About Kim Hart
Trial Consultant

Kim Hart - My Story

My name is Kim Hart, and I am a trial consultant with over 25 years of experience assisting attorneys in the successful defense of persons accused of child abuse and/or sex crimes as well as successfully appealing those wrongfully convicted of child abuse and/or sex crimes.

I am knowledgeable as to the current state of the science in child abuse cases and sex crimes as well as appeals case law, and I am skillful at incorporating this information into specific cases. I maintain excellent professional relationships with the leading experts in every field of child abuse and sex crimes and can effectively integrate these experts into specific cases when necessary to a successful defense.

As a trial consultant since 1987, I have worked with various attorneys on cases in every state in the United States and have the experience and knowledge of what issues must be addressed as well as which strategies have proven successful and which have not.

In addition to being a child abuse and/or sex crimes trial consultant, I have been the Executive Director of the non-profit National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center for over two decades.  Through this role, I have helped organize 15 international conferences dealing with the defense of child abuse and sex crimes. I am an associate member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. I am also a member of Strathmore’s Who’s Who, VIP, Lifetime Achievement Listing. Lastly, I authored ‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent: A Manual for Surviving False Allegations of Child Abuse’.

My fees are constructed on a case by case basis depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of my involvement.

About Todd James – Senior Appellate Writer

Over the past 14 years, I have reviewed hundreds of appeals cases and, in the process, have been able to digest the various approaches and legal arguments that have been utilized by hundreds of different lawyers. 

It is my opinion that most appeals overlook viable issues and have a tendency to raise issues that have virtually no chance of being successful. For example, “manifest weight of the evidence” and “sufficiency of the evidence” arguments have virtually no chance of overturning the conviction. 

If those are the main issues in an appeal, the chances of winning are slim to none. If those issues are raised in a collateral role of trying to help frame the mind-set of the appellate judges for a viable issue, then, there may be a place in your appeal for them. Remember, an alleged victim’s testimony if believed by the trier of fact is sufficient to convict someone (regardless of the alleged victim’s pre-trial statements and trial testimony are contradictory).

Many appellate attorneys who are doing a direct appeal will often tell you that they are only interested in reading the transcripts of the trial. Many of them will not want to obtain and review the original attorney file since it is not ‘part of the record’. Prosecutors sometimes fail to provide the defendant with all favorable or exculpatory evidence that they have. The practice of an appellate attorney not reviewing the original attorney file is plainly wrong. Brady material (favorable and/or exculpatory evidence) can many times be gleaned from materials that were in the original case file. 

For example, the original trial attorney may have been provided statements or reports that could indicate that prior interviews were conducted with an alleged victim or important witness. The prosecution did not provide the prior interviews because he/she did not feel or believe that the prior interviews were “favorable” to the defendant. Yet, those prior interviews could have been the evidence to show changes in the alleged victim’s story, contradictions with a witness’ trial testimony, and so on. 

Since the majority of sexual abuse convictions hinge on the credibility of the accuser, any evidence that discredits the accuser’s credibility could have impacted the verdict. While many appellate attorneys would argue that these are “post-conviction issues”, we would submit that they could provide support, for example, of ineffective assistance of counsel on the direct appeal.

