Paul Mones - Attorney Profile

Leading Advocate for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

5859b8c9c7bcd58a91bde9434fb8d59a 400x400For over thirty years, Paul Mones has been a leading nationwide advocate for victims of child abuse, representing hundreds of people who had been sexually abused as children by their Boy Scout leaders, priests, ministers, coaches, employers, teachers, guidance counselors as well as by their parents and guardians. He has been at the forefront of representing Boy Scout victims of sexual abuse. In 2010 he and his co-counsel obtained the largest verdict ever against the Boy Scouts of America – $19.9 million - against the Boy Scouts of America. and The trial represented the first time that the Boy Scouts’ ‘Perversion Files’ – confidential files maintained by the BSA on pedophiles – were admitted into evidence. The perversion files were finally publicly released in 2012 to national and international news coverage.

Paul has also represented numerous victims of Catholic clergy abuse throughout the nation. In 2000, he and his co-counsel tried the first sexual abuse case to a jury against the Archdiocese of New York (the case settled during trial).In 2007, he and his co-counsel obtained an $11.45 million award against the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on behalf of two victims –the largest verdict rendered against a Diocese in New York.

Over the course of his career, Paul has obtianed millions of dollars inj verdicts and settlements for clients all over the nation.

Although every case is different and past results therefore do not guarantee success in any particular case, these kinds of results do reflect Paul’s hard work and dedication to his clients.

Private  School and Public School Sexual Abuse Attorney

Paul also represents victims of sexual abuse in private and public schools, sports organizations like the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and and youth groups like the Boys and Girls Clubs and

Fighting for Victims of Sexual Abuse

Paul’s commitment to and compassion for victims had its origins in his representation of victims around the country– adolescents and young adults - who had been so severely abused that they killed their abusers. Most of those killed were parents but also included other child molesters as well. Through his representation of these people in criminal and juvenile court and his research in the area, Paul developed a comprehensive understanding of the depths of fear, despair and hopelessness faced by victims of sexual abuse. Paul is aware of no other attorney in the United States who has had patricide and matricide as a focus of his practice.

Named: "The Defender of the Indefensible" by the Los Angeles Times

Paul’s representation of sexually and physically abused teens who have killed a parent or guardian has been the subject of numerous articles around the nation for over two decades. See for example and The Los Angeles Times called him “The Defender of the Indefensible” for his work in this area. His book, When A Child Kills: Abused Children Who Kill Their Parents (1991) is considered a landmark work in the field –the first work by an attorney on the subject. As a result of his zealous advocacy on behalf of abused youth, in 1993  Attorney General Janet Reno, on behalf of the  American Bar Association, presented him with its prestigious Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award which is “awarded to one attorney (in the United States) each year for his or her outstanding contributions…to the rights of children and youth."

Paul’s fierce dedication to the plight of victims of abuse led him to represent William Lynch a sexual abuse survivor who was charged in 2010 with assaulting the priest who molested him during the 1970’s. The jury found Lynch not guilty of aggravated assault and elder abuse and could not reach a verdict on the lesser misdemeanor charge.

Over 30 Years in Child Advocacy

Paul began his child advocacy career in West Virginia in 1980 where he was the Executive Director of Juvenile Advocates Inc. Paul vigorously litigated against the public institutions in which children and teenagers were mistreated. Paul also lectures nationally on child abuse and various youth issues to numerous professional organizations such as the American Bar Association, American Psychiatric Association, and American Psychological Association, National Association of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. He has also done professional training for numerous state child abuse groups, law enforcement organizations and the United States Army.

Service to Child Abuse Organizations

During his career, Paul has maintained memberships and has served on the Board of Directors to a variety of child abuse and youth-serving organizations. He is presently a member of the National Crime Victims Bar Association and on the Advisory Board, National Center on Child Fatality Review (a division of the Interagency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect). Additionally, in the past he has served as: First Vice-President of the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN); a member Board of Directors, End The Physical Punishment of Children (EPOCH- USA); a member Board of Directors and Vice-President, American Media Council on Child Abuse and a member Board of Directors, Mothers Against Sexual Abuse.

