By Kay Ebeling
About 27 attorneys waited for court to start and a gaggle more were in the hallway last Wednesday for a status conference on the clergy cases Los Angeles. Also on calendar that morning was a motion to enforce subpoenas on Orange County law enforcement agencies. In my corner seat I got boxed in by men’s crossed legs and briefcases on the floor.
Attorney behind me: “We got lucky 'cause not only do we represent 30 plaintiffs but we also get money from (names names with lots of zzi’s on the end.) (That's plaintiff attorney humor.) Almost all 27 were attorneys I’d never seen before. “My name is [TOTALLY UNINTELLIGIBLE]” said the guy next to me and grinned. “A lot of us who’ve been around these cases a while like to keep an amount of anonymity.”
“What is the status conference about today?” I asked and the guy with the Italian clients said, “That's what a lot of us would like to know.” “The order was vague,” piped in another. Soon the court clerk called out and the room emptied as all 27 plus attorneys went into the judge’s chambers, then 25 or so came out 30 seconds later. “They only want to meet with the liaisons,” the attorney said and they all resumed their seats. I couldn't get out. . .
JUDGE FROMHOLZ: I spoke with liaison council in chambers and one thing we accomplished is cases we can release.
He lists names of plaintiff cases that can’t be released.
KATHERINE FREBERG: I represent (names) six victims of Jessie Rodriquez, and a January 28 trial date is already set. Currently it’s at the Federal District Court for diocese of San Bernardino --
JUDGE: This gets a little complicated. Those cases are released as of this morning. It’s not necessary at this time to take action on any of the remaining cases so it’s my intention not to.
(ME: [shaking my head I make this note:] All they were able to sort out today was a few more Salesian cases.)
(ME: At the July 16 hearing re the settlement all the parties agreed to turn into the court a summary of which cases remain and which have been settled.
The summary document was due on July 31, 2007.)
Lots of grim mouths on faces of defense and plaintiff attorneys
Documents have disappeared in Mary Grant’s Case. Mary Grant is Western Regional Director of SNAP, a national networking organization for priest rape survivors.
RE ORANGE COUNTY SUBPOENAS
That's another question -- what's going on there?
On Aug 30 Freberg’s office filed Motion to Enforce Subpoena served on Orange County district attorney. The documents in question are regarding Father John Lenihan.