HILARY'S TRIAL by Jonathan Groner


The Morgan Case: A Child's Ordeal in the American Legal System
Email this review


 The Kikuyu saying that ``when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers'' applies well to the high-profile custody and visitation rights battle of Drs. Morgan and Foretich and its effect on their daughter Hilary, recounted well here by Groner, a former federal prosecutor who's now an editor of Legal Times. The cast of characters is enormous and constantly changing, as lawyers and housekeepers are hired and fired and physicians, psychiatrists, and therapists are consulted and dismissed, and as the scene of battle moves from court to court. What stays the same is the determination of each parent to win the fight. Groner, an advocate for neither side, clearly attaches little credence to Morgan's claim that Hilary was sexually abused by Foretich, and he demonstrates that both parents' actions as they found an out-of-control battle over her constitute a very real form of child abuse. In his view, both parents were guilty of putting their own interests ahead of their daughter's, while the courts, charged with protecting the child's welfare, were unable to do so. Groner's account (in sometimes mind-numbing detail) of the complex legal maneuverings is based on extensive court records and on interviews with many of the parties involved. Although the battle for Hilary has apparently ended, thousands of similar contests are being fought in American courts today. Groner arouses the reader's sympathy for the children who are often the losers in these disputes, but offers no easy solutions. A balanced look at a sensational case that should serve as a warning of the harm that can come to children when parents do battle over them.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-69176-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1991