January 16, 2005

Five selected to take clergy sex-abuse cases

The Oregonian

Sunday, January 16, 2005
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris has appointed five mediators who will try to settle more than 60 clergy sex-abuse claims seeking more than $534 million in damages from the Archdiocese of Portland.

Mediation will begin on Aug. 8, after attorneys for the sex-abuse plaintiffs study personnel records and other documents related to the 37 priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

In July last year, the archdiocese, which represents 390,000 Roman Catholics in Western Oregon, became the first U.S. archdiocese to file for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in the wake of the national sex-abuse scandal. The bankruptcy halted about 60 cases, which involve 72 individuals.

The mediators are:

Paul Finn, who helped mediate an $85 million settlement with more than 500 sex-abuse plaintiffs in 2003 in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Sid Brockley, a retired Clackamas County circuit judge who last year mediated a $69 million case involving 18 plaintiffs against the Bend-based Diocese of Baker.

Alan Bonebrake, a retired Washington County circuit judge who assisted in prior mediations in the Archdiocese of Portland.

Sid Lezak, a former U.S. attorney who also helped in prior mediations in the Portland archdiocese.

Edward Leavy, a senior U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge.

Posted by kshaw at January 16, 2005 09:53 AM