About Our Attorneys
About Our Attorneys
The attorneys of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC (“PCVA”) have a long history of representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse. While prior cases can never guarantee or predict future outcomes, PCVA’s attorneys have obtained some of the largest verdicts and settlements for abuse survivors in the country.
PCVA is based in Seattle, Washington, and Tacoma, Washington, so each of its lawyers are licensed to practice law in Washington. Tom Vertetis is also licensed to practice law in Oregon and New Jersey, where he went to law school, and Vincent Nappo and Anelga Doumanian are also licensed to practice law in New York.
PCVA’s attorneys are not licensed to practice in any other states, but the firm often associates with law firms in other states to help represent survivors of childhood sexual abuse, including firms in California, New York, and New Jersey.
- PCVA Attorneys -
Michael T. Pfau
Seattle attorney Michael T. Pfau has practiced law for more than 25 years. He has tried over 50 cases to juries, the bench, and arbitration panels. Michael has obtained multiple verdicts in excess of $1 million, and he has recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements for his clients. In 2012, he obtained an $8 million jury verdict against a Catholic religious order, believed to be one of the largest of its kind.
Michael attended Boston College, graduated magna cum laude, and earned a number of other academic honors. After Boston College, Michael attended Michigan law school and graduated in 1991. He has been named a perpetual “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics magazine, receiving that honorable distinction every year since 2003. He is peer rated AV Preeminent.
Michael has dedicated a large part of his practice to representing victims of childhood sexual abuse against sexual predators and the institutions that employ and protect them. Michael has had tremendous success prosecuting claims of child sexual abuse in a number of different states and jurisdictions. In this endeavor, Michael has been lead counsel for hundreds of victims of sexual abuse and has recovered in excess of $200 million for his clients over the past 15 years in lawsuits against the Catholic church, the Mormon church, the Boy Scouts of America, and other institutions responsible for child sex abuse.
Michael has been involved in a number of the nation’s large Catholic bankruptcy settlements, including the Dioceses of Spokane and Milwaukee and those involving the Jesuit order and the Irish Christian Brothers.
Michael was also recently involved in a lawsuit on behalf of three minor girls sexually trafficked on the website Backpage.com, the largest online marketer of prostitutes in the United States. His clients obtained a landmark victory in the Washington State Supreme Court over whether federal immunity barred the case. Michael now represents clients who were human trafficking victims on Backpage in cases in Washington, California, Texas, Hawaii, Illinois, Alabama, and New York.
Michael is licensed to practice law in Washington, and currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
Darrell L. Cochran
Over the past 25 years, Darrell L. Cochran has won a significant number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients, both in Washington state and around the country. His legal philosophy is guided by the desire to assist those severely injured or damaged by well-funded defendants who have abused their power or acted recklessly in their disregard for others. A few examples of his impressive casework include a $95 million class action verdict against the Washington DSHS for breach of contract, a $7.5 million class action settlement against Multicare Health System for deceptive billing practices, and his role in negotiating a $60 million settlement for Oso landslide victims against Washington State and the timber company. Many of his cases attract local and national media attention, including high-profile litigation involving Puget Sound Energy, Hunter-Donaldson, Washington DSHS, Apple Computers, Washington State DOC and various school districts. Darrell often accepts difficult case requests from across the Northwest, and several of his jury verdicts have prompted important changes in Washington state law.
Darrell graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington in 1990 and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993. His legal career began in 1993 at Gordon Thomas Honeywell, where he made partner 5 years later at the age of 30.
The members of the influential Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) elected him President for their 2017-2018 term, and he was named that organization’s ‘Trial Lawyer of the Year’ in 2015. He has also been selected as a ‘Super Lawyer’ every year since 2003. Yet despite the success Darrell has achieved, he has not lost what he terms the ‘human touch’. Clients often mention how accessible he is and how he works to ensure their comfort with the process from start to finish. Darrell has earned this praise through countless hours spent listening to his clients, building their case, then acting as their legal advocate with passion and skill.
Darrell serves on various non-profit boards and performs volunteer work in and around the Tacoma area. He is married to wife Wendy and together they have 5 children. He is an avid UW Huskies supporter, and a former trumpet player in the UW Marching Band. When not cheering on his children’s sporting activities, Darrell can be found spending his free time snowboarding, hiking, mountain climbing or fishing.
Darrell is licensed to practice in Washington.
