The other side of ugly
By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 06, 2003
US bishops haven't covered themselves with glory in the course of the scandal. But that doesn't mean that the lawyers representing sex-abuse victims are without fault. Far from it.
In Boston, the stage was set today for a meeting at which Archbishop Sean O'Malley would present a final offer, and a deal would be clinched to conclude the most painful episode the Church here has ever faced. But the the deal collapsed, and the meeting was postponed-- not because of any disagreement between the archdiocese and the victims, but because the plaintiffs' lawyers were suddenly screaming at each other.
The issue, apparently, was choreography: the two most prominent lawyers couldn't not agree on how the conclusive press conference would be handled. (Read: They were fighting over the microphone.) One lawyer complained that the event was turning into a media circus. That was the same lawyer who, in the course of the past two years, has called press conferences to pass out transcripts of various key depositions.
A multi-million dollar deal has been temporarily derailed by of a hissy fit. Kinda makes it difficult to believe that these lawyers (who, remember, will pocket a hefty percentage of the settlement in fees) have the interests of their clients squarely in focus. They seem more concerned about the focus of the TV cameras.
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