For nearly 20 years, Jessica Arbour has been a dedicated and compassionate advocate for survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide.
Jessica Arbour joined Horowitz Law as of counsel in 2018, bringing nearly two decades of experience as an attorney and paralegal to our team. She has been a colleague of Adam Horowitz, Horowitz Law’s managing partner, for nearly as long. They continue to work together as a skilled and effective team for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and exploitation.
Together, Adam and Jessica have handled cases of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. In 2010, the two obtained a landmark decision in a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Little Rock by a woman sexually exploited by her parish priest, a known serial predator of vulnerable adult women in the Little Rock area. The Diocese asserted that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution barred the plaintiff’s lawsuit because it would infringe upon the Free Exercise of Religion clause to allow the Diocese to be sued. A loss would mean that no survivor of clergy sexual abuse could ever seek justice in Arkansas Courts.
But Adam and Jessica persevered, and in a lengthy written decision, they won the nuanced legal argument and eventually obtained a significant settlement for their client. They have had similar successes fighting other legal arguments intended to close the courthouse to survivors of abuse, including the statute of limitations and attempts to keep damning information about the Church’s coverup of sexual abuse from the general public.
In 2011, Jessica was part of a two-lawyer team that obtained a $100 million verdict against one of the Archdiocese of Miami’s most notorious and prolific predator priests, Fr. Neil Doherty. It was the largest verdict in the State of Florida and the eighteenth largest in the country that year.
Jessica, an Avvo-rated attorney, has repeatedly been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star in both Florida and Illinois. She has also been nominated for the American Bar Association’s Child Advocacy Award. Her work is regularly featured in the international media.
Over the years, Jessica’s clients have often remarked on the patience and compassion she shows them throughout one of the hardest times of their lives. Helping clients obtain some measure of justice and accountability means far more to her than any awards or accolades ever could.
Prior to attending law school, Jessica worked as a paralegal in one of the nation’s top firms for clergy sexual abuse survivors. In that position, she frequently deployed for long-term assignments in Northern California, Chicago, and across the country, handling everything from massive written discovery projects, the review of hundreds of priest personnel files, and the preparation and coordination of the depositions of some of the most important leaders of the Catholic Church. Since becoming an attorney more than a decade ago, Jessica has herself deposed some of the highest-ranking officials in America’s Catholic Church.
Jessica has also worked as an associate attorney in one of Florida’s largest law firms, handling matters of negligent security, wrongful death, and employment discrimination. During that employment, she tried several complex matters to a jury and prevailed in each one.
Jessica graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2009. She attended the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts.
Jessica is licensed to practice before the state courts of Florida (2009) and Illinois (2014). She is also licensed in several U.S. District Courts in Illinois and Florida, as well as the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (2019). She has been admitted to practice pro hac vice in more than a dozen other jurisdictions, including Arkansas, Indiana, and New Jersey.
If you have a been a victim of sexual assault, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at 1-888-283-9922 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Jessica Arbour at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bar and Court Admissions
- U.S. District Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- DePaul University College of Law, Juris Doctor
- University of St. Thomas, Bachelor of Arts