Jason P. Amala
Jason P. Amala has represented hundreds of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. He has recovered tens of millions of dollars for those clients, and was part of the trial team that obtained an $8 million verdict for a client who was abused at a parish run by a Catholic religious order.
Jason started representing abuse survivors more than ten years ago when he was asked to help a number of men who had been abused at a Catholic boarding school outside of Seattle. The litigation eventually led to the bankruptcy of the Christian Brothers religious order.
Jason has successfully pursued claims against the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, the Mormon Church, and numerous schools and state institutions. He has also been closely involved with a number of Catholic bankruptcies, including the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Christian Brothers religious order, and has been the lead appellate lawyer on a number of watershed cases that have expanded the rights of abuse survivors and crime victims. The prior results Jason has obtained for his clients do not guarantee or predict the future results of his work, but they do reflect his dedication to helping survivors of child abuse.
Jason graduated with distinction from the University of Washington Honors College, and then obtained his law degree from Seattle University School of Law, where he graduated second in his class and received a number of top honors.
Jason is licensed to practice law in Washington and currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
Thomas B. Vertetis
Tom Vertetis is licensed as a lawyer in both New Jersey and Washington State. After graduating law school, Tom clerked for the Honorable Jane B. Cantor of the New Jersey Superior Court. He then began his law practice as a prosecutor in New Jersey, where he prosecuted claims on behalf of victims of crime, including claims against sex predators. Tom then moved to Washington State and became a co-founder of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC, where he is now the firm’s managing partner.
Tom is a trial lawyer with a passionate commitment to assisting those in need of help. He has tried in excess of 50 cases to juries and obtained verdicts in diverse cases, including a $13.95 million medical malpractice jury verdict and a $3.075 million jury verdict for the wrongful termination and defamation of a 20-year decorated senior county prosecutor. Tom has helped obtain million-dollar plus results for many of his clients, including multiple survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Tom has been consistently recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics, a recognition bestowed upon only 5% of eligible attorneys each year in the state. Since 2014, he has been recognized as a “Top 100” lawyer in Washington by Washington Law and Politics. Tom has achieved an “AV” peer rating, the highest rating available for legal ability and ethical standards, by Martindale Hubbell. He has previously been awarded the “Local Hero Award” by the Washington State Bar Association, the coveted “Boss of the Year” award by the Pierce County National Association of Legal Professionals and the “Pro Bono Award” by the Pierce County Bar Association.
Tom’s eldest child has autism. He is a strong advocate and champion for disabled children. He currently serves on the Board of Ashley House, a South Sound care provider for medically fragile children, and has served on the Board of the Academy of Precision Learning, an inclusive Seattle K-12 school which provides educational services to both typical developing and students on the autism spectrum. He also supports Autism awareness and is a regular emcee for the University of Washington Experimental Education Unit’s annual auction.
Vincent T. Nappo
Vincent primarily represents survivors of childhood sexual abuse against the individuals and powerful organizations responsible for the abuse, such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church.
Vincent has a long history of advocating on behalf of underprivileged and underrepresented communities. Today, he continues to fight for those who have been wronged by the greed, negligence, and careless acts of others. He serves as a guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children, and he volunteers his spare time to help victims of domestic violence.
Vincent graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and then earned his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.
Vincent is licensed to practice law in Washington and New York, and currently lives in the Seattle area.
Mallory C. Allen
Mallory has spent her entire career representing people who have been injured by the wrongful acts of others. She has tried numerous cases to verdict in both state and federal courts, several resulting in seven- and eight-figure awards. Her practice involves litigation and trial work in the areas of medical malpractice, dental malpractice, personal injury, and sex abuse.
Mallory grew up in Bellingham, Washington and attended the University of Washington for her undergraduate degree. After graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, Mallory attended the UW School of Law where she sat on the Moot Court Honor Board and was invited to be a member of the trial advocacy honor society, Order of the Barristers. She represented the UW on two national mock trial teams and won top advocate in several regional and national trial advocacy competitions.
Mallory is an active member of the Washington State Association for Justice, sits on the UW Moot Court Honor Board Alumni Advisory Board, and serves as a student-mentor at UW Law School. She has taught Trial Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at the UW School of Law and has coached UW mock trial teams. Mallory has been named a “Rising Star” by Washington Law and Politics magazine each year since 2018. She is licensed to practice law in Washington.
