By Kay Ebeling
Now Church Attorneys want to move the Ongoing Public Nuisance suit against the Franciscans in Santa Barbara down to LA Superior Court, performing more legal tomfoolery when they think no one is looking. Paul Gaspari, representing the Friars, came out of nowhere last week with no experience in any of the lawsuits in LA or Santa Barbara from the last decade. The San Francisco lawyer filed a “Request to Add On” the Ongoing Public Nuisance case, filed December 2007, with the “Coordinated Cases” in LA, even though he has no experience with the thousand plus lawsuits that were filed during the unique window of opportunity in California in 2003.
That window was open one time only. I watched the original judge Haley Fromholz dismiss one claim after another last year for being too late, even cases that were filed in the early morning just hours past the deadline at midnight.
“Don't call them incompetent because they know exactly what they are doing,” Naomi Klein said on the Stephanie Miller Show this morning.
I truly believe there is one very sleazy consulting firm calling the shots for both the Bush Administration and the National Conference of Bishops, as the Catholic Church continues to hide thousands of sex crimes in American archdioceses the last 50 years.
"The subject lawsuit seeks a court order ending the secrecy. The Franciscans’ corporate practice is a continuing Public Nuisance," Hale writes in the opposition brief.
Gaspari probably thinks Judge Elias will dismiss the new Santa Barbara case, as it certainly was filed a good while after the December 31, 2003, Coordinated Cases deadline.
Gaspari likely makes this request hoping Elias will then have no choice but to dismiss the case.
“Secrecy is the name of the Franciscans’ deadly game,” writes Tim Hale in his opposition.
“The subject Request to Add On is consistent with the Franciscans’ policy of secrecy. With twenty-four (24) Franciscan perpetrators and fifty-nine (59) victims since 1964, Santa Barbara is the epicenter in the Province of the harm caused by the Franciscans.”
Emilie Elias received the Clergy Cases when Fromholz retired in December 2007, the coordinated cases settled in July of that year.
The Franciscan lawyers want to tie this case to LA because Santa Barbara was still part of the LA Archdiocese in 1964, when some of the sexual assaults in the Ongoing Public Nuisance lawsuit took place.
It appears to be a moot point, obvious waste of court time, almost negligent lawyering - Gaspari’s Request to Add-On is four pages long and just tacks on Hale’s 46-page motion as its one and only exhibit. You start to think, it’s obvious, it’s a slam dunk.