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Sunday, October 14, 2007

EXTRA: Salesians Religious Order not part of Catholic Church and other ways to conceal evidence in jury trial coming November 5th

By Kay Ebeling

“They say there is no non-privileged information. In other words the Salesians have information they believe is privileged. I’m asking for at the minimum a privilege log.” -- Plaintiff Attorney Tony DeMarco

In an interview below DeMarco talks about his attempts to squeze evidence out of the Salesians in pretrial discovery. But it doesn't matter anyway as according to their Motion in Limine #5 the Salesians really don’t have anything to do with the Catholic Church at all.

Walking into court Thursday at 8:20 the hearing was already in session and Tony DeMarco was saying: “We've received nothing substantive there has been no agreement.” Outside we talked on tape:

DEMARCO: We've got witnesses who testified that they made complaints about Miani, that he sexually molesting kids back in the fifties when they were students at a school run by the Salesians. We've asked for any records they have relating to those students, a fairly reasonable question.

Especially since those students have absolutely no objection to us getting to those records.

The Salesians have objected.

We have these students who say they made complaints to the director of the school about Father John Del Maso. We asked for any records they've got relating to Del Maso like his personnel file. He’s deceased. They've objected, citing burden and relevance. They say there’s no way it’s going to be relevant and it’s too much of a burden to gather.


“I think those records are important to get.”

There’s a man in Italy who complained when he was 13 that Miani molested him in the 1930, he was 13 in the 1930s. We want anything they have relating to the kid’s identity.


DEMARCO: How do I know, because all I have is some documents describing the kid as making a complaint and his age and nothing else, but we know from other sources that he was a seminary student in Italy at the time. They seem to have information about him that they don’t want to give to us.


DEMARCO: Because of the way they respond to us now.

They say there is no non-privileged information that they have.

In other words there is information that the Salesians have but they believe that it’s privileged.

So I was asking for at the minimum a privilege log. Show me -- describe the documents in a general sense, what they are, you know, let’s see whether or not attorney client or attorney work product applies.

So those are some of the things I’m looking for in this batch.

ME: Well what does it matter really when

News Flash: The Salesians have really nothing to do with the Catholic Church.

After this:
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In Motion in Limine #5 filed earlier this month the Salesians Religious Order ask the judge to “exclude reference at trial (Nov. 5)to The Catholic Church, the Vatican, the Pope, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or Cardinal Mahony,” as those entities have nothing at all to do with the Salesians

(Hearing on Motions in Limine October 25 at 8:30 AM with Judge Haley Fromholz in La Superior Court).

They're asking plaintiffs to refrain from referring to the Church, as a whole, the Vatican, the Pope, etc, “as responsible for the alleged unlawful sexual conduct of Fr. Miani, Lorenzoni or Brother Murguia

The Salesians ask that “plaintiffs be instructed not to make any attempt to introduce testimony or evidence pertaining to the liability of the Catholic Church in Rome,” and all the rest of them.

Anything to do with the Catholic Church “has no bearing on the issues in this case.”

Comments by anybody about the church about anything just about -- “will undoubtedly mislead, confuse and distract”

And give jurors the impression “that any verdict in this case would be the responsibility of the C Church as a whole rather than the Salesian Society.”


In an interview I did last week with a former Salesian brother for a story coming soon, his first statement was:

I studied for the Catholic priesthood with the Salesians beginning in ---


In 1960 there was no Catholic high school in Richmond so this now became a Catholic high school run by the Salesians.


“We owe our allegience directly to a person called the Superior General who is in the mother house which is in Turin, Italy.


“The Superior General is beholden directly to the Pope.”

That story has the working title “Ironic” and will be posted on City of Angels 7 later this week.

THE Salesians Motion in Limine against all evidence having anything to do with the Catholic Church is made on grounds that “such evidence is irrelevant to the issues presented in this lawsuit” which involves
“The Salesian Society and St. John Bosco high school only and will be confusing to the trier of fact.”

DEFENDANTS CONTINUE: “The Salesian society and Bosco high school are “entirely distinct entities from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”


“Evidence concerning Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or Mahony serves no purpose other than to unfairly prejudice defendants by inflaming the jury and creating bias in favor of plaintiffs.”

So they're claiming this total separation from the Catholic church in its entirety. That the Salesians are this entirely separate entity.

Re anything to do with Rome or the Pope the Salesians claim:

“Such evidence would imply to jurors that those organizations or parties are somehow related to or responsible for plaintiffs’ injuries.”

It would confuse a jury if they heard anything to do with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the upcoming Salesians trials. It would inflame their emotions.

Talking about the church “might lead the jury to conclude the Catholic Church, the Vatican, or the Pope is an ‘insurer’ of the actions of other Catholic organizations or entities.

“the defendants would be forced to attempt to rebut or otherwise introduce its own evidence on these totally irrelevant issues.”

Or jurors might think that Salesians “are responsible for the conduct of those entities.”


Stephen McFeely
Leila Nourani
Courtney Henning

FOLEY & LARDNER in Century City plus the recently added: David Morse from Texas.

More to come. . .

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