Tim is a compassionate attorney whose practice focuses on civil litigation, primarily cases representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Tim vigorously advocates for his clients who have been the victims of organizational malfeasance and cover-ups.
Tim grew up in New Hampshire and attended college at Keene State College, where he majored in sociology. He obtained his J.D., with Honors from the University of Montana School of Law. While in law school, Tim served as the managing editor of the Montana Law Review. Tim also interned with the Montana Office of the Public Defender while in law school and gained valuable experience in the courtroom.
During his free time, Tim enjoys hiking, swimming, mountain biking, and exploring the Northwest.
- California Lawyers -
Rahul Ravipudi and Spencer Lucas are California lawyers with Panish Shea & Boyle LLP who have a long history of representing survivors of child abuse and exploitation. When the California legislature decided to change the statute of limitations for abuse survivors, they teamed-up with PCVA because of their experience helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Rahul Ravipudi is a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer and partner at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and has spent his legal career handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases involving commercial vehicles, pedestrians, industrial or construction accidents, as well as dangerous conditions of public and private property. He also represents consumers in class actions against businesses who engage in unfair and illegal business practices.
Mr. Ravipudi has obtained numerous landmark verdicts and settlements including a $160.5 million jury verdict for a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a vicious beating by security personnel for a nightclub, as well as a $23,500,000 settlement on behalf of the family of Paul Lee, a 19-year-old non-verbal autistic student who tragically died aboard a Whittier school bus after the driver left him behind to engage in a sexual tryst with a coworker. The Lee case was a catalyst for significant change in school transportation with Governor Jerry Brown signing the “Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law” in September 2016, requiring all school buses in the state of California to be equipped with a child safety alarm system that must be deactivated by the bus driver before departing the bus. The new law will go into effect at the start of the 2018-19 school year and requires bus drivers to receive training in child-safety check procedures.
Rahul is licensed to practice law in California.
Spencer Lucas is a trial lawyer at Panish Shea & Boyle and specializes in litigating complex catastrophic personal injury, products liability and wrongful death cases. He has extensive experience in cases involving traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Mr. Lucas has successfully recovered over $400 million for his clients and prides himself on helping injured people and their families recover from tragic situations.
Mr. Lucas is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) with an elevated rank of Associate due to the number of lengthy trials to verdict he has completed. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognized for his work in the courtroom including nominations as a Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist by both the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).
Spencer is licensed to practice law in California.
- New York Lawyers -
James R. Marsh, Jennifer Freeman, and Robert Y. Lewis are New York lawyers who have a long history of representing survivors of child abuse and exploitation. When the New York legislature changed the statute of limitations for abuse survivors, they teamed-up with PCVA to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
James R. Marsh
A University of Michigan Law School graduate, James R. Marsh represents victims of sex abuse in schools, colleges, churches, and government and military institutions; campus sexual assault and rape, online sexual exploitation; child pornography; sextortion, and revenge porn.
His case on compensation for victims of child pornography in federal criminal restitution proceedings was recently decided by the United States Supreme Court. That case, United States v. Paroline, led to the Amy and Vicky Child Pornography Victim Restitution Improvement Act which was recently passed by the Senate 98-0 and is pending in the House.
James founded the nationally recognized Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC, and is an experienced trial attorney, and frequent commentator, lecturer, and author on legal issues affecting children and victims of sex abuse and exploitation. He now leads Marsh Law Firm in New York which is recognized worldwide for its work helping sexually abused victims obtain justice and rebuild their lives with dignity and respect.
James is licensed to practice law in New York and Washington D.C.
Jennifer Freeman has been litigating cases in New York for over thirty years. She is well known as a resolver of disputes and has worked tirelessly at the forefront of groundbreaking legal developments to protect children from sex abuse, child pornography and victimization. She has obtained countless restitution awards for child sex abuse survivors, and secured reparations for victims of abuse by teachers, family members, Big Brothers, camp personnel, clerics and others. Jennifer has spearheaded numerous confidential mediations and fashioned mass dispute resolution procedures to protect privacy and dignity. Recently, she worked on the landmark Supreme Court decision in US v. Paroline which established for the first time that all participants in the child pornography market were responsible to their victims in damages. She has worked with the National Women’s Law Center and assisted lobbying for statutory change for sex abuse victims in the Amy Vicky Act.
