Friday, September 20, 2013

A.S. Haley: As Long as There Are Lawyers Who Will Take its Money

September 19, 2013

It is sad, but true: a person with money to spend can always find a lawyer willing to take his money -- and ECUSA is no exception. ECUSA lost its cases in Fort Worth, Quincy and South Carolina, and now is paying attorneys to ask the courts in Fort Worth and South Carolina to "reconsider" their decisions. (There is no judgment entered yet in the Quincy case, and until there is, there will not be anything to ask the court there to reconsider.)

ECUSA obtained an extension of time until October 18 within which to file a "petition for rehearing" with the Texas Supreme Court in the Fort Worth case. (The Diocese of Northwest Texas did likewise, in the Masterson case.) Their papers are not on file yet, so we cannot discern the reasons they will give to the Court for reversing its decisions.

But in South Carolina, the motion to Federal Senior District Judge C. Weston Houck, asking him reconsider his earlier dismissal of Bishop vonRosenberg's trademark infringement suit, and filed on the latter's behalf by ECUSA's attorneys, is available for your reading enjoyment. Essentially the motion challenges two technical aspects of Judge Houck's earlier ruling, and suggests that had he followed the proper precedents, he would have retained jurisdiction of the suit, rather than dismiss it.

The reasons given for reconsideration might sound plausible on their face to a layperson, but they are nonsense to one experienced in litigation. In the first place, most judges would rather undergo a root canal treatment than admit that they got anything wrong, and change a decision once made. But in the second place, in this case Judge Houck got it right the first time.   the rest

Trying the Quincy Case (I): ECUSA's Expert under Fire
Now that the Quincy decision has been published, I shall use the next few weeks to publish selected excerpts from the testimony at the trial. In light of the efforts by ECUSA to advance -- in all of its litigated cases thus far -- a particular theory of its polity as "three-tiered" (from General Convention to the Dioceses to the individual parishes), with the claim that the structure is "hierarchical", I want to begin with the close examination of that claim made at the Quincy trial, which resulted in Judge Ortbal's careful and measured findings that I analyzed here....


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