Numerous Television Appearances

The print and electronic media have regularly sought Paul’s opinion on a variety of sexual abuse and youth related matters for over 25 years. He has appeared on numerous national television news shows like the Today Show, 48 Hours, 20/20, Oprah Winfrey, CBS Morning News, Larry King, Crossfire, MSNBC, Frontline, Anderson Cooper and National Public Radio.  His work on sexual abuse cases and his opinions on matters related to sexual abuse and other youth issues have appeared in most national newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, People, the Washington Post, Newsday, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Detroit News, Buffalo News, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Oregonian, Seattle Times and numerous on-line publications like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

Paul is also a prolific author. In addition to When a Child Kills, and numerous articles for newspapers and professional journals, he is the author of Stalking Justice a true crime book that chronicled the first U.S. serial murder-rape case solved by DNA fingerprinting. In 2002 he contributed a chapter entitled Talking to Your Children About Terrorism in the landmark book, Fearless by Gavin de Becker.

Paul has been honored for his work on behalf of children by being awarded the Spirit of Crazy Horse Award by Reclaiming Youth International and in 2012 he was selected as a Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers USA for his advocacy for victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse.

Paul is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and is licensed to practice law in California, Massachusetts and Oregon. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

State Bar Licenses

  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Oregon
  • Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • State Bar of West Virginia (inactive)

Professional Affiliations

Mr. Mones is a member and has served on the Board of Directors and a consultant to a number of children-oriented service, advocacy and research groups including the following:

  • Member, National Crime Victims Bar Association
  • Advisory Board, National Center on Child Fatality Review
  • Special Advisor (and former First VicePresident) of the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect(ICAN)
  • Board of Directors, End The Physical Punishment of Children (EPOCH USA) (past)
  • Board of Directors and VicePresident, American Media Council on Child Abuse (past)
  • Board of Directors, Mothers Against Sexual Abuse (past)
  • Advisory Council, American Psychological Association Task Force on Violence and the Family (past)
  • Advisory Council, Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council (past)
  • Member, ABA Juvenile Justice subsection (past)
  • Member, National Association of Counsel for Children (past)
  • Peer Reviewer, Journal of Interpersonal Violence (past)

American Bar Association

In June, 1991, the American Bar Association, honored Mr. Mones by selecting him as one of twenty attorneys in the nation, “who have done something with their lives and legal skills to make a difference.”

Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice

In August, 1993, the American Bar Association awarded Mr. Mones its Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award. Presented by Attorney General Janet Reno, the award is given annually to one attorney in the United States for, “Outstanding contributions and long term commitment to juvenile justice reform and promoting the rights of the child.”

Spirit of Crazy Horse

In October of 1998, Paul was awarded the Spirit of Crazy Horse Award from Reclaiming Youth International for his efforts on behalf of children.

Lawyer of the Year 2012

Each year Lawyers USA recognizes attorneys who have made a significant impact in the legal world during the year just past. Paul was one of seven attorneys nationwide recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year” in 2012. This recognition was for his efforts which resulted in the public  release of the Boy Scouts of America’s perversion files.

Published Works & Books

When A Child Kills: Abused Children Who Kill Their Parents

Considered by many to be the definitive work on children who kill their parents, When a Child Kills was published in hardback in 1991 and paperback in 1992. It was also translated into German under the title Wenn Kinder Toten. This book has been cited as an authoritative   source by 3 state appellate courts and has been cited in over twenty legal journal articles. Here are just a few examples of praise that the book received:

Noted Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Alvin Poussaint said of the book: “This book is the most compelling indictment of child abuse I have ever read. When A Child Kills is an excellent book that I highly recommend.”

