Harold Cassidy POWER Chief Legal Council
HAROLD J. CASSIDY, J.D.
Harold Cassidy has engaged in a broad variety of litigation, both trial and appellate, in his 40 years in the private practice of law. Mr. Cassidy was designated by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney and is a past member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, New Jersey. He was selected by the New JerseyGovernor to serve as a member of the New JerseyBioethics Commission, and was a Delegate to the American Bar Association convention on Life, Death and the Law. He has been honored for his achievements in the law by being selected Person of the Week by the ABC World News with Peter Jennings, and has been selected as one of New Jersey’s top attorneys in the field of general litigation byNew Jersey Monthly and New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine. At the end of the twentieth century, a prominent publishing house published a book on the one hundred most important legal cases of the twentieth century. Two of Mr. Cassidy’s cases were listed and discussed. No attorney had more cases listed. Mr. Cassidy has litigated numerous cases of public importance in a variety of areas of practice.
Mr. Cassidy has litigated numerous cases of public importance in a variety of areas of practice. In the area of criminal law, he was counsel in the New Jersey Supreme Court’s leading case which established the right of one accused of a crime to have independent legal counsel. He successfully litigated the first case in the nation in which an Appellate Court established the right of a defendant, in a cross-racial identification case, to require the state to hold a line-up which would include specifically identified non-defendants. Mr. Cassidy was also a member of the legal team which won Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a well-known professional boxer wrongfully convicted of triple murder, his freedom in court proceedings which lasted nineteen years. In the area of medical legal and tort law, Mr. Cassidy handled more than a thousand different cases. Cases of public interest included Mr. Cassidy obtaining the first jury verdict, in New Jersey, in which a jury returned a liability verdict against a doctor and nurse for the suicide death of their psychiatric patient. He also was counsel in the New Jersey Appellate case that created a new rule of law which tolled the commencement of the statute of limitations in cases where a minor was sexually assaulted and the resultant psychological injury prevented the victim from timely asserting her rights. He obtained significant recoveries in novel cases, such as the Hudson County Jail Fire Case, and the Breach of Security Case at Rutgers University. Mr. Cassidy established important precedent in an abortion malpractice case which established that a first trimester abortion involved the death of a family member. 1 In the area of commercial litigation, Mr. Cassidy successfully defended, on behalf of the Federal Government’s banking regulatory agency, the FDIC, the first post-bank closing due process hearing in the history of New Jersey. He litigated cases which provided the initial construction of the legislation which created the Resolution Trust Corporation. He also was counsel in the case in which the New Jersey Supreme court struck down state fees imposed upon Federal agencies as violative of Federal Law and the Supremacy Clause. Perhaps, most significantly, Harold Cassidy is considered as the leading and most accomplished attorney in the nation as a defender of the rights of pregnant mothers. He distinguished himself as a defender of the right of pregnant mothers to maintain their constitutionally protected relationship with their children. He secured the return of children to their mothers in situations where the mothers’ rights were violated and their surrender of their constitutional rights were uninformed or involuntary. He was Chief Counsel in the famous Baby M case, the first case in the United States to strike down surrogate parenting contracts as illegal, unenforceable, against public policy and exploitive of women. The Baby M decision influenced the development of the law throughout the world. In 2009, he successfully litigated the first contested “gestational” surrogacy case in the history of New Jersey, where the mother who carried the child was not genetically related to the child, obtaining a decision that the contract was unenforceable, violative of public policy, exploitive of women, and the consent for adoption, resulting from compulsion of the contract, was void. For the past twenty years, Mr. Cassidy has devoted a large part of his practice to protecting the rights of pregnant mothers particularly in matters involving abortions where abortion providers have violated the rights of the mothers and subjected them to procedures without obtaining informed and voluntary consent. He has established important precedent in this area of practice. Harold Cassidy is now widely consulted by various state legislatures for his legal expertise in the area of mothers’ rights and abortion law, and he has assisted in drafting and defending legislation in this area of the law. Mr. Cassidy obtained a ruling, from an en banc Court of the United States Court of Appeals, that it is constitutional for a state to require an abortion doctor to disclose that an “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” because it is an accurate statement of scientific fact. In that case, he assembled a world class team of experts, including leading experts in the fields of molecular biology, human embryology and human genetics. He obtained a separate opinion from a second en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals that upheld the statutory requirement that an abortion doctor must disclose to a pregnant mother, that an abortion will place her at increased risk for suicide ideation and suicide. Through his legislative work and his courtroom litigation, Harold Cassidy introduced a completely new dynamic into the national debate on abortion: the rights and interests of the pregnant mothers which are destroyed and harmed by abortion. To understand the impact his work has had in this area of law, one need only read the accounts of grudging respect for his work as expressed 2 by the abortion industry and pro-abortion advocates: 1. In January2011, Mother Jones, the radical liberal, pro-abortion magazine, published a six page article profiling Harold Cassidy’s work on abortion. In that article, Mother Jones wrote: “And while these ideas have become part of the vanguard of pro-life thinking – protect the woman, not just the unborn – few have heard of the man who helped bring them to prominence … Cassidy … sees the mother-child relationship as ‘almost sacred’ … These beliefs have put him at the forefront of the pro-life movement’s biggest rebranding in recent memory, an effort that has gained traction among pro-life state legislatures.” (Emphasis added). 