April 23, 2005

Judge OKs hiring consultants in diocese bankruptcy case


A judge in the Tucson Catholic Diocese's bankruptcy proceedings has approved the hiring of consultants to assist lawyers representing people who may file future claims that they were sexually abused by priests.

Judge James Marlar approved the request Wednesday, a day after attorneys Charles Arnold and A. Bates Butler III urged the judge at a hearing to allow the hiring of child sexual abuse experts Michael Bayless and Robert Emerick of Phoenix to help them evaluate the number of potential claims.

The attorneys said Emerick and Bayless, with extensive experience in profiling sex offenders, had the "experience, expertise and resources" to enable Arnold and Butler to estimate the number of victims in those categories likely to come forward to press claims.

The court has set deadlines for estimating the claims as part of the process toward determining how many total claims are and will be pending against the diocese, and they said Emerick and Bayless would need to begin analyzing and reviewing quickly to meet the deadlines.

Posted by kshaw at April 23, 2005 08:51 AM