Federici v Pignotti et al: Case Dismissed and Documents Available

As some of you are already aware, Ronald Federici sued several people in November 2010 and in December 2010 the case was removed to the Virginia Federal Court System where all defendants filed motions to dismiss. Our motions were heard by the Honorable Judge Gerald Bruce Lee on March 4, 2011 and our motions were granted. In other words, the case is now dismissed. Several key documents for this case, including Federici's complaint, Pignotti and Mercer's motion to dismiss and his response to that are available via the Citizen Media Law Project Website:

Here are the direct links:

Federici Complaint


Memo in Support of Motion to Dismiss (Pignotti and Mercer):


Federici's Memo in Opposition of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss:


Pignotti and Mercer reply to Federici:


or if trouble with any of the above links, just go to:


(Just scroll down to "Relevant Documents" and PDFs are available for download. The dismissal documents should be available shortly and will be posted at that time).


Related material, from your average mom, (with a part-time job)

Thank you for updates on a story that, in my mind, is old, and yet relatively new and concerning for many reasons. I believe the legal issues between petitioner and defendant often reflect only a small aspect of a much bigger social picture/problem many of us face during the course of a life-time.

For instance, a person who has been deceived or victimized by a mechanic or salesman can petition a complaint against the employee or business owner, and ask a judge to decide if collected evidence proves (or not prove) X, Y, and Z did happen, and because of those events, harm or loss was sustained. The first decision an impartial judge must make is simple: was harm done? If so, to whom? The next step in the decision-process is more complex because the judge must decide if the defendant owes an apology for hardship experienced by the petitioner/victim . If the judge decides the defendant does owe an apology, the judge must then decide if the defendant must pay for his/her mistakes. ["Punishment" is used to teach a simple lesson: if you do X, and X is bad, Y will be the consequence. The consequence in punishment is painful. How painful? That's up to the judge.]

This is what makes law suits in Adoptionland so sooooo fascinating to me.

I am in awe just how many people cause SERIOUS harm to innocent people, and I'm in awe how soft, lenient, and inconsequential some "punishments" for wrong doing really are!

For instance, let's look at Scott and Karen Banks, defendants in a series of court cases that made major network news back in 2009.

The complaint issued was related to an adoption scam. The judge issued a final-ruling that did support the belief that what was done against parents was not only wrong, but the defendants ought to be punished.

In Utah, a judge decided "fair punishment" for "five misdemeanors" was probation rather than prison. Sure a formal apology had to be issued, (putting the Banks couple in the hot-seat for about 15 minutes), and a trust fund had to be created, but since 2010, what has been said about "charity-minded" people who trick parents into releasing their kids into the hands of a complete stranger (with a promise of a better future)?

It's shocking to see how an insidious criminal enterprise is protected by a judge's "fair" ruling.

Let me be clear, our Child Trafficking pages prove the Banks are NOT the only people who have tried to trick parents into doing something they would normally not do, but agree to do it because they are desperate for something better.  Child trade, the American Adoption Agency way is a great way to earn a really nice American income.  (Just ask unscrupulous domestic/foreign adoption facilitators.)

Back to Federici, and his breed of para-professionals.

Modern-day ICA has created a whole new demand for parenting classes. Because so many children "found languishing in orphanages" are developmentally delayed and with unknown social/medical histories, typical "normal" learning needs and behaviors have been altered. Are these needs and behaviors permanent? I personally, have no idea, I'm not a neuroscientist trained in fMRI imagery. Nevertheless, I am a parent, and I have four kids, and all of my kids attend public school.

Parents who send their kids to public schools know all about "special ed programs" that integrate special ed students in "normal" classes, for the sake of the "special" child. [I learned this lesson when my second-born (first son) attended kindergarten.  Back then, we the parents, didn't know there were going to be combative autistic children in the class. We were simply told a new Partners Program was being initiated in our school district, thanks to an agreement made between Catholic Charities and our public school system. We, the parents of "normal healthy" kindergarten aged children were promised a unique learning experience.]