Presentations and Seminars

Child Abuse Allegations: The Modern Day “Scarlet Letter”
15th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Las Vegas, Nevada. August 26-28, 2010
Defending Child Sex Cases
Indiana Public Defender Council Seminar. Indianapolis, Indiana. March 6, 2009.
Child Abuse Allegations: Separating Scientific Fact from Fiction
14th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Las Vegas, Nevada. September 28-30, 2008.
Child Abuse Allegations: Science vs. Junk Science in the Courtroom
13th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Las Vegas, Nevada. September 18-20, 2006.
Defending Child Molest Cases: The Pendulum is Swinging
Indiana Public Defender Council. Indianapolis, Indiana. February 25, 2005.
Child Abuse Allegations: Separating Fact from Fiction
12th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Las Vegas, Nevada. October 14-16, 2004
Child Abuse Allegations: Science vs. Suspicion
11th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. New Orleans (Metairie), Louisiana. March 13-15, 2003
Innocent people convicted of child sexual abuse and imprisoned as a national problem.*
American Academy of Forensic Sciences 55th Annual Meeting. General Session. Chicago, Illinois. February 21, 2003. *Paper accepted for publication
Defending Child Molest Cases is Different
Indiana Public Defender Council seminar. Indianapolis, Indiana. February 14, 2003.
Practical and Scientific Elements in Child Sex Abuse Cases
Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers seminar. Columbus, Ohio. April 12, 2002.
Sexually Dangerous Persons: Registration and Community Notification Requirements for Juveniles Deemed as “Sexually Dangerous”.*
American Academy of Forensic Sciences 54th Annual Meeting. General Session. Atlanta, Georgia. February 14, 2002. *Paper accepted for publication.
Investigating Child Sex Cases. Missouri State Public Defenders Trial Skills Training Conference.
Lake Ozark, Missouri. December 5 & 6, 2001
Child Abuse Allegations in the Courts: Science & Reason vs. Myth & Emotion
10th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Reno, Nevada. October 17-19, 2001.
Child Abuse Allegations: 2000 and Beyond. 9th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center
Kansas City, Missouri. September 14-16, 2000
Allegations of Sex Abuse: A detailed analysis of a sex abuse case from beginning to end: from investigation through the predator hearing
Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Cleveland, Ohio. May 12, 2000
Child Abuse Allegations: Myth vs. Reality
American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA). Boardwalk Seminar 2000. Atlantic City, New Jersey. April 13 & 14, 2000
Child Abuse Allegations: The Law, The Science, The Myths, The Reality. 8th International Conference of National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center
Las Vegas, Nevada. October 14-16, 1999
Keys to Successful Defense of Abuse Cases
Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association Conference. Villager Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska. February 19, 1999.
Defending Child Abuse
Indiana Public Defender Council. Indianapolis, Indiana. February 12, 1999
In Defense of Rape and Child Abuse: Where Law and Science Meet
Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. University of Dayton Law School, Dayton, Ohio. February 5, 1999
Allegations of Child Abuse: The Law, The Science, The Myths, The Reality
Seventh International Conference of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Las Vegas, Nevada. October 22-24, 1998
Defending Child Molest Cases
Indiana Public Defender Council Seminar. Indianapolis, Indiana. December 12, 1997
Integrating the Science with your Legal Defense. Co-presentation with Terry Harper, J.D.
Indiana Public Defender Council Seminar. Indianapolis, Indiana. December 12, 1997
Defending Child Abuse Allegations
Sixth International Conference of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Las Vegas, Nevada. September 11-14, 1997
Child Abuse Allegations II: The Law, The Science, The Myths, The Reality
Fifth International Conference of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Las Vegas, Nevada. September 20-22, 1996
Attacking the 980 Predicate Conviction
Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. August 1, 1996
Accountability of Social Workers
Ohio University School of Social Work, Athens, Ohio. April 22, 1996.
Ramifications of Recent Court Decisions Involving Child Sexual Abuse
Joint Presentation with Karl Rissland, Esq. Trumbull County Bar Association. Trumbull County, Ohio. February 16, 1996.
Allegations of Child Abuse: The Law, The Science, The Myths, The Reality
Fourth International Conference of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Chicago, Illinois. October 6-8, 1996
Issues in Child Abuse Cases
Joint Presentation with Melvin Guyer, J.D. & Ph.D. of University of Michigan. Missouri State Public Defender Conference. St. Louis, Missouri. June 7, 1995.
Current National Trends in Holding Professionals Accountable in Child Abuse Cases
Lucas County Bar Association Juvenile Court. Toledo, Ohio. May 26, 1995
Allegations of Child Abuse: The Issues, The Law, The Science
Third International Conference of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Co-sponsored with Cuyahoga Bar Association. Cleveland, Ohio. September 24-25, 1994.
Child Sexual Abuse Legal Issues for Criminal and Family Court
Indiana State Bar Association Annual Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana. June, 1994. (Keynote Speaker)
DEFENDING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CASES: AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH. Integrating research from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and medicine into an aggressive legal defense in criminal cases.
Massachusetts State Public Defender Association Annual Conference. Salem State College, Boston, Massachusetts. June 5, 1993. (Keynote Speaker)
The Eight Most Common Pitfalls Attorneys Make in Defending Child Abuse Cases
Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Conference. Cleveland, Ohio. March 12, 1993.
Issues to Address in Child Abuse Cases: Legal Strategies and Current Trends
Second International Conference of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Kansas City, Missouri. October, 1989
A Plea for Valid Research into Child Abuse Allegations and Issues
First International Conference of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center. Perrysburg, Ohio. October, 1987.
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Additional guest lectures have been given at Ohio University School of Social Work, W. Virginia University School of Social Work, and Baylor University School of Law

