January 15, 2005

Mediation scheduled for church litigation

San Francisco Chronicle

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Attorneys for many of the alleged victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Northern California will begin mediation next week that is aimed at settling the civil cases before a trial in March, a judge said Friday.

On Tuesday, attorneys for the plaintiffs and the church will meet in San Francisco with retired Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Coleman Fannin, a mediator with JAMS, a private arbitration provider.

Fannin was unavailable to comment Friday. JAMS "takes pride that almost all of the cases mediated, even the most complex ones, are successfully resolved," according to the Irvine company's Web site.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Ronald Sabraw said Friday that it was possible that the cases involving all Northern California Roman Catholic dioceses -- with the exception of Fresno -- could be settled before March 7, when the first civil trials are scheduled to begin.

Posted by kshaw at January 15, 2005 08:35 AM