2. In one of his recent books, “Challenging Nature,” Lee M. Silver, an accomplished Molecular Biologist who was among the first scientists to discover some of the genes that regulate gene expression in the human being, wrote about Cassidy’s legal strategies. Silver teaches at Princeton University, has been a champion of human cloning for reproductive purposes, and is the darling of the abortion industry as their expert of choice. He appeared on behalf of the abortion industry in two separate cases litigated by Mr. Cassidy. Silver wrote in “Challenging Nature” that: “The problem with (Cassidy’s) strategy is that it’s brilliant and effective. … Cassidy, George, and other Catholic and Evangelical intellectuals pull the rug out from under secular opponents.” Pages 117-118. 3. In 2010, Columbia Law Review, one of the most prestigious legal periodicals in the nation, published a forty page article written by Jeannie Suk, a constitutional law professor from Harvard Law School. In her article entitled “The Trajectory of Trauma: Bodies and Minds of Abortion Discourse,” Professor Suk, known as a liberal pro-abortion constitutional law professor, discussed how pro-women, pro-feminist thought and arguments have been reshaping the pro-life discourse. Her premise is that feminism and feminist thought is being used effectively to argue against legal abortions. She observes that Harold Cassidy is most responsible for this effective legal approach for the pro-life side, stating, in part: “It is no coincidence that the lawyer considered most influential in carrying the abortion trauma argument into courts and legislatures is Harold Cassidy, who was also the lawyer for the regretful surrogate mother in the famous Baby M. Case. There, at his urging, and with the support of some feminists concerned with protecting women from exploitation, the Supreme Court of New Jersey invalidated a surrogacy contract, noting such contracts’ potential to degrade women, particularly because a woman “never makes a totally 3 voluntary, informed decision” to enter into a contract to sell her baby before giving birth. Several decades later, commentators attribute to Cassidy’s influence South Dakota’s 2005 law requiring physicians to provide information to abortion patients about medical risks including depression, psychological distress and suicide. Concerns about psychological harm, coercion in women’s reproductive choices, and women’s right to be informed seem to run directly from his work on surrogacy and adoption to his work on abortion. The consistent thread is the idea of protecting women when they make choices that are in fact not fully voluntary, and then regret their decisions and suffer trauma.” 110 Columbia L. Rev. 1143, 1248, 1249. 4. On September 9, 2011, Mother Jones, in its article reporting on one of the decisions obtained by Mr. Cassidy from the U.S. Court of Appeals, on September 2, 2011, in the Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, Alpha Center et al, stated that: “The decision is a major win for Attorney Harold Cassidy, who filed the appeal to the 8 Circuit. Sarah Blustain profiled Cassidy in th Mother Jones earlier this year; the state drew from his legal writings in drafting the law.” Mr. Cassidy has lectured widely on the rights of women including addresses at the Harvard Law Forum, Yale Law School and Princeton University. He has appeared on National and International television, including appearances on Nightline, The David Brinkly Show, and The David Frost Show in London.
Amicus Curiae Brief of Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Amicus Curiae Brief of Mother Teresa of Calcutta
In 1994, Mother Teresa of Calcutta filed a Friend of the Court Brief with the United States Supreme Court. It was identical in all aspects to the replication except for this commemoration. It is believed that this was the only time Mother Teresa petitioned any government. She did so on behalf of unborn children.
In this nine page exposition; Mother Teresa spoke from her heart to the Supreme Court and called America to the faithfulness to what it once taught the world.
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South Dakota’s historic Resolution
This historic resolution of the South Dakota legislature has been called eloquent and inspiring by numerous commentators. Over the past ten years, South Dakota passed new laws designed to protect the fundamental intrinsic rights of pregnant mothers and their children. While South Dakota has prevailed in successfully defending its laws in the Federal Courts, all of its laws were attacked by abortion clinics and abortion doctors based upon the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and its progeny.
The Concurrent Resolution sets forth the findings of the legislature, expressly lists the rights of the mothers violated as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and it’s progeny and sets forth all of the state’s grievances with those decisions. The legislature declared that its central mission to preserve and protect the intrinsic rights of its citizens had been diminished and even destroyed by those tragic, flawed and destructive decisions and exercises of power by the United States Supreme Court so that the legislature found in their solemn obligation to point to the errors of that court as part of their duties to protect the rights of its people.
In Thursday, January 29, 2015 this Concurrent Resolution passed the South Dakota House of Representatives by 86% of the vote “yes” votes to 10 “no” votes. The resolution passed South Dakota’s Senate on February 5, 2015 by 74% of the vote.