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

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Law enforcement agencies around LA ordered to produce files on predator priests

By Kay Ebeling
aka City of Angels Lady

This is the way I like to see church attorneys. All three round balding men were bent over the defense table today dejected, “He granted it” one shrieked when the clerk handed out the judge’s tentative order re plaintiffs’ motion to enforce subpoenas. Law enforcement agencies around Los Angeles are now ordered to produce documents on predator priests as requested by the plaintiffs in LA Clergy Cases 2007.

Judge Fromholz said, “the tentative is to turn the documents over to the court sealed for review,” and a Long Beach city attorney who was present in court used that time to hand a manila envelope to Paul, Judge Fromholz’ clerk in Dept 20 of Superior Court. Those documents handed over in court today concern case BC307222, plaintiff Mary Grant’s subpoena of documents on predator priest John Peter Lenihan.

Once again the defense was reduced to making plaintiffs’ arguments as Church Attorney Rutherford representing the Bishop of Orange said, “Plaintiff admits in her brief the only reason she wants this is to shed light on the secrecy of the archdiocese of Los Angeles.”

From my seat I watched the wrinkled coats of the three church attorneys’ backs as they bent over the defense table reading the judge’s decision and making moaning noises. Then I looked back at Patrick Laurence and Chris Campbell for the plaintiffs, each barely able to hold back grins as they read. And I thought, “So this is what it’s going to be about from here on, then, the slow release of documents to the public.” I grabbed a copy of the tentative out of the hands of John Spano from the Times long enough to read “these are documents of the court and as such they have to be public.”

City of Angels will have to wait until next week to read the final order from the judge -- when it shows up in those same wonderful public documents that we access in Room 106 of LA Superior Court 111 N. Hill Street. So watch for more in a report here next week.

A little drama in an earlier hearing: Motion of defendant Doe 1 through 5 to maintain documents under seal: Denied. Church Attorney Sean Kneafsey said, “This is the first time anyone has ever suggested the rules are different,” and Plaintiff Attorney Laurence slammed a notebook on the table, inhaled, stood up straighter, exhaled, and listened.

Kneafsey went on: “The right to a fair trial means the constitution has to be considered by this court. Saying the rules have completely changed is an end run around the July 6, 2006--

JUDGE: That was my order, June 6, 2006.

KNEAFSEY: Uh, uh, (Stumbles) June 6, 2006, protective order from this court.”

To Kneafsey’s left stood church attorney Wayne Dobman?? Doughman? I’ve called this church attorney “Dough Man” in my notes since the first time I saw him around February or March. He has this extremely white face with doughy features -- Dough Man like many church attorneys is getting rounder and more bent as the months go on. All three of them stood together and again looked like proud founding members of Young Republicans of America, aging. But that doughy guy never enunciates his name clearly in court. Maybe the blubbery lips make diction difficult.

Church Attorney Kneafsey droned on:

“The Seattle Times decision, that's a US Supreme Court decision, says pretrial material is not subject to public right of access because doesn't go through judicial review of admissibility.” Blah-blah-blah

As with the other decisions by the judge today, City of Angels will have to review them in Room 106 next week and then report more details here on this blog. So stay tuned:

More from today's hearing after this

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Church Attorney Rutherford continued to protest about turning over documents:

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY CAMPBELL: 18 months ago they were served this subpoena

CHURCH ATTORNEY RUTHERFORD: It’s not relevant to us as we're not parties to this settlement. Plaintiff admits in her brief the only reason she wants this is to shed light on the secrecy of the archdiocese of Los Angeles.

RUTHERFORD, CONT’D: The Diocese of Orange was created in 1976 and Lenihan came into it and served for a couple decades. The Subpoena doesn't focus on pre-1976 and items relevant to Los Angeles, it asks for “everything at any time”

Rutherford says Grant is asking for: “all calendars of Los Angeles of Orange, every priest, nun, attorney, contractor -- plaintiff even wants my calendar. The subpoena is completely over-broad and un-necessary to serve whatever interests she says she has in this case.”

JUDGE: Did she ask for all those calendars?

Patrick Laurence shakes his head at a loss for words and Rutherford goes on.

“The Diocese of Orange litigated a case against Mary Grant and now 20 years later she’s issuing subpoena for documents she could have asked for years ago -- Or she could have asked through Los Angeles before she settled.

“Nobody forced Ms. Grant to settle,” asserted Church Attorney Rutherford representing the bishop of Orange.

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY CAMPBELL: We were told the bulk of his file was transferred to Orange.

“Post abuse documents are relevant.

“We've offered to pay fees for time they spend. They won’t even produce a privilege log.”

RUTHERFORD: (Whining) We've got a couple of boxes of documents on that case from 20 years ago, can you imagine how much time it will take? It’s completely unnecessary.

JUDGE: Go into jury room right now to see if you can’t work out a compromise on the scope.

Why Was Tony DeMarco So Angry Last Week? After this:
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Now let’s see how cooperative Defendant Doe’s are being

On 7/31 re case bc308555 from Boucher’s office:
REPLY in support of motion to compel answers and production of documents re Plaintiff Robert M’s request for production of documents set one to defendant doe 48 --

Declaration of Anthony M. DeMarco, Esq.

Lists 10 lines of plaintiffs’ names, mostly first with last initial, and 23 defendant Doe’s.

Let Tony DeMarco’s words speak for themselves:

“Defendant represents that it will ‘file responses that are in substantial compliance” as soon as reasonably practicable.’

“As of the filing of this reply it has been more than three months since plaintiffs initially propounded the very limited requests for production, and no such response has been received.

“Nor has defendant even called to inform plaintiffs’ counsel when documents will be forthcoming. Defendant was first obligated to produce Father Martinez’ personnel file by the Court Order of January 23, 2006.

“Defendant argues its failure to provide any responses to plaintiff’s discovery requests is because

“Defendant didn't know about the requests.”

“Defendant concedes these requests were properly posted to CaseHomePae. Defendant makes no effort to explain how it would have been unaware of the Court’s prior order called above, or the Court April 30, 2007, order fully releasing for discovery and litigation all eight cases.. . .

“Defendant themselves have in the past chosen to serve documents
in these proceedings solely by posting them to Casehomepage.

“Plaintiffs’ motion to compel should be granted.”

It was.

This was the motion Fromholz granted last Tuesday Aug 7, when the one church attorney tried to explain, “Oh he served the subpoena on the national office, not the local ones,” and DeMarco was talking through his teeth.
More to Come. . .

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