It was unique, alright. It was very upsetting to ME, the parent, the first time I visited my 4 year old boy's class, and saw another 4 year old boy freak the hell out, in class, over something that seemed really insignificant. But as a young inexperienced parent not familiar with "normal typical" boy behavior, I thought freaking out in a violent outburst was common for kids who aren't used to having a full-time mommy-figure around.  I have since learned just how difficult it is for full-time moms to deal with severely autistic children.  I cannot imagine the difficulty, and I thank God I was spared this heartbreaking reality.

I remember that day in my little-boy's class like it was just last year. [My son starts highschool next year.]  I was scared for myself and my little boy the day I saw another boy go berserk like I never saw outside my childhood/Afamily experience. But I have to admit, the teachers trained in special ed knew what they were doing and they were able to remove the freaking-out child, without too much incidence. It really helped that the special-ed teacher had a great warm loving personality. Had she been a hard-ass, I would have removed my son from the class, and keep him home with me for another year, since kindergarten is NOT a state requirement where I live.

The irony is this: I chose this particular school program because the student teacher ratio was much lower than the 14:1 ratio seen in my home-state.  I should have been triggered by that small little detail, but I didn't know much about the public education system back then. [Before my son was born, we were able to afford private school.... ah the good ol days of the single-child!!]

So let's put a story that features Federici, in perspective.

While many Aparents may seek para-professionals like Dr Federic., or say.... Nancy Thomas... to help control unwanted behaviors at home or in the classroom, what they're really doing is paying people to prepare parents with a special-needs child; they are teaching safe effective ways to cope with the stress that comes with teaching and learning.

It cannot be said enough times -- learning disabled students respond differently to stress than "normal kids" (non-disabled children) do. However, one thing is certain, even the learning disabled know the difference between a nice person and a mean person.

I work in an area of nursing where more and more MR (mentally retarded) individuals are making their way into long-term care situations. I am familiar with the challenges parents with adult children have. It's truly heartbreaking. I cannot fathom such a burden. [I thank God I was spared this torture that often-times leads to divorce and other unpleasant domestic situations.  Yes, MR and autism are different, as far as I'm concerned.]

What fascinates me is, people tend to think the MR adult is stupid. No. The person may be slow, but the person is NOT stupid. It's very sad seeing what happens when a MR adult recognizes something "bad". Yes, even "the slow stupid retard" knows the difference between the person who is safe and the person who is abusive. Fear is a universal language, and the symptoms are unmistakable to those trained to watch and observe changed behaviors. It's so horrifying seeing who causes the change in behavior (positive to negative) in the MR adult, put in-care, during a "family visit". Horrifying.

<rubbing stupid tears away from my stupid eyes>

I don't want to focus on Federici too much. I don't know the man personally or professionally; I don't know the parents who praise his work. I don't know any adults who went through his program and want to shout from the roof-tops:, "Federici is a miracle-worker, LOOK how he turned my life around!! I DO know desperate AP's, receiving monthly adoption subsidies, are willing to pay whatever it takes to get their child the help he/she needs so maybe one day, that child can graduate high school and eventually learn a trade/skill and be able to live an independent productive life.

Parents are free to choose which professionals they will take their children to see. Parents need to educate themselves about all the programs that are out there ready to assist the parent and child with very special needs. Some programs are really horrible, with equally horrible "trained" staff members.  As far as I'm concerned, such places/programs should be closed and condemned.

So, in that regard, I'm a strange pup. I take the time to look at things maybe others would not think to look at.  I look at "unique opportunities", like "boot camps for kids", and RTC's and key features/behaviors that trigger me.  I know there's a reason for the tickled triggered sense I get inside of me, when something doesn't look right. What can I say, it's a gift that comes from many (too many) dark experiences.

I was triggered when I read something written by a man who claims to be a professional.

