News & Story Ideas
Mark Bello calls it “the most important case I ever handled.” In 1983, he filed a lawsuit against a priest for admitted sexual contact with a minor child. The priest had been allowed to continue in ministry in several churches and schools despite a 1977 arrest and conviction for criminal sexual assault. A bishop involved the case admitted before his death that priests suspected of abuse had been allowed to continue ministry without any warning to parishioners. Bello tells how his courtroom experience inspired him to write his award-winning debut novel, “Betrayal of Faith,” and why the cover-ups went on so long.
A bigoted president, Islamophobia, white supremacists, and a deeply divided nation set the stage for Bello’s second novel, “Betrayal of Justice.” The attorney-turned-author, who is Jewish, discusses why banning people from predominantly Muslim countries – or anyone based on religion – is un-American and against our most cherished freedoms.
Some of America’s most cherished freedoms are under attack from political and corporate greed and influence over government. “It plays out sometimes on the political stage, but individual liberties, civil rights, and access to justice are citizen issues, not political issues,” Bello says.
Gun violence is robbing Americans of their "unalienable” right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. School shootings (the topic of a future Mark Bello novel) rob children of the right to go to school and learn without fearing for their lives. Bello discusses what America can and should do.
Sexual abuse by doctors, church leaders, businessmen, entertainers, and others is surprisingly widespread and routinely ignored or covered up by the powers involved. Among the worst examples is former U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of Michigan State University, who was sentenced to life in prison after more than 150 women and girls came forward to describe his abuse. Bello discusses how institutions try to block justice, and why victims must speak out.
Every day “illegal immigrants” are deported despite working hard, paying taxes, and trying to support their families and living exemplary lives. “ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) does not enforce rules consistently and our country’s immigration process has a means to ‘bait’ for entrapment and ambush,” Bello says. He discusses how the anti-immigrant fervor fanned by President Trump undermines the basic promises of America and damages our nation.
Bello is CEO and General Counsel for Lawsuit Financial, Inc., a national provider of lawsuit funding, and one of the foremost experts on financing litigation. He discusses how victims and plaintiffs can fight back against insurance companies and other institutions with deep pockets seeking to evade responsibility for actions that harm others.
Bello discusses how some insurance companies tried to evade responsibility for helping homeowners rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, while another committed fraud to shift liability to the government. He explains how homeowners can make sure their insurance companies don’t leave them stuck with crushing bills after natural disasters.
Republicans often favor tort reform – efforts to change the civil justice system that would reduce the ability of victims file lawsuits and limit the damages they can recover. Yet some “strict constitutionalist” conservatives oppose such efforts as violating the Seventh Amendment, which guarantees the right to a civil trial, a position supported by liberal Democrats. Bello discusses why Americans of all political stripes should understand and fight for this right.
Pope Francis called Roman Catholic leaders from around world to a first-ever summit to address decades of clergy sexual abuse in February 2019. Michigan attorney and victims’ advocate Mark Bello, one of the first to sue the church over sexual abuse in the 1980s, discusses what the church is doing to confront abuse that has gone on for decades – and if it wll make a difference.