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Friday, February 2, 2007

Who are the Attorneys in Civil Cases of Pedophile Priest Rape Survivors vs L.A. Catholic Archdiocese?

Who Are The Attorneys Fighting Pedophile Priest Rape Survivors to Protect L.A. Catholic Archdiocese’s Corporate Assets? – Corporate Bankruptcy Specialists.

Plaintiffs' attorneys are intelligent and dedicated but fighting like David against Goliath in the current civil cases taking place under Judge Haley Fromholz in Superior Court Los Angeles.

Donald F. Woods, Jr. one of the attorneys representing the archdiocese is with the L.A. firm: Hennigan Bennett & Dorman. At HBD’s website they claim expertise in complex litigation, business reorganization & bankruptcy, litigation, and trial support, which they are bringing to the L.A. Clergy Cases.

As they put it themselves:

The bedrock of HBD’s Complex Litigation group’s practice is our ability to try and to win large business and commercial cases. We are a trial firm with particular expertise handling individual and class actions involving financial and securities frauds, shareholder derivative claims, directors' and officers' liability claims, antitrust claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, commercial contract disputes, and the prosecution and defense of professional liability claims.
Our practice covers a broad range of industries including banking, finance, securities, high technology and the Internet, energy, public accounting, real estate development, aviation, health care, pharmaceutical, and entertainment and media. In the securities law area, we have extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants

Among the cases they’ve won recently:

Sempra Energy Resources v. California Department of Water Resources. HBD represented Sempra Energy Resources ("Sempra") in pursuing a claim for declaratory relief and in defending claims of fraud and breach of contract against the Department of Water Resources in connection with Sempra's ten-year energy contract. The Department sought to void the contract, which it valued at $6.6 billion, and as well as damages. In May 2003, Sempra won summary judgment on all causes of action, and thereafter the San Diego Superior Court entered judgment in Sempra's favor.

Farallon Capital Partners v. Gleacher & Co., Inc., et al. HBD represented Farallon Capital Partners and Oaktree Capital Management in prosecuting fraud claims relating to our clients’ purchase of more than $30 million in bonds backed by a steel company in Thailand. HBD settled the case on confidential terms with a substantial recovery to the client.

And most famously the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy that destroyed hundreds of firms and families in that part of the state:

Orange County.
HBD represented Orange County as lead litigation counsel in lawsuits filed against Merrill Lynch, numerous other broker dealers, structured note issuers, and professionals retained by the County prior to the bankruptcy, including attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors. Settlements of these cases exceeded $871 million. This included the largest litigated recovery ever recorded against a law firm, one of the largest ever against Wall Street, one of the largest ever against a major accounting firm, and collectively one of the largest recoveries for a single series of interrelated suits.

The attorneys who helped broker that wonderful bankruptcy deal for Orange County in 1994 that cost thousands of jobs and cut county services for the next decade now represent the Los Angeles Archdiocese against plaintiffs who were raped by priest in the Catholic church.

Representing the plaintiffs, One of the major firms is Kiesel, Boucher & Larson of Beverly Hills. Their clients, the plaintiffs, are people who were damaged by the church to the point that they are damaged individuals, many are unemployed, many are in therapy or should be, many are recovering from lives of drug abuse and sex addiction among other problems – no one has ever really studied the personality parallels in priest-rape survivors.

KBLA describe themselves on their website as:

Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP was formed in April, 1999 with the merger of Kiesel & Larson and the Law Offices of Raymond P. Boucher. All three name partners have extensive litigation experience in complex matters and have tried many cases. Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP and its predecessor firms have a long and rich tradition in representing consumers who have been injured and suffered damages due to the negligence, fraud, unfair business practices or other wrongful conduct of others.

Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP provides representation to plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, business fraud, breach of contract, construction defect, employment discrimination, consumer class action, product defect, insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, toxic tort, environmental, and professional malpractice actions.

For over the last 10 years, Messrs. Kiesel and Boucher have been actively involved in the trial bar and have continuously maintained leadership positions with the Consumer Attorneys of California and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. In addition, both of them are frequent lecturers at continuing education seminars for lawyers. Please see their biographies for more detailed information.

The associate attorneys at Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP are all very experienced and accomplished litigators. They all have broad-based experience litigating large, complex and significant cases.