HIS words, not mine:

In my petition to the courts , I attempted to put an immediate halt to fraudulent internet postings regarding myself, my family, professional career, credentials and clinical practice which have been made by a group of social and professional “misfits”, who operate a fringe advocacy group with a “mission” to discredit many well respected experts in the field of Child Development.

Their motives remain a mystery, aside form emulating the infamous “National Enquirer” or equally slanderous and outrageous publications which “target” Public Figures.

Remember, people with “ no lives, no qualifications, no job, no ethics, and no moral character are typically the first to slander and make false and hurtful statements. Their agenda is hatred vs free speech.

According to the Federal Court hearing which transpired on March 5, 2011, the Presiding Judge designated myself and everyone in my “Expert” category as “Public Figures” who have no choice but to endure the hardships of worldwide jurisdiction of Internet postings whether they be fact, fiction , slander or outright bizarre allegations. Again, the Internet and National Inquirer have no limits to what they can publish about a “Public Figure”.

Sad, but true. Just think about all the bizarre “stories” you may have read on the “Net?”

Victims of abuse do use the internet as a means to network with other victims.  This is actually good news for those with a license to practice a skill.  Why, If not for the Internet, many trained therapists would be sitting in empty rooms, with zero patients to charge $X an hour (which is actually only 45 minutes).

It seems that, following my 26 years of exemplary Clinical Practice ( without any type of national or international complaint, malpractice suit or question regarding my professional credentials and abilities ), there has emerged a “ coalition of individuals” who have found it their “ life mission “ to target both myself as well as many of the other “international experts” in child development-adoption and trauma medicine. All of these outstanding professional colleagues such as Dr. Gregory Keck, Heather Forbes, Nancy Thomas, Dr. Daniel Hughes, Dr. David Ziegler, Dr. Arthur Becker - Wiedeman and a host of others have been subject to the same vicious, malicious and fraudulent attacks by this same set of individuals who consider themselves to be “above the law”. Tragic as it may sound, these non-credentialed, non-clinicians, and unemployed individuals spend their days and nights writing the most slanderous and fraudulent posts on the Internet without a single “legal filter”, due to the First Amendment, and , more importantly, the right to freely criticize and disparage a “Public Figure”. Reality or fact does not matter here. Again, the “National Inquirer Mentality” prevails.

So here are the “Cast of Characters” that you may read about, or who have targeted me or others out of pure malice, vindictiveness, professional jealousy or just because they have too much spare time.

MIND YOU, I KNOW NOT ONE OF THEM, nor have I ever dealt with in any professional or personal forum!! They are not in my league of morality or professionalism.

Indeed, some do seem more "professional" than others, but who knows how any one would behave when a growing, thriving career is being questioned?

It is not surprising whatsoever that all of these individuals have “come together” and developed their own “attack forum” on multiple websites that you will read about which include both my name as well as many of the other prominent adoption-trauma experts in the United States who also have an exemplary record.

One should take note who Federici sees as having "an exemplary record". In my mind, his opinion and preference raises a whole new set of red flags and associations....but I'm quirky that way when I get triggered.


With all of these factors in mind, I wanted to make this very direct and honest statement prior to your reading any of the garbage and rubbish on any of the future websites by these cult-like individuals who have nothing better to do with their lives but attack and attempt to interfere with the professionalism and business practices of both myself, Dr. Ronald Federici, and multiple colleagues across the country.

All of us believe that they are still in their cult-like mentality, unemployed, mentally unstable at multiple levels and have probably all worked for the National Enquirer or should get a job there as their writing certainly “fits the picture”.

Should any of you have any questions regarding the veracity of this letter and my overall INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONAL and PERSONAL LIFE, credentials, qualifications and treatment approaches, I urge you to contact me directly any time of the day or night

[From: Response to Internet Critics ]

It must be really difficult to rely on an income that is so dependent upon the adoption industry, and AP opinion. One can only imagine just how stressful it must be to not only create, but then preserve an honorable reputation, in the popular "social service/school psychology/mental-health" profession.  I imagine it would take about 26 years, or more, to earn a good solid positive praise-worthy reputation among other professionals in the same/similar field.

