Back to Boston.com homepage Arts | Entertainment Boston Globe Online Cars.com BostonWorks Real Estate Boston.com Sports digitalMass Travel The Boston Globe Spotlight Investigation Boston.com Abuse in the Catholic Church
HomePredator priestsScandal and coverupThe victimsThe financial costOpinion
Cardinal Law and the laityThe church's responseThe clergyInvestigations and lawsuits
Interactive2002 scandal overviewParish mapExtrasArchivesDocumentsAbout this site
 Latest coverage

April 6
Church settles with four in suit

February 25, 2004
Priest was a potential witness

July 22
CEO would testify of abuse

May 8
Personal records are barred

April 8
Victim's memory is questioned

April 5
Archdiocese motion granted

February 28
Disagreement over court dates

January 28, 2003
Steps on Shanley are detailed

January 14, 2003
Former vicar admits he erred

December 12
Shanley is released on bail

December 10
Shanley may be freed on bail

December 1
Battle over files intensifies

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

No love lost among lawyers in the case

Thinly-veiled barbs underscore struggle to reach settlement

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 8/14/2002

Although the transcripts of Cardinal Bernard F. Law's pretrial testimony contain a healthy number of muddled questions and answers, they also make one thing abundantly clear: The lawyers in the case would rather take it outside.

 Documents
Read the complete text of Law's deposition on the Paul Shanley case from June 5 and June 7, 2002

Read excerpts of the testimony

 Related stories
Law didn't scrutinize files
No love lost among lawyers
Tapes show Law composed

Through two days of questioning in early June, lawyers for the church, the cardinal, and the alleged victims of the Rev. Paul R. Shanley frequently stopped Law's deposition to hurl legal barbs and thinly-veiled insults at one another.

The tone was set early when Roderick MacLeish Jr., the lawyer for the families suing Law, attempted to instruct archdiocesan lawyer Wilson Rogers Jr. on the rules of conduct during pretrial testimony.

''If the cardinal doesn't understand my question, he's free to indicate that, and I will rephrase the question so he understands it,'' MacLeish said. He added pointedly, ''I'd urge you to look at the rules and particulary the reporters' notes on conduct during depositions.''

Rogers retorted, ''If I am going to take advice in how to conduct the deposition, you wouldn't be on the list of those I'd come to.''

Then MacLeish and Rogers argued about who started the argument. ''That's an unnecessary ad hominem attack, Mr. Rogers,'' MacLeish said.

''In response to your unnecessary ad hominem,'' Rogers replied.

At which point J. Owen Todd, Law's personal attorney, weighed in to inform MacLeish that he and Rogers would interrupt him ad nauseam if they felt it necessary to preserve Law's rights.

''We're not sitting here as potted plants,'' Todd said dryly, noting that he was borrowing a phrase from another lawyer. ''When we believe that your questions are repetitive, harassing, and abusing the process, it is our duty to intercede and to protect our client from that.''

And interrupt they did.

When MacLeish responded to Law with an aside about MacLeish's unsuccessful efforts to obtain all the church records he requested, Todd was quick to intercede.

Todd: I object to the remarks.

MacLeish: That's fine.

Todd: Just ask questions.

MacLeish: I appreciate it, Mr. Todd.

More than once, the verbal brickbats tossed by MacLeish and Todd threatened to push Law into the background of the proceedings.

Todd: Now, don't interrupt me, Mr. MacLeish.

MacLeish: You tell me when you're finished, Mr. Todd.

Todd: You'll know when I'm finished, Mr. MacLeish. I'll let you know specifically.

MacLeish: Go ahead. Continue with your speech.

Todd: My response to your speech.

Later in the day, MacLeish tried to fend off one of Todd's numerous objections and found himself being schooled in the rules of conduct.

MacLeish: Your objection is noted.

Todd: No. This is more than an objection.

MacLeish: Are you instructing [Law] not to answer the question?

Todd: No. I'm instructing you.

MacLeish: You're not instructing me anymore, Mr. Todd.

Yesterday, when the lawyers emerged on a hot downtown sidewalk after Law's continued pretrial testimony, their banter was exhibit A in the breakdown of settlement talks that forced Law to resume his deposition.

While Todd insisted that an out-of-court settlement was still possible, MacLeish, naturally, disagreed. ''We are going forward to trial,'' he said.

Stephen Kurkjian of the Globe Staff contributed to this story.

Michael Rezendes can be reached at rezendes@globe.com.

This story ran on page A29 of the Boston Globe on 8/14/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing LLC.


© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Advertise | Contact us | Privacy policy