Clients say it best

I couldn’t have asked for better representation and counsel...


We can tackle some of the most complex matters in the litigation world.


Year after year, our team delivers unmatched results for our clients.

Father Donald Hartman – Clergy Sex Abuse Lawyers

Father Donald Hartman had been a fixture in the Marquette Archdiocese since the 1950’s. In 1992, Fr. Hartman was removed from public ministry after reports of sexual abuse involving a 12 year old altar boy began to surface. In the previous year, a civil complaint was filed in the Dickinson County Circuit court alleging Fr. Hartman of sexually assaulting an altar boy at American Martyrs Church in Escanaba.

The Diocese received a number of complaints of sexual abuse against Fr. Hartman. The complaints were made long after Fr. Hartman was removed from public ministry (1992) and years after he died (1999).

In 2002, an altar boy sent an email to Bishop James Garland informing him that Fr. Hartman was a pedophile and that he had been sexually assaulted by Fr. Hartman going back to the 1950’s. During this time, Fr. Hartman was a Priest at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in St. Ignace. Since Fr. Hartman had ceased his ministerial duties with the church and moved to the State of New York, very little action was taken against him.

In 2004, allegations of sexual abuse against a minor was levied against Fr. Hartman. The investigation revealed that Fr. Hartman would meet minors outside of church property and would invite them to his house where he would sexually abuse them. The allegations involved him fondling and performing fellatio on minors. To hide his crimes, Fr. Hartman instructed his victims not to tell anyone. These victims stayed silent for decades.

In 2010, a victim came forward and reported that he was sexually assaulted as a teenage boy in 1963 by Fr. Hartman. The allegation were corroborated by a witness who came forward and indicated that she saw Fr. Hartman sexually abusing a minor on church property and brought it to the attention of the boy’s mother. After the church conducted an internal investigation, Fr. Hartman was moved to another parish.

As time passed and the teenage boys have become grown adults, they have developed the courage to come forward and tell their story in order to get to the truth of what occurred, to see that practical and policy changes be made, to protect and prevent the sexual assault of minors and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

Sommers Schwartz shareholders, Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller, Matthew Curtis and Jay Yasso have fought for victims of sexual abuse. The law firm of Sommers Schwartz has recovered millions for survivors of Michigan State University and USAG team physician, Dr. Larry Nassar, and against Dr. Robert Anderson who sexually abused students, athletes and other patients for over 35 years at the University of Michigan.

If Fr. Hartman or any other priest or a member of the Catholic Church sexually abused you, you should consult experienced attorneys at Sommers Schwartz. Attorneys Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller, Matthew Curtis and Jay Yasso are seasoned and aggressive personal injury attorneys who will also show you the compassion, empathy and sensitivity you deserve. All consultations with Lisa, Matt and Jay are confidential and free.

A Trusted Authority

Our attorneys have been featured on local and national media outlets, including:


Comments about Matthew Curtis from an Appreciative Client

Your efforts have changed my life, Matt. I’m forever grateful. My wife has tons of upcoming medical expenses, and we had both been working hard to make ends meet. I can’t thank you and your staff enough.

Praise for Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller and Matthew Curtis

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for your hard work and dedication in handling my case. I appreciate your professionalism, your compassion, and your perseverance throughout this challenging process. You have gone above and beyond to protect my rights, to defend my interests, and to secure a favorable…

Praise for Wage & Overtime Pay Attorney Jesse Young

Jesse Young worked an employment case for me that ended with almost 700 people getting their unpaid wages back. He and his team are incredible. From the first communication to the last, they never missed a single beat – consistent and clear communication, quickly replying to my communication, and always making…

A Client Talks about Andy Dragovic

My wife had an accident, tripping over a cable line that wasn’t buried. Andy represented us and were very pleased with the outcome. Andy was very professional, personable, and quick to respond to us, answering any of our questions or concerns. The whole firm was responsive to our concerns, and…

Praise for Dina Zalewski

The lawyers at Sommers Schwartz, P.C. were nothing short of amazing when I came to them with my medical malpractice case! Dina truly helped to put my mind at ease and because of her and her firm, I finally have closure and can begin my healing process! I just want…

Gratitude for Rob Sickels

When our world was shattered by an unexpected medical diagnosis, we were referred to Rob Sickels of Sommers Schwartz. What a blessing to get this referral as Rob listened to us with caring and compassion, spent all the time necessary to help us, was always honest with us about our…

A Grateful Client Talks About Dina Zalewski

Dina never lied to us and was very straightforward. I feel like she took me under her wing. She got me through something that I thought was going to be incredibly difficult for me to relive. Dina felt like a friend, somebody I could trust and look to for guidance….

About Dina Zaleski, Rick Groffsky, and Andy Dragovic

Dina, Rick, and Andy were amazing lawyers. They helped me through an incredibly difficult time in my life after losing my son. I wanted answers on why, and they helped me through the whole process and they got me answers. After I lost my son, I was severely depressed. Every…

Our Clients Say It Best

40 5-star reviews on Google