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Lawyer calls Law flight risk: Wants cardinal's passport impounded
Boston Herald ^ | May 2, 2002 | Robin Washington and Tom Mashberg

Posted on 05/02/2002 6:20:41 AM PDT by billorites

A lawyer seeking to depose Bernard Cardinal Law in a sexual abuse case later this month petitioned a court yesterday for a temporary restraining order to impound his passport, calling the embattled prelate a potential flight risk who could be whisked away to Rome to avoid giving sworn testimony.

Houston and Bay State attorney Daniel J. Shea, who represents former Catholic Memorial High School hockey player David Carney, asked Suffolk Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez to bar Law from traveling to the Vatican before the May 29 deposition.

``He already left the jurisdiction surreptitiously once to go to Rome,'' Shea told the judge, referring to the cardinal's mid-April meeting with Pope John Paul II.

Of the pope's power to summon Law to Rome, Shea added, ``The defendant is literally under the control of an absolute monarch.''

Shea's motion was made ``ex parte,'' or without notification to the opposing counsel, a condition Lopez denied. But she did grant a second hearing tomorrow at which Law and his attorneys would be invited to argue their side.

``He's not going to go away that fast,'' she said of the cardinal.

Afterward, Shea said, ``I would assume he'd want to appear (tomorrow) to assure the court that he's not going anywhere. If not, then I'll use that as `prima facie' evidence that he may not appear.''

Neither archdiocesan officials nor Law's chief counsel, Wilson D. Rogers Jr., would comment. In previous interviews, officials have stated Law will appear for a June 5 deposition in a child sexual abuse suit against the Rev. Paul R. Shanley.

Also in attendance was Carney, who alleges Monsignor Frederick Ryan molested him as a high school freshman two decades ago.

``I'm letting the actions take their course,'' he said. ``Like (Shea) said, we shall see.''

The deposition notice requests extensive church files, including:

All correspondence involving Law in Vatican policies on child sexual abuse, secret or otherwise.

Complete files on Ryan, Shanley, and former archdiocesan personnel chief Bishop John B. McCormack of Manchester, N.H.

An explanation of a note from Shanley to McCormack, stating, ``Here's the latest batch'' in reference to material shared with Ryan, who is accused of taking indecent photos of Carney and others.

Shanley's church files were also the subject of a Middlesex Superior Court hearing yesterday, where both Rogers and Frank Mondano, who represents Shanley individually, raised new objections to the release of documents relating to the priest's medical records.

Mondano told Judge Janet L. Sanders his client never waived his right to keep those records private from the archdiocese itself. As a result, Mondano said, those papers should not be released to the many plaintiffs suing Shanley for rape and sexual abuse and the church for negligent supervision.

Roderick MacLeish Jr., attorney for Newton's Gregory Ford, who alleges he was raped by Shanley as a boy, scoffed at the idea the church ``has somehow illicitly obtained Shanley's medical records.''

Sanders agreed to review the records to see if any privacy privilege applies. MacLeish said the records will offer further proof that Law and his subordinates were aware of Shanley's proclivities toward ``man-boy love'' and other acts but covered it up.

All parties agreed to a May 14 court date to discuss the judge's findings. Mondano suggested Shanley, who was seen this week in San Diego, would be willing to appear in person to assert he never waived the medical privilege.

As in past cases, Rogers said the church enjoys a First Amendment right to keep records about hiring or transferring religious workers from the courts and the public.

In a rare display of emotion, Rogers told the court he was offended by ``continuing innuendo'' on the part of plaintiffs' attorneys suggesting his firm and the church were not moving speedily to make files available.

``They are understaffed and going through hundreds of files,'' he said of archdiocesan officials.

MacLeish countered the church has missed deadlines or misled his clients and other lawyers about records on many occasions. ``None of this is new to them,'' he said. ``They are masters of delay.''

Also, at Our Lady's of Newton, the church Ford's mother, Paula, attends, parishioners demanded Law explain Rogers' use of legalistic language implying that her son was responsible for his own abuse.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cardinallaw; catholicchurch

1 posted on 05/02/2002 6:20:41 AM PDT by billorites
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To: billorites
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez

Maybe she'll recognize Law as a "brother under the skin." it's not too long ago she was getting as bad press as Law is now for her leniency toward a high-school age transvestite who indecently assaulted a little boy. In fact, maybe she should recuse herself.

Someone else may remember more details.

2 posted on 05/02/2002 6:24:51 AM PDT by maryz
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To: billorites
"...for a temporary restraining order to impound his passport, calling the embattled prelate a potential flight risk who could be whisked away to Rome to avoid giving sworn testimony."

Sounds like a reasonable request, given the gravity of the situation.