KBLA’s website includes a keen link to the Los Angeles County Law Library and other resources, the University Law Review Project where you can sign up for a free abstract email service. The overall sense of the KBLA website is this is an intelligent firm, with human justice and open information being one of its goals,

But the client list? Recent cases of note:

Beverly Hills oil well litigation
Paul Kiesel has been retained to represent the interests of all injured victims making claims against the city of Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hills school district, Venoco, Wainoco, Beverly Hills oil company, ChevronTexaco and Sempra. Dr. Kiesel has been retained, uniquely, as the settlement counsel to assist the plaintiffs in resolving their claims against the multiple defendants. Dr. Kiesel is proud to be working alongside the lead counsel Baron & Budd through their partner Al Stewart.

Lane Garrison DUI
On January 31, 2007 the Beverly Hills Police Department announced the results of its six week investigation into the tragic death of Vahaghn Setian (age 17), on December 2, 2006. The Department's findings conclude that Lane Garrison, who was operating his Range Rover, lost control of the vehicle due to both excessive speed and intoxication. Mr. Garrison's blood alcohol level was at least twice the legal limit in California; cocaine was also found in his blood. KBL is honored to represent the family of Vahaghn Setian regarding this devastating loss. The family anxiously awaits criminal charges to be brought by the Los Angeles District Attorneys' Office against Mr. Garrison.

And most significantly the work of KBLA attorneys:

Orange County Diocese molestation cases
Raymond P. Boucher, as one of the lead negotiators, helped successfully settle all claims against the Orange County Diocese arising out of the priest molestation claims in the amount of $100 million.

You can see that KBLA is dedicated, hardworking, determined, ethical, driven by moral concerns – and on nowhere near the same playing field as the church attorneys.

Another firm representing the Archdiocese:

Carlton Disante & Freudenberger LLP in San Diego.

A visit to their website shows they sell themselves this way:

We are honored to represent a wide spectrum of employers ranging from Fortune 100 companies to regional and local enterprises. Whether we are providing day-to-day human resources advice, or handling sophisticated class action litigation involving thousands of employees, our mission remains to provide our clients with legal services of the highest quality, to achieve superior results, and to assist our clients in attaining their ongoing business goals.

On the CDF Clients page they list 71 names such as:

Denny’s, Domino’s, McDonalds, Napa Auto Supply, The Roman Catholic Church, US Bancorp, Western Digital, Young and Rubicam advertising, Tower Records, New Century Mortgage.

Yep. The Roman Catholic Church is smack in the middle of all those Fortune 100s defending its right to pass the buck on 40 years of turning pedophiles out into the community of Southern California and get away with it.

Another lead attorney for the plaintiffs in Southern California is Katherine Freberg whose firm is Katherine Freberg and Associates. She’s a 1961 Texas Tech graduate who went to law school at Pepperdine and now practices law in Irvine. Freberg had several clients in the Orange County settlement a few years back. A Google search finds evidence of her years of advocacy on behalf of priest rape survivors, with great quotes:

This one is from the Texas Advocates site:
Katherine Freberg, a lawyer in Irvine, Calif., who represents several people who say they were abused by priests, said the ruling would affect not only the estimated 800 child molesters in the California justice system but also many others.

"Potentially thousands and thousands of other pedophiles will get away with their crimes because other state legislatures will be reluctant to pass new laws," Ms. Freberg said. Lawmakers in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Florida, she said, had been considering extending the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children but would now be unlikely to try.

A June 15 2002 CNN transcript quotes Freberg:

You know, there are two problems here. One is how to deal with the priest who molests and number two, how to deal with the cardinals and the bishops who covered up for the priests who molest. Now this charter that they have proposed does not deal with the second issue at all. It is a charter of zero accountability. And as to the first issue, there certainly is progress, but there are so many loopholes to allow priests to continue on as priests, there is a huge loophole in this charter and it needs to be addressed.

Freberg is part of an NPR report

California Child Sex-Abuse Cases in Question
by Richard Gonzales

All Things Considered, July 3, 2003
California begins releasing accused child molesters who were charged or convicted under a state law that erased the statute of limitations on certain child abuse cases. The Supreme Court struck down the law last week. State prosecutors review cases to determine which charges must be dropped and which convictions overturned. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports

Endless advocacy – Freberg seems to have made bringing the Catholic Church to justice her life’s work but –

WHERE are the resources for plaintiffs to be on the same level as the Archdiocese in pleading their cases? How can this even begin to be justice? Why does a Christian organization hire attorneys skilled in financial wizardry rather than human concerns? Well it's LA Archdioces, forever more concerned with protecting its assets than the children in its churches.

NEXT -- The morass, the conundrum, five file cabinets overflowing and documents spilled out onto the tables and floors in the jury room beside Judge Fromholz' court. It's where they keep motions from just two months of Clergy Cases I and II in Los Angeles.

More to come

1 comment:

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