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Unprecedented ruling requires Vatican to answer for clergy abuse cover-up in U.S. courtroom

4/25/2011 10:07:00 AM

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Media Alert

Press Conference Monday, April 25 at Noon CDT

 

Unprecedented ruling requires Vatican to answer

for clergy abuse cover-up in U.S. courtroom

 

Attorneys to lay out likely next steps in historic case

involving Vatican’s role in clergy abuse cover-up

 

Constitutional scholar praises ruling—will provide expert

analysis at Monday Press Conference

 

Press Conference Monday to be streamed live at

www.AndersonAdvocates.com

 

What:   At a news conference on Monday in St. Paul, prominent clergy abuse attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, along with constitutional law scholar and attorney Marci Hamilton, will provide analysis and background around a groundbreaking order and opinion issued on Thursday in John V. Doe v. Holy See.

The historic order, that a clergy sex abuse case against the Vatican can proceed to discovery of records and documents in the Vatican and eventually the questioning of a high ranking Vatican official, is the latest action forward in the almost decade long case of John V. Doe v. Holy See.

Earlier in the case, the Holy See claimed sovereign immunity from the suit and moved the court to dismiss the case.  However, both the Federal District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Holy See’s motion.  As a result, the Holy See petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court t hear the case on appeal.  The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition.  With Thursday’s ruling, the case now moves to an unprecedented level requiring the Holy See to produce documents and answer plaintiff’s questions.

When:  Monday, April 25 at 12 Noon CDT

Where:  Jeff Anderson & Associates, 366 Jackson Street, Suite 100, St. Paul, MN

Who:  Attorney Jeff Anderson is an internationally known St. Paul, Minnesota-based trial lawyer widely recognized as a pioneer in sexual abuse litigation and has earned a reputation as a tireless champion of civil rights for children and the under-privileged. One of the first trial lawyers in America to publicly and aggressively initiate suits against religious organizations and hold them responsible by utilizing the American civil justice system, Anderson has represented thousands of survivors of sexual abuse by authority figures and clergy. Contact:  office/651.227.9990  Mobile/612.817.8665

Attorney and Professor Marci A. Hamilton, of counsel to Jeff Anderson & Associates, briefed and argued the John V. Doe v. Holy See case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court, is one of the United States’ leading church/state legal scholars, an expert on child sex abuse statutes of limitations, and a leading advocate for children.  She has represented clergy sex abuse victims in numerous cases in the federal and state courts, including the Wisconsin, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Illinois Supreme Courts, as well as in the Portland, Spokane, San Diego, and Milwaukee diocesan bankruptcies.  She is a member of the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia bars and admitted to practice in federal and state courts across the country.

She published a column on constitutional issues, including many that addressed clergy abuse in a wide variety of religious settings, on www.findlaw.com from 2000 to 2010, and now writes a column on church-state issues that appears weekly at www.patheos.com.  Her website www.sol-reform.com tracks the movement to eliminate the statutes of limitations for child sex abuse.  She was an independent consultant to District Attorney Lynne Abraham for the 2005 Grand Jury Report on clergy abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.   Professor Hamilton holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, and is the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005), and Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge 2008). Professor Hamilton is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review; the Pennsylvania State University, where she earned Masters Degrees in philosophy and English; and Vanderbilt University, where she earned a B.A in philosophy and English., summa cum laude.  She clerked for Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court.  Contact:  Mobile 215.353.8984; hamilton02@aol.com

 

Attorney Mike Finnegan has worked all aspects of childhood sexual abuse litigation for Jeff Anderson & Associates, including a significant case against the Boy Scouts of America in Colorado, clergy abuse cases in numerous states, vulnerable adult sexual abuse and discrimination cases. His law review article on the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Minnesota was published in 2004 and has been widely acclaimed in the halls of legal academia and by those seeking legislative relief for victims of childhood sexual abuse who are burden by unrealistically short statutes of limitation. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Yale University in 1999 and his Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in 2004.  Contact Mike Finnegan: 612.205.5531

A copy of the Opinion and Order is available at www.AndersonAdvocates.com