If Federici, and friends, are as good as he claims, we will see their stellar mouth-dropping results in about 10 or so years. Whether PPL is still on the Internet, that too remains to be seen, however, I don't forget things that trigger me. I don't know what it is, but when I see/read an AP call others names, as if everyone else but that AP (and his supporting ilk) are low class stupid second-class citizens, I see black. That sort of arrogance? Mmmm....not a big fan.

Meanwhile, the Federici-associated saga is an important one. If not for those AT abuse cases that have made major headlines, many would not be aware of the other other types of abused/killed adoptees we feature on PPL.

I for one have my own special interests that goes beyond AT. As an adult adoptee, who was abused by members in my Afamily, my eyes and ears are open to all things orphan-international adoption related. It's my hope we will be seeing many changes and improvements in adoption reform, children's rights, and public safety --within the next few years.

Who knows? Maybe Federici hopes to see the same.

Federici closed down PPL

Let's not forget that Dr. Federici closed down PPL...
It took quite some time, and money, to put PPL back online - as far as I remember


The Emperor strikes back: Pound Pup Legacy shut down over information about Ronald Federici

Tue, 2009-02-03 20:36 - Kerry and Niels
Yesterday around 9 PM CET, we discovered our website was no longer displaying any of the content we worked so hard for writing and collecting, but instead showed a grim message saying "This Domain (poundpuplegacy.org) Has Been Disabled".

Upon further inquiry with our hosting provider it seemed a complained had been filed over a comment that listed information from the Virginia Department of Health Professions, containing some of the licensing information of Ronald S. Federici. The complaint stated that we had listed personal information of aforementioned person, which was in violation of the terms of service and as a result of that our website had been taken down.

Oddly enough careforchildreninternational.com lists his licensing number too, but since that is a website owned by Ronald Federici, it seems all of a sudden this information is freely distributable. Of course that is in a context which strokes "the emperors" ego, while we remain critical of his work and that of "attachment therapists", whose work in our opinion closely resembles the practices of Ronald Federici.

It seems this is all about appearances and ways to make money. Any critical information about Ronald Federici is bad for business and therefore seems to be under attack. See also: Attachment Therapist Cabal Led by Ronald Federici and Arthur Becker-Weidman Attempts to Shut Down ACT (Advocates for Children in Therapy).

Although we will not list information that will bring us in conflict with our hosting provider, the actions taken against us, have in fact fueled our vigilance when it come to "attachment therapists" and others that avoid that label, but whose work in our opinion isn't substantially different.

Maybe Ronald Federici can impress some with an alphabet soup of titles and maybe he can make some children only see "the emperor's" reality,


Kerry said:

"What fascinates me is, people tend to think the MR adult is stupid. No. The person may be slow, but the person is NOT stupid. It's very sad seeing what happens when a MR adult recognizes something "bad". Yes, even "the slow stupid retard" knows the difference between the person who is safe and the person who is abusive."

My daughter (adopted at 15 months)  is 20 years old, and has Cerebral Palsy/Hemiplegia of the left side.  In foster care for 3 years, after being sexually abused by her covert, pedophile, adoptive father;  she was taken from me, LABELED, and put with the Special Olympics kids at the foster home high school.  She's been home 2 years.  She has been a member of the choir, received ALL A's during the past two years, is a member of the Rotary here in town, and is on her way to community college next year with several scholarships paying her way.  At the former school, it was to their advantage to LABEL her as stupid; at this school, she has shown the WHOLE WORLD she is ANYTHING BUT stupid.  She totally recognized the BAD at the first school/foster home, but was unable to do anything about it, as a foster child.  When she turned 18, she immediately called me and asked to come home.  I had the backing of OUR DHS, as we attended the meeting that would decide her future.  We walked in there with the TRUTH, and walked out  in FREEDOM!


just wow..

Pound Pup Legacy