Mediating Conflict,
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Seahawks, domestic violence and the Frank Clark controversy

One of the primary challenges that many former or current romantic partners face when dealing with domestic violence allegations is that a “he said, she said” tone can easily begin to dominate such cases. Unless credible witnesses can testify that one partner harmed another, or some other such concrete evidence exists that can verify the story of one partner or another, courts are often compelled to evaluate cases in which each partner tells a very different story.

Many of our readers are likely familiar with the recent Seattle Seahawks controversy related to 2015 draft pick Frank Clark. Clark was a star defensive end at Michigan when he was arrested on domestic violence charges approximately six months ago. He was swiftly kicked off the Michigan team after the police report indicated that he had punched his then-girlfriend, knocking her unconscious.

It therefore seems odd that the Seahawks would draft him in the second round. However, team officials justify their pick based on an internal review of the situation. According to The Seattle Times, team officials feel confident that Clark did not strike his then-girlfriend. This confidence was expressed despite the fact that Clark pled guilty last month to a charge of persistent disorderly conduct after striking a plea deal with prosecutors.

Domestic violence charges can impact divorce cases, child custody cases and even employment matters. The Frank Clark controversy illustrates just how important it is to retain experienced counsel in domestic violence matters, especially because it can be difficult to determine just what has occurred in such cases.

Source: The Seattle Times, “Hawks didn’t interview witnesses to ugly hotel incident involving draft pick Frank Clark” Geoff Baker, May 4, 2015