Perkins Coie - Pro Bono Legal Assistance in USA

Result Believed to be First Case in Which a Foreign Judgement for Rape Has Been Enforced in a U.S. Court.  

MILWAUKEE, WI (October 15, 2013) – Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michael D. Guolee entered a judgement in favour of Catherine Jane Fisher, an Australian citizen, recognising and enforcing a Japanese civil judgement for rape that Ms. Fisher obtained against Bloke Deans, a former U.S. Navy service member now living in Milwaukee, WI.  The judgement is the culmination of a twelve-year quest for justice by Ms. Fisher, and came only after an extended fight in the Milwaukee court during which Mr. Deans attempted on two occasions to dismiss the claim by arguing that Ms. Fisher did not have standing to bring her claim and that Mr. Deans had been denied due process during the Japanese proceedings.  After the Milwaukee court rejected Mr. Deans’ arguments, the parties entered into a settlement calling for enforcement of the judgement.  It is believed to be the first case in which a foreign judgement for rape has been recognised and enforced in a United States court.

 “We are very proud to have represented Ms. Fisher in her tireless efforts to finally recognise a judgement to which she has long been entitled,” said Perkins Coie partner Chris Hanewicz, who lead the pro bono team representing Ms. Fisher. “This result is a testament to her incredible strength and determination.”

Ms. Fisher was represented, pro bono, by Madison-based Perkins Coie attorneys Christopher Hanewicz, David Jones and Truscenialyn Brooks.  

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