Written Works

This compilation below is a list of some of the many written works I have published:

Proper Defense of False Allegations of Abuse

The Voice, published by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  September, 2002.  Volume 31, No. 7.  Co-authored with L.T. “Butch” Bradt, J.D. and Elsie Martin-Simon, J.D.

After-word in From the Mouths of Babes: The Criminal Trial of a Sunday School Teacher

  1. Paul Grey, Ph.D.  Lost Coast Publishing.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: A Manual for Surviving False Allegations of Child Abuse

Second Edition.  2000.   Published by the NCADRC Publishing.

Defending Child Abuse Allegations Motion Book with CD-Rom.

1998. Published by NCADRC

Deposition Questions for Mental Health Professionals Regarding Sexual Abuse.

1995. Published by NCADRC.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: A Manual for Surviving False Allegations of Child Abuse.

1989. Winchester Group (Parker & Son Legal Publishing).

Media Appearances

Over 100 appearances on national television and radio.  National television appearances on:

Also appearances on numerous regional television and radio interviews as well as a participant in scores of newspaper and magazine interviews.

References

The following attorneys are a sampling of attorneys that Kimberly has consulted:

John Edmond Mays, J.D., Decatur, Alabama

Stephen Glassroth, J.D., Montgomery, Alabama

Mary Lynn Belsher, J.D., Modesto, California

Charles Jamieson, J.D., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Mark Lipinski, J.D., Bradenton, Florida

Bruce Lyons, J.D., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Douglas Peters, J.D., Decatur, Georgia

William Harrison, J.D., Honolulu, Hawaii

Patrick Arata, J.D., Ft. Wayne, Indiana

George Jones, J.D. Lamoni, Iowa

Mark Stanziano, J.D., Somerset, Kentucky

Rebecca Nitkin, J.D., Rockville, Maryland

John Andrews, J.D., Salem, Massachusetts

Gail S. Benson, J.D., Beverly Hills, Michigan

Tim Cisar, J.D., Lake Ozark, Missouri

Jay Milano, J.D., Rocky River, Ohio

Karl Rissland, J.D., Streetsboro, Ohio

Lorin Zaner, J.D., Toledo, Ohio

James Hankle, J.D., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Andrew Savage III, J.D., Charleston, South Carolina

James Bell, J.D., Knoxville, Tennessee

L.T. “Butch” Bradt, J.D., Houston, Texas

Robert Estrada, J.D., Wichita Falls, Texas

Elsie Martin-Simon, J.D., Houston, Texas

David S. Marshall, J.D., Seattle, Washington

Robert LeBell, J.D., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Need a Trial Consultant or Advice?

Would love the opportunity to consult with you.