Domestic Violence—Can Abusers Really Reform?


The video of Ray Rice assaulting the woman who is now his wife has received a lot of attention. It raises the question whether someone like this can be treated and reform so as to have a happy, normal relationship. Retired Judge Eugene Hyman discusses the matter, which is also the subject of a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Judge Eugene Hyman

Judge Eugene Hyman

Some offenders need multiple treatment regimens in order to change their behavior. Others never succeed. Judge Hyman believes that the studies showing favorable outcomes in treating people with abusive behavior need to be taken with a grain of salt. “Give me a substance abuser anytime. That person is much easier to treat.” Judge Hyman’s experience suggests that people prone to domestic violence are much harder to treat successfully.

The studies cited in the Wall Street Journal article are based upon people who successfully complete a program. The problem, says Judge Hyman, is that people who enter these domestic violence treatment programs often don’t complete them. Those people are reoffending at a high rate.

The problem seems to be to get people to complete these programs. Judge Hyman says that completion must be court-ordered if there is to be any realistic hope of success. There also needs to be follow-up, the judge says. The problem will surely not go away. The NFL is now struggling to get on top of it, as is the NBA. Domestic violence in the NFL is the subject of another Legal Broadcast Network report.

Honorable Judge Eugene Hyman has received numerous awards and recognition for his work with families and children and has appeared on numerous television news shows. For more information, visit www.judgehyman.com. He is also a featured commentator on The Family Law Channel and The Legal Broadcast Network. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

NFL Domestic Violence Issues—What Next?


The NFL has had a bad few weeks dealing with continuing domestic violence issues. Commissioner Roger Goodell has received a lot of unwanted attention regarding his handling of the Ray Rice case, in particular. Cooley law professor Ron Sutton discusses the problems in this report.

Prof. Ron Sutton

Prof. Ron Sutton

There have been calls for Goodell to resign, but Sutton believes that circumspection is in order. Sutton feels that Goodell has been inept in his handling of the whole domestic violence problem, but “whether or not he should be retained is up to . . . the owners.” Sutton does not think it likely that the owners will seek Goodell’s resignation absent some additional circumstances.

The NFL Players Association has appealed Rice’s suspension, claiming that he is being punished twice for the same offense. The NFL position is that the information the original information that was the basis of Rice’s two game suspension was incomplete, and the stiffer action came about after Goodell saw the tape. This raises a number of questions about when Goodell saw the tape, whether refused to see it earlier, etc.

Sutton suggests that a person in Goodell’s position would probably look at what law enforcement does in situations like this and take his cue from that, but Sutton believes that was the wrong thing to do (if that is what Goodell did). He should have done just the opposite of what a diversion program would do, in Sutton’s opinion.

The result of the Rice case has invited comparisons between how the NFL handles substance abuse and how they handle domestic abuse. Sutton suggests that the NFL is moving in the right direction to improve things. They have brought in domestic violence advisors “to oversee and advise them on domestic violence issues.”  Sutton feels the NFL needs to do more education of players.

Ronald R. Sutton is a professor and assistant dean at Cooley Law School. Before joining the full-time faculty in 2012, Professor Sutton was an adjunct professor at Cooley, winning the Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award in 2007. In his legal career, Professor Sutton served as the Deputy Circuit/Probate Court Administrator-Attorney Referee for the 56th Judicial Circuit Court in Eaton County, Mich., 2000-2011. Previously, he was president of Sutton Sports Management Co, 1998-2010, where he was involved with worldwide representation of professional basketball players, coaches and broadcasters. Before that, he was an attorney-shareholder with Fraser, Trebilcock, Davis & Dunlap, PD, 1979-1998. His areas of practice included commercial litigation, insurance law, family law, and sports law. Professor Sutton is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Lawsuit: Doctor didn't tell patient he had cancer

Lyndsay Markley

Lyndsay Markley

A Chicago woman is contending in court that a doctor neglected to share test results showing her father had cancer, which later killed him.

According to her lawsuit, urologist Dr. Alan Sadah, told Edward Hines he was cancer-free after removing a tumor on his bladder in early 2011. A week later, a pathology report told a different story; Hines had bladder cancer. According to the lawsuit Sadah didn't inform Hines.

In this interview Chicago attorney Lyndsay Markley tells LBN's Scott Drake the elements of this case which appears to be one of the first of it's kind.

As part of the lawsuit, another physician reviewed the treatment Hines received.  The physician says Hines should have been warned about bladder cancer's high recurrence rate and the need for extensive follow-up therapy.