**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********

Monday, April 23, 2007

Court sets guidelines re mental exams & docs; church to produce files for in camera review, in civil cases re pedophile priests, Cardinal Mahony

Two court orders last week set precedents for the hundreds of cases to follow re mental exams and production of files, as the first jury trial approaches June 11 in LA civil cases against the Roman Catholic Church.

Judge Haley Fromholz granted the church’s motion for a mental examination of plaintiff Pepito in the April 18 hearing, saying his decision on this exam applies to the “numerous coordinated cases” defendant is litigating in California. The previous day in the same case, Fromholz ordered seminary files of Lynn Caffoe to be produced for in camera review in the Pepito & Uranga case set for jury trial August 6.

The church has to produce seminary files, in Pepito & Uranga and future cases, but for in camera review by the judge before being released to plaintiffs’ attorneys.


(“Judge Haley Fromholz stared at Katherine Freberg and said, “I don't want to review anything I don't absolutely have to.” See April 17 post.)

Precedents for upcoming cases

Regarding mental examinations: “In light of the fact defendant is litigating numerous coordinated cases in California, often involving plaintiffs who live in other states or countries” it would be too difficult for defendant (the church) to find doctors in all those locales. So plaintiffs have to come to LA for these mental exams, all expenses paid by the church."

(Can’t think of a better reason to travel to LA than for an exam with a church shrink.)

“The Court finds good cause to order Plaintiff to travel to California for his medical examination, at Defendant’s expense as required by 2032.320(e) (2).”

Compelling the Church to Release Documents.

As I was document diving today I found this order filed on March 6, 2007:

Court order “for documents produced by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department pursuant to a subpoena duces tecum proprounded by counsel for plaintiff ‘relating to George Neville Rucker’”

For Case BC307410 Ballard Vs doe 1

The documents contain “redactions of Mr. Rucker’s home address: 000010, 11, 1n3 13.

"The privacy objections of Mr. Rucker are otherwise overruled. There appear to be no grounds for privacy objections as to third parties."

Liaison Counsel to give notice.

More to come. . .
What was said at April 18th hearing on motion to compel mental examination

By City of Angels Winging It Transcripts

In attendance for the plaintiffs are Tony DiMarco and Katherine Freberg, for the defendants Phillip Baker, Donald Woods, and Melissa Fink of Baker, Keener & Nahra.

JUDGE: Grants the motion for mental examination, including conditions in the form of preparation and where the deposition taken..

FREBERG: One other issue. Re scope or duration of the exam. Their expert says he needs more than two days to do the exam. They identified 20 plus tests that need to be done, “subjective tests.” I’ve never had a defense mental exam take this long…

FINK: Defense is also concerned about the fact that many, many tests must be done to assess these claims. To set a limit on the exam is bad precedent as some will be shorter than others.

WOODS: Not all the exams. He’s not going to give all of them, he’s going to give all applicable. It lists every mental disorder conceivable even brain damage, physiological, and we're just looking at mental tests here --

The exam is not likely to go three days but if it’s not done in two days it could go a little more…

DI MARCO: I’ve done these and they shouldn't take longer than a day.

JUDGE: I trust Defendant won’t take too long but I'm not going to set a time limit on a mental examination.

“It is not my place to do so.

“If they take unduly long make a motion, -- but I'm reluctant to set limits beforehand, so deny that.

BAKER: Conditions, how serious is the issue of conditions and how much do they want to prepare for psychology exams? We don’t want them to prep with psychologists.

JUDGE: Then that's a subject for cross examination…

Almost everyone gets up and leaves but still a few plaintiff attorneys on the right.

And Lee Potts, liaison attorney for the defense, sits curled up in the back row on the left, his fist at his lips, his legs crossed around a briefcase -- pensive and bent up like a pretzel.

Potts squirms as he’s delivering litigation in front of the judge. In fact, the way Lee Potts’ brain always seems to be going faster than the rest of us is remarkably like personality afflictions I’ve seen so often in victims of this crime, ephebophile or pedophile priest rape.

In fact it’s a characteristic of persons with PTSD to always go faster than the speed of everyone around you, like Lee Potts does, and I do, and so many survivors do.

With Lee Potts I get the same feeling as I got only for a moment last week with Phil Baker. He’s on the wrong side and he knows it. But with Potts I sense the dusty intensity of a studio in a cluttered townhouse somewhere in LA. This man embroils himself in his work and goes fast as he can, not stopping to note the plaintiffs crying on the other side of the courtroom.

I know, I know, in America even the worst criminals deserve attorneys and a defense.

But do defense attorneys have to pretend to be on OJ Simpson's dream team?

More to come. . .

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