"We got a new law passed in California that opens up the statute of limitations for all victims of sexual abuse. It's something we've been trying to do in several states for years. And I'm not waiting for it to click in. I'm suing the sh** out of [the Catholic Church] everywhere: in Sacramento, in Santa Clara, in Santa Rosa, in San Francisco, in Oakland, in L.A., and everyplace else."
– Jeff Anderson, April 2003 interview
Meet Minneapolis contingency lawyer Jeff Anderson.
No single individual has gone after the Catholic Church more than Anderson has. It's estimated that he's earned hundreds of millions of dollars suing the Catholic Church.
How has Anderson prevailed?
In an April 2010 newspaper profile, attorney Jeff Anderson told the Washington Post, "I believe Christ was a student of Buddha."
What at first blush appears to be an innocuous remark actually tells a lot about Jeff Anderson. He never lets the facts get in the way of what he wants to believe. (There's not even the slightest shred of evidence, for example, that Jesus was a "student of Buddha.")
For years, Anderson has been screaming of an "international criminal conspiracy" by the Vatican to cover up the sex abuse of children. Yet, like with his remark about Jesus and Buddha, there's never been any support for the claim.
Sadly, many in the media have uncritically eaten up the wild claims by Anderson.
Even the liberal Minneapolis weekly City Pages has likened Anderson to a "wisecracking ambulance chaser with a reputation for hunting priests and an advanced degree in self-promotion."