March 08, 2006

LA Archdiocese appeal could delay clergy abuse trials

San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

(03-08) 06:38 PST Los Angeles (AP) --

Dozens of priest molestation claims that are set to go to trial this year could be delayed because of an appeal filed by attorneys for Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony, plaintiffs' lawyers say.

The appeal filed Tuesday seeks to unseal confidential documents pertaining to older abuse allegations. The documents, known as certificates of merit, are statements from mental health professionals declaring that the abuse claim is credible.

The documents were intended to prevent frivolous claims.

Lee W. Potts, an attorney for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said the appeal was aimed at learning "what is in the certificates, how the court reviewed them and give us a chance to test the validity of the certificates of merit."

Posted by kshaw at March 8, 2006 10:31 AM