Dr. Ann Cohn Donnelly, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse America and now a professor at Northwestern University said of the book: “Ever wonder what could drive a child to kill a parent? When A Child Kills presents for the first time ever in brutally raw detailed fact exactly why. Professionals concerned with child abuse should read this book to better understand the children they care for; so too should all parents.”

The Atlanta Journal Constitution said, “Mones is an eloquent, impassioned advocate of abused children.”

Stalking Justice: The Dramatic True Story of the Detective Who First Used DNA Testing to Catch a Serial Killer

Stalking Justice is a landmark book on DNA fingerprinting. Though DNA fingerprinting is now a well established forensic technique seen not only in the courtroom but on programs such as CSI, when Mr. Mones wrote this book, DNA fingerprinting was in its infancy.[1] Not only is this a fascinating story of how DNA was first used to catch a serial rape-murderer but it is a compelling true-crime story. In fact best selling author Patricia Cornwell based her first book Post Mortem on this true story.

Stalking Justice came out during the O.J. Simpson murder case and Mr. Mones was frequently called on by The Los Angeles Times, Court TV, and CBS national radio to give his opinion on the DNA matters related to the case. He also served as an on air consultant for NBC News and appeared regularly on the Today Show during the trial. The Learning Channel also did a half hour special on the story which features an interview with Paul Mones. In addition because the book also highlights a false confession (the wrong man was initially arrested and was freed through Detective Joe Horgas’s efforts and DNA) numerous books on false confessions and DNA testing have cited the book.


“The Fight Against Child Abuse,” Oregonian Op-Ed June 2, 2009

Abusers, Abettors Deserve Public Wrath, Oregonian Thursday, February 21, 2008 (co-authored with attorney Kelly Clark)

“Effectively Using a Mental Health Expert,” The Oregon Defense Attorney, Vol XXI, No.4, May, 2000 (a similar article was also published in the state criminal defense bar publications in Washington and Texas. In October, 2002, the ABA published a version of the article for a continuing education book, Juvenile Death Penalty: Representation Resources.)

“Interview Guidelines for Teens Accused of Violent Crimes,” in Juvenile Death Penalty: Representation Resources), American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center

“Confronting the Truth About Teenage Violence,” Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, Vol.8, No.3 (Fall 1999)

Book Review of Superpredators: The Demonization of Youth by the Law, in Journal of the American Bar Association, (Fall, 1999)

“Custody Disputes Involving Domestic Violence: Making Children’s Needs a Priority,” Juvenile and Family Court Journal, Vol. 50, No.2 (Spr. 1999) [co-authored with Doyne, et al.]

“Trouble Begins at Home,” Washington Post, Op-Ed, May 20, 1999

“Be the Voice of a Child,” Portland Oregonian, Op-Ed, December 6, 1996

“Where Have All the Good Cops Gone?” American Police Beat, Op-Ed, November, 1996

“Child Abuse and Teenage Homicide: Strategies for Preventive Intervention,” in Stanford Law and Policy Review, (Spring, 1996)

“Domestic Violence is Child Abuse, Too,” Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed, March 1, 1996

“Life and Death of Susan Smith,” New York Times, Op-Ed, July 28, 1995

“Suggestions of Abuse,” Book Review in Trial Magazine, December, 1994

“Parents Killing Kids Shocking, Not Rare,” USA Today, Op-Ed, November 30, 1994

“It’s Scientific Fact, Not Court Fiction,” Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed, October 7, 1994

“Battered Child Syndrome,” ABA General Practice Section, Committee Update, July 1994

“Battered Child Syndrome: Opening a Window of Understanding on Patricide and Matricide,” Trial Magazine, February, 1994

“When the Innocent Strike Back”, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, June, 1993

“Parricide: A Window on Abuse,” Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems, Spring 1993

“Battle Cry for Battered Children,” California Lawyer, May, 1992

“The Relationship Between Parricide and Child Abuse” in Unhappy Families: Clinical and Research Perspectives on Family Violence, (edited by Dr. Eli Newberger), PSG Publishing Co. 1985.

