O'Malley Calls on Lawyer Who Helped with Porter Claims

By Tom Mashberg
Boston Herald
July 8, 2003

Archbishop-elect Sean P. O'Malley has asked the attorney who helped him resolve the Rev. James Porter lawsuits a decade ago to "take a fresh look" at the Archdiocese of Boston's costly and contentious legal quagmire, attorneys and a church official said yesterday.

The lawyer, Thomas H. Hannigan Jr. of Ropes & Gray, said yesterday he was "acting as a personal adviser" to O'Malley. He declined to comment on what, if any, role he might eventually take in the stalled talks between the archdiocese and lawyers for about 500 plaintiffs alleging molestation by clergymen