Susanne Croné-Morell is a lawyer who represents the plaintiff - she is on the side of the victim.på brottsoffrets sida.


The photographs Carina took of herself were enough to have the man found guilty in court.


Susanne has also helped Carina with her application for divorce.


Susanne Croné-Morell enjoys her work as a plaintiff's lawyer.


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Susanne works closely with the police, here with Gerd Grebron, who investigates crimes against children.


Susanne visits a client at home.



The Lawyer
On the day before the trial, lawyer Susanne Croné-Morell usually takes her client to the courtroom, where they walk around and she points things out. “This is where you’ll be sitting, and that’s where he’ll come in. It will be really difficult for you, and you might start crying. But it usually feels better afterwards. And I’ll be here with you.”

“Sometimes I sit in the courtroom and hold her hand, or stroke her back. I don’t want her to feel she is alone.”

Susanne Croné-Morell
Is the victim’s own lawyer – the plaintiff’s lawyer.  

Susanne Croné-Morell is a lawyer at the law firm Nielsen & Lock in Borlänge. Most of the work she does there is as a plaintiff’s lawyer, appointed and paid for by the court.  This means that she is neither police nor prosecutor. She always represents the victim, usually a woman who has been assaulted by a man she loves or has loved.
“My job is to support her in a situation which is both unsettling and frightening.”

Do you support her whatever she says? For example, if she wants to retract her statement?
During the weekend, Susanne has been given a new client, a woman whose husband tried to strangle her and whose daughter called the police. The husband is in custody. The woman has just contacted Susanne again. She wants to meet her husband, close the case, and “sort it out in the family”. 
“It is often not possible to retract a police report. Assault is a matter for public prosecution, and in this case there are witnesses, but everything is much more difficult if the woman does not want to take part. I try to explain this to her, and I can promise to support her throughout the trial.”

The role of plaintiff’s lawyer has a number of ingredients.
“I am a lawyer and I know who to ask. It is easy for me to call the police or the prosecutor to check things, and I can explain what is happening during the trial. If the woman is entitled to compensation I can discuss that with her and put forward her demands.
“But more than anything, it is about personal support. It means having time to sit and talk when that is what is needed, answering questions that come up over and over again, and listening to a story that maybe no-one else has heard. A story that can contain many tears.
“Sometimes I sit in the courtroom and hold her hand, or stroke her back. I don’t want her to feel she is alone.” 

More than anything, it is about personal support.

The work that Susanne Croné-Morell and other plaintiff’s lawyers do, plays an important part in the outcome of a case. There is a much greater chance that an abuser will be charged and convicted if the victim of the crime is given a legal counsel at the first police interview.
“The  plaintiff’s lawyers take the pressure off us,” say Detective Inspector Anette Stenius and prosecutor Niklas Eltenius unanimously. “The task of making sure the plaintiff can stand up to the ordeal of the trial would otherwise lie with the police and the prosecutor. They often don’t have the time, and they can be difficult to get hold of.”

Many violent crimes in close relationships in Sweden never lead to prosecution or a conviction. To find out why, in 2008 the Office of the Public Prosecutor’s Development Centre in Gothenburg carried out a survey of six prosecution authorities. It was found, among other things, that it was unusual for the victim to have the support of a plaintiff’s lawyer at the first interview. One third of the victims had no plaintiff’s lawyer at all.

The analysis pointed out four factors which could improve the statistics:
A plaintiff’s lawyer should be appointed as soon as possible

  • The suspect should be detained in custody
  • The handling time should be kept short
  • The time between when the crime is committed and when it is reported to the police should not be too long.  

Susanne Croné-Morell enjoys her work.
“I feel I’m doing something useful. But of course I take problems home sometimes, things I can’t let go of.”