Jennifer graduated from Cornell University and the George Washington National Law Center where she was Editor-in-Chief of the George Washington Journal of Law & Economics. After clerking for the Honorable John R. Brown, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, she began her legal practice at Shearman & Sterling, and later joined the Marsh Law Firm. She has served as Special Master for New York Supreme Court Judge Beatrice Shainswit, a member of the New York Judicial Screening Committee, and a scrivener for the City Bar Association Committee for the Homeless. She has spoken at conferences about sex abuse issues, most recently in Davos, Switzerland, serves on the Board of a Cuban arts organization that supports young Cuban artists, and has fundraised for children’s charities. She is a licensed to practice law in New York and Texas.
Robert Y. Lewis
Robert Y. Lewis has been litigating and trying cases around the country for thirty years, with an 85%-win record on cases going to verdict. As a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles between 1990 and 1994, he worked tirelessly to ensure justice for crime victims and the public at large. More recently, as a partner of the Marsh Law Firm PLLC, he has devoted his practice to representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Robert believes strongly that for too long institutions, both private and governmental, have turned a blind eye to sexual abuse being perpetrated in their midst, and that it is high time to hold them to account for the crimes of their employees and agents. He is currently lead counsel in a major case brought in federal court in North Carolina on behalf of five young boys suing the United States Army for the repeated sexual molestation they suffered at the hands of a teacher at an Army school.
Robert is a graduate of Grinnell College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and the Stanford Law School, where he served as a Notes Editor on the Stanford Law Review. After law school he clerked for the Honorable Harlington Wood Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. In 1985 and 1986, Bob studied international criminal law in Germany as a Rotary Fellow. He has a perfect 10 rating with AVVO and has been designated as a Preeminent Lawyer with an AV rating by the Martindale-Hubbell law directory.
Robert is licensed to practice law in New York and California.
- New Jersey Lawyers -
Ed Rebenack, Craig Aronow, and Jay Mascolo are New Jersey lawyers who have a long history of representing people who have been victimized by others. When the New Jersey legislature explored changing the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, they decided to team-up with lawyers from PCVA because of their significant experience representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
As noted above, this page provides information on attorneys who are working together to represent abuse survivors, including examples of results they have obtained for other clients. However, every case is different, so an attorney’s prior success is no guarantee of future success, and no aspect of this advertisement has been approved by any court, including the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Ed Rebenack is a New Jersey attorney and co-founder of Rebenack, Aronow & Mascolo, LLP. He has spent his legal career helping people who have been hurt and injured through no fault of their own with “best of class” service. While prior success does not guarantee future success, Ed has obtained multiple results for his clients that exceeded $1 million, including an $8,340,000 jury verdict.
As a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, Ed is among less than 2% of New Jersey practicing lawyers who have demonstrated sufficient levels of experience, education, knowledge, and skill in civil trial practice. He is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubble, which is a peer rating that is “a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.” His peers have voted him as a “Super Lawyer” in New Jersey every year since 2009. In 2012, Ed received the “Civil Practice Award” from the Middlesex County Bar Association.
Craig Aronow is a New Jersey attorney and co-founder of Rebenack, Aronow & Mascolo, LLP. He has a passion for fighting for his clients who have been hurt by the negligent or reckless acts of others, and he works tirelessly to obtain compensation on their behalf. With nearly two decades of courtroom experience of fighting for his clients, Craig never forgets that he is working to improve his clients’ lives, many of whom have become like family. Clients have a voice and it is Craig’s job to make sure it is heard. That is why he fights for his clients every day. His hard work is reflected in the many large verdicts and settlements he has obtained for his clients, including a $1,375,000 verdict.
Craig has been voted as a “Rising Star” or “Super Lawyer” by his peers in New Jersey every year since 2010, and has an “AV Preeminent” rating by Martindale Hubbell. He has received multiple awards from the New Jersey State Bar Association, including the “Solo and Small Firm Lawyer of the Year” award in 2018.
Jay Mascolo is a New Jersey attorney and co-founder of Rebenack, Aronow & Mascolo, LLP. He believes in providing each client with individualized attention and working closely to explain developments throughout their case. Jay devotes himself completely to his clients and promises prompt responses to any questions they may have. He concentrates his practice on representing adults and children who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others. Jay has obtained multiple large verdicts and settlements for his clients, including a recent $1,075,000 settlement.
Jay was a Trustee of the Middlesex County Bar Association from 2016-2018, and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He is certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, and has been repeatedly voted as a “Super Lawyer” by his peers.