Prosecutor's New Organization Focuses On Crime Victims Easing Their Pain
But Dearington has some concerns. "I'm not entirely clear on the specific nature of the services he's offering."
Specifically, Dearington said he worries that Clark's representation of victims might get in the way of his own prosecutions.
"My concern is that any victim may be a witness. If that victim/witness gives [Clark] a statement and that statement is inconsistent with what that witness had told [the prosecutor's] office, then that might be exculpatory because the statement may impeach the credibility of that witness."
Further, Dearington is concerned that lawyer-client privilege may mean that prosecutors won't be able to use certain statements by crime victims because they were made to Clark.
Garvin Ambrose, the state Victim Advocate, is in charge of providing victim support services in the courts. Ambrose acknowledged that more can be done to connect victims with counseling legal services. "Unfortunately, our office doesn't touch every victim in the state," Ambrose said. "As an attorney, [Clark] can operate a business where he sees the need."
However, without citing specifics, Ambrose said he has concerns that in publicizing his organization, Clark may be promising more than he can deliver.
But Clark has no intention of failing to deliver a first-of-its-kind service in the state. In a recent interview in his home, Clark acknolwedged that he hasn't represented a client yet. He was waiting for his legal malpractice insurance to kick in before making a client call. "But I have been contacted by several potential clients," he said.
Clark worked for the State's Attorney's Office in New Haven for 27 years, rising to the level of senior assistant state's attorney and handling 100 felony trials, including 35 murder cases. He left the job in 2010 to work for the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Va., training military lawyers on investigations and prosecutions of sexual assaults in the military. He recently returned to Connecticut, after his government position ended due to budgetary restraints.
The idea for creating something to help unrepresented victims has been with Clark for a long time. While he was studying at Hastings University of the Law in San Francisco in 1979, Clark and another student created a program to help victims of domestic violence.