3 posted on 05/02/2002 6:25:49 AM PDT by Psalm 73
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To: billorites
In previous interviews, officials have stated Law will appear for a June 5 deposition in a child sexual abuse suit against the Rev. Paul R. Shanley.

Will he tell the truth under oath or lie like Clinton?

4 posted on 05/02/2002 6:26:09 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: billorites
Judge Maria Lopez

Law got lucky.
This is the same judge that suspended a sentence for a transvestite convicted of aggravated attempted rape of a 12 year old boy.

6 posted on 05/02/2002 6:32:27 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: billorites
``He already left the jurisdiction surreptitiously once to go to Rome,'' Shea told the judge, referring to the cardinal's mid-April meeting with Pope John Paul II. Of the pope's power to summon Law to Rome, Shea added, ``The defendant is literally under the control of an absolute monarch.''

Is he implying the Pope would summon Law to Rome for the purpose of keeping him unavailable for the deposition? I hardly think the Vatican would do something that would be such a public relations disaster. This is grandstanding on the part of the plaintiff's lawyer, just like the crocodile tears of the defense attorney.

7 posted on 05/02/2002 6:34:58 AM PDT by mountaineer
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Dr. Scarpetta
"Will he tell the truth under oath or lie like Clinton? "

Depends what the meaning of the word "diddle" is.

9 posted on 05/02/2002 6:38:01 AM PDT by billorites
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
Will he tell the truth under oath or lie like Clinton?

I've heard of people taking the fifth in a civil deposition. Not often, but it's been done.

10 posted on 05/02/2002 6:40:48 AM PDT by maryz
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To: billorites
``He already left the jurisdiction surreptitiously once to go to Rome,'' Shea told the judge, referring to the cardinal's mid-April meeting with Pope John Paul II.

Of the pope's power to summon Law to Rome, Shea added, ``The defendant is literally under the control of an absolute monarch.''

I don't think we should let hatred of Cardinal Law obscure the fact that this guy is an absolute bigot, who appears to be playing along with the press campaign to demonize the Church. Notice that he has a good Irish Catholic name, too. Just like Kennedy. Law left "surreptitiously"? Oh, sure, there were only headlines in every paper in the United States. And the Pope is an "absolute monarch"? This fellow sounds like a nineteenth-century Know Nothing.

11 posted on 05/02/2002 6:43:02 AM PDT by Cicero
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To: Cicero
Law left "surreptitiously"? Oh, sure, there were only headlines in every paper in the United States.

Law has been to Rome twice in the past month. Once, secretly, and then again with the rest of the U.S. cardinals. I assume the lawyer is talking about the first trip, which decidedly was not headlined in every paper in the country.

12 posted on 05/02/2002 6:47:09 AM PDT by malakhi
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: angelo
Law has been to Rome twice in the past month. Once, secretly, and then again with the rest of the U.S. cardinals. I assume the lawyer is talking about the first trip, which decidedly was not headlined in every paper in the country.

Is it now the requirement that every person who is going to be involved in a civil deposition in the future announce to the media all of his comings and goings?

SD

14 posted on 05/02/2002 6:57:14 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Cicero
And the Pope is an "absolute monarch"? This fellow sounds like a nineteenth-century Know Nothing.

Exactly. "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion."

Al Smith, call your office.

SD

15 posted on 05/02/2002 6:58:37 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: mountaineer
Is he implying the Pope would summon Law to Rome for the purpose of keeping him unavailable for the deposition? I hardly think the Vatican would do something that would be such a public relations disaster.

There is a sizable contingent here on FR who believe that is exactly the case. That the Vatican would thumb its nose at the American legal system and harbor a "fugitive from justice." As if the Vatican were Libya or Syria.

SD

16 posted on 05/02/2002 7:00:06 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
Is it now the requirement that every person who is going to be involved in a civil deposition in the future announce to the media all of his comings and goings?

cicero was apparently unaware that Law had gone to Rome secretly prior to the trip with the rest of the American cardinals.

Now, to your point, it is certainly the business of the court and the plaintiff to ensure that a key witness to their case be available when he is called to testify. You may recall how most of the key figures in the Chinese funny money campaign cash scandal conveniently disappeared overseas to avoid giving testimony.

17 posted on 05/02/2002 7:26:37 AM PDT by malakhi
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To: angelo
cicero was apparently unaware that Law had gone to Rome secretly prior to the trip with the rest of the American cardinals.

As we all were. A witness in a civil suit is under no obligation to declare his comings and goings to opposing counsel. His obligation is to appear when ordered by the Court.

Now, to your point, it is certainly the business of the court and the plaintiff to ensure that a key witness to their case be available when he is called to testify. You may recall how most of the key figures in the Chinese funny money campaign cash scandal conveniently disappeared overseas to avoid giving testimony.

Sure is. It is up to the Court to assess the flight risk, and up to the opposing counsel to petition the court if he is afraid of such a thing. But to characterize a free man's movements when under no order to report or restrict them as "surreptitious" is grandstanding.

SD

18 posted on 05/02/2002 7:40:13 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
There were national news stories concerning Law after the Vatican meeting suggesting he wuold be called to take up a position in Rome prior to the date of the scheduled deposition. Given that Law has avoided depositions by multiple postponements in the past in other cases and that he has sought to avoid appearing in this case, it seems to me there is a prima facie case to be made that Law is indeed a flight risk. If so, especially given the records he is required to show up with, Cardinal Law should be required to remain in the US until his deposition is finished.
19 posted on 05/02/2002 7:47:37 AM PDT by CatoRenasci
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To: mountaineer
I think it would be a much smaller disaster than the trial of conviction of Law, and the gory details being discussed in open court. If they try him in absentia due to his failure to appear, there will be much less press coverage of the proceedings.
20 posted on 05/02/2002 8:02:12 AM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
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To: CatoRenasci
Given that Law has avoided depositions by multiple postponements in the past

Cardinal Law is a *very* busy man. Heck, he was so busy that he couldn't even attend the Cardinals press conference after their meeting with the Pope.

I anticipate many more requests for postponement even if he is not spirited away to the Vatican for a new job.

Whether the Court allows this depends on whether the Court is bought and paid for by the Vatican and the Kennedy family.

21 posted on 05/02/2002 8:22:20 AM PDT by 07055
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To: CatoRenasci
There were national news stories concerning Law after the Vatican meeting suggesting he wuold be called to take up a position in Rome prior to the date of the scheduled deposition.

Indeed, leading many here to publicly denounce the Vatican a priori for "hiding" Law from the American justice system. The fact that he might be moved to Rome does not necessarily mean that he would not answer to the American courts.

Given that Law has avoided depositions by multiple postponements in the past in other cases and that he has sought to avoid appearing in this case, it seems to me there is a prima facie case to be made that Law is indeed a flight risk. If so, especially given the records he is required to show up with, Cardinal Law should be required to remain in the US until his deposition is finished.

Actually, I agree. I just don't think that being accused of being "surreptitious" when there is no such order is silly.

SD

22 posted on 05/02/2002 8:28:52 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: one_particular_harbour
>>>Crocodile tears, counsel.

Crocodile tears go both ways OPH, the plaintiff's lawyer is trying this in the press hoping to embarrass Law into a nice settlement. It appears the best facts in his favor here are that he has filed a notice of deposition for the Cardinal.

>>>>I didn't call him an ***hole, I called him a slug-brained ***hole..."

Dang, all I've had is a lawyer leaning accross the table accusing me of insulting the sovereignty of Sweden.

23 posted on 05/02/2002 8:29:04 AM PDT by patent
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To: patent
Dang, all I've had is a lawyer leaning accross the table accusing me of insulting the sovereignty of Sweden. SD
24 posted on 05/02/2002 8:41:48 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: patent
Let me try that again.

Dang, all I've had is a lawyer leaning accross the table accusing me of insulting the sovereignty of Sweden.

To which you responded?

SD

25 posted on 05/02/2002 8:42:33 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
I laughed, and said it was his problem, not mine. He turned red and went on and on. He was upset.

You see, this was a very senior litigator at a very prestigious NY City firm. He had nice gray hair, all that. I was a youngster in my third year of practice taking a deposition in a big case with a billion or so at stake. He wasn't about to let me have any success with the witness.

So, I would ask a question, he would object. These first two steps were OK, with him, but the problem was with the third and fourth steps. I was ignoring him and his objections. (Oh the nerve of this little upstart, not taking the bait and getting into long drawn out arguments over objections! How dare he ignore me!) Even worse, the witness was actually answering me. So each objection he would lean farther and farther accross the table, trying to get more and more in my face. Eventually he gave up.

After the deposition was over and the tapes were turned off he started his tirade.

Unfortunately I had a hard time taking him seriously. That probably wasn't professional of me.

patent

26 posted on 05/02/2002 8:52:32 AM PDT by patent
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To: patent
Where it really gets contentious is when the lawyer instructs the witness not to answer questions for inappropriate reasons. Unless you have a judge you can call for a quick ruling, lots of time and money is wasted in legal fees with a jerk like the one you had to deal with.
27 posted on 05/02/2002 10:19:27 AM PDT by 07055
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To: 07055
At this point I go to every deposition assuming the other lawyer is going to be like that. I could let you know the first time I'm disappointed, but I might advise buying a lottery ticket. Your odds might be better.

Unfortunately the more money at stake, the more they seem to go that direction.

patent

28 posted on 05/02/2002 11:11:44 AM PDT by patent
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