“Too Many Rights or Not Enough: An Analysis of the Juvenile Related Decisions of the West Virginia Supreme Court”, 86 West Virginia Law Review 393 (1984).

[1] Read the New York Times story on Paul Mones’ journey in writing this book:

Keynote Addresses and Lectures

As a result of Paul Mones’ expertise in child abuse, for over 30 years, he has been conducting continuing education trainings and giving lectures throughout the United States to judges, attorneys, prosecutors, police officers, social workers and mental health professionals. The following are a sample of the groups to which he has delivered keynote addresses and lectures.

Attorneys and Judges and Law Enforcement

  • Los Angeles County Inter-agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN), October 2013: A National Perspective: Sexual Abuse Within Institutions of trust
  • Oklahoma Judicial Conference, July 2013: Domestic Violence is Child Abuse
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, September 2012: Opening a Window on Allegations of Child Abuse in Custody Cases
  • Oregon State Bar, December 2009: CLE Child Abuse Reporting
  • Annual Joint meeting of National Association of Juvenile and Family Court Judges National Association of District Attorneys
  • American Bar Association
  • Annual Conference of the Florida Public Defender’s Office
  • The Defense of Family Violence Homicide Cases sponsored by the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Conference of State Courts
  • Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Florida Public Defender’s Association
  • Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Annual Juvenile Delinquency Seminar
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court’s Conference on Judicial Education
  • Los Angeles County Court’s Children and Families Conference
  • West Coast Seminar on Domestic Violence Homicide, Office of the Los Angeles
  • County Medical Examiner
  • Santa Monica Police Department Domestic Violence Training Conference
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Child Abuse Training
  • Seminar
  • National Association of Counsel for Children
  • West Virginia Judicial Council and Social Worker Association,
  • California Association of Criminal Justice Attorneys Annual Death Penalty Seminar
  • Colorado State Public Defender Conference
  • Alabama Prison Project
  • American Bar Association Juvenile Defender Leadership Conference
  • Los Angeles Public Defender Death Penalty Conference
  • Emergency Conference on School Shootings held in Los Angeles
  • Florida Family Court Conference
  • United States Army Sexual Abuse Training Seminar

Mental Health Professionals

  • International Society for the Study of Post-traumatic Stress
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychiatric Association

Child Abuse Professionals including social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists

  • First National Child Abuse Policy Conference, Sacramento, California
  • Second International Research Conference on Family Violence, Durham, NH; International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse
  • American Public Welfare Association
  • National Symposium on Child Sexual Abuse
  • Georgia Council on Child Abuse
  • Maryland Governor’s Council on Child Abuse
  • Louisiana Council on Child Abuse; North Carolina Committee to Prevent Child Abuse
  • Northern Kentucky Task Force on Children and Violence
  • European Seminar for Child Abuse Training Specialists held in Dundee, Scotland; National Symposium on Child Victimization held in Washington, D.C.
  • Annual Washington State Conference on Children’s Rights
  • Western Regional Symposium on Child Abuse and Sexual Assault
  • Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Conference on Family Violence,
  • Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council
  • Oregon Crime Victim Assistance Network
  • National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Iowa Children’s Justice Conference
  • Annual Meeting Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
  • Placer County, California Child Welfare Professional Conference
  • Mississippi Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • National Council on Child Abuse and Neglect
  • South Carolina Child Abuse Conference
  • Idaho Child Protection Conference

Legal Teaching Experience

Paul Mones has been an adjunct professor of juvenile law at: Pepperdine Law School, the University of West Los Angeles Law School and West Virginia University Law School. In addition, Paul was also a visiting lecturer at Washington and Lee Law School, Whittier College of Law, Loyola Law School and Vanderbilt University Law School. He also was an adjunct associate professor at the UCLA Neuro-Psychiatric Institute