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Trying to depose Salesians: It appeared a line was drawn in the sand, I assume because these are critical witnesses

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Coming through security at Superior Court Wednesday I kept my shoes on and when the beeper went off I stood, raised my arm, said, “It’s just the pin and the shoes.” No panic attack, (see September 21 post) no removing every possible metalic thing to avoid the baton, although I did get good advice from “Anonymous Reader” who suggested

“If you are having anxiety, please ask Bishop Tod Brown to send you to Southdown up in Canada with Monsignor Urell!”

Arrive at court, clerk is in midst of taping a newly printed version of calendar outside the door, as plaintiff’s Motions to Compel Depositions had iexplicably disappeared from the calendar (Deja Vu) then been penned back on as Number 12. Inside as we wait for the judge, a plaintiff attorney reads the tentative then nods to me, yes it was granted.

I watch Church Attorney Steve McFeely and my first urge is to write something nasty but he looks so vulnerable and defeated as he reads. Plaintiff Attorney Helen Zukin walks up to him and puts her face right in front of his as she speaks. McFeely is so crushed, deflated, looking into her face -- Helen has one of those striking faces that make you just stop and gaze, obviously a gift from God, and she uses all her assets. McFeely, very central casting for Irish Cop, nods and agrees to whatever it is Zukin is saying.


JUDGE HALEY FROMHOLZ: 1st is regarding Father Schafer and Reina anything to add?

MCFEELY: There is. I’m troubled by the fact that neither plaintiffs nor court deal with any of the issues that were raised in the objections

In particular speculation. These men one born in 1947 are being asked about things that happened in 1947. Plaintiff’s council says it’s relevant, sure it’s relevant but it’s speculation.

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(ME: At this point I twitch a little, but then smile. I’m trying to give this Church Attorney a chance, and he looks much more like my Uncle Pete [the old Irish cop he was] than that other church attorney from Hennigan’s office. His tone of voice is getting nasty but I’m trying to describe him still as down home, sort of. . . . )

MCFEELY: Maybe there wasn’t a policy or procedure in effect in 1947, and if there was, whether it’s relevant or not these men aren’t going to know that. They weren’t there. This line of questioning in appropriate and harassing.

JUDGE: Alright, Miss Zukin, re Relevant but too attenuating?

ZUKIN: The crux is notice. What they did or didn't do. We have testimony that a document was in this perpetrator’s file when he first came to the order.

Plus Father Schaffer has been there for many-many years in many capacities and both have held a variety of leadership roles
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(ME: Hmm, they seem to switch roles a lot, haven’t we heard that before? Hmm.)

ZUKIN: They have knowledge of current and historical policies. They would know how things were done in the past or be able to direct us to who might know. It all goes to the crux of the case which is notice.

MCFEELY: If you want to know what the rules and procedures were, ask. She didn't. That's not what the objections are here. If they want to know about somebody who was there in 1947 ask it. We're here about the speculation they were asked to participate in.

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Wordsmith working in TV production in Los Angeles. Also free lance journalist with an active blog. Old enough to have demonstrated against the Vietnam War but still young enough to dance.

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