraordinary success representing survivors, it wouldn’t necessarily be a stretch to associate him with Albert Finney’s character in Erin Brokovich, or Denzel Washington’s character in Philadelphia either.
- Investigative Lead: Detective Moses Castillo – Think of Detective Moses, a recently retired 30-year veteran of the LAPD and former Unit Leader in the city’s elite Sex Crimes Division, as a combination of two classic SVU characters – Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson. Detective Moses combines the skill and dedication of both (along with Stabler’s tenacity and Benson’s compassion and empathy). Detective Moses gives his personal cell phone number to every survivor whose case he investigates. He has formed lifelong bonds and communicates regularly with countless survivors, long after their cases have been closed. He makes himself available to any survivor in need, and uses his decades of experience to help guide them along the road to healing.
- Psychological/Clinical Lead: DLG employs an in-house, licensed clinical therapist to address the emotional and psychological needs that many survivor clients report following sexual abuse trauma. If you had to associate DLG’s clinical therapist with an SVU character, the closest example would probably be Dr. George Huang (except our clinical therapist provides support for survivors instead of analyzing heinous criminals). When Samuel Dordulian created the SAJE Team positions, he did so with the understanding that access to clinical therapy for survivors is of utmost importance both throughout the legal process and after prevailing in court.
- Trained Advocates Addressing Emotional Needs: DLG’s SAJE Team also includes two licensed, nationally accredited victim advocates who are available 24/7 as a support network for our survivor clients. Our dedicated victim advocates work tirelessly to ensure all the support needs of survivors are met. While there may not be a specific SVU character to directly associate with our victim advocates, many of the survivor characters’ stories you see on the show are actually based on true accounts of individuals who went on to become full-time victim advocates.
Why DLG is The Best Firm to Handle Your Sexual Abuse Case
For survivors, choosing the right sexual abuse attorney is an extremely important decision. Determining in advance one’s personal standards for experience and general qualities in a lawyer can help ensure you have the most positive and successful outcome possible when pursuing justice for your sex crime claim.
Before making a choice, it’s advisable to first answer the question: What type of attorney do I want to represent me?
Take a moment to view DLG by the numbers:
- Over $100 million in damages recovered for our clients
- Over 50 years of both Law & Order sex crimes experience
- Hundreds of successful sexual abuse survivor clients
With DLG (aka Law & Order: SFU) you have a firm that offers a unique type of individualized, ell-encompassing, four-tiered legal representation that can’t be matched – even by other Los Angeles “mega firms.” Law & Order: SFU means you can be confident knowing Samuel Dordulian is fighting for you every step of the way.
Coming forward to pursue a sexual assault claim and relive such a horrific trauma is never easy. However, if justice is something you wish to pursue, DLG offers a welcoming environment designed to make the process as stress-free and seamless as possible. Just as a young Sam Dordulian summoned the courage to speak in front of his junior high class, we encourage every survivor to strongly consider taking the step forward to speak up and report a sex crime. We tend to a survivor’s unique variety of needs, beyond simple legal representation. All survivors deserve an opportunity at justice. Don’t view the process as intimidating or filled with unknowns. Rather, take a moment to realize that by choosing DLG you essentially have the closet thing to Los Angeles’ reality version of Law & Order: SVU’s cast of characters at your service.
If you’ve watched Law & Order: SVU and considered coming forward (or encouraging a loved one to do so), but hesitated because you worried about the process of finding the right lawyer, testifying, legal costs, etc., you can put those fears aside by choosing DLG.
Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation where we can answer any questions you have concerning filing a sexual abuse claim. We promise to provide you with professional and personalized service that includes the care and attention you would expect from a boutique firm, but with the resources and results that are typically only available at “mega firms.”
When choosing a sexual abuse lawyer, choose Law & Order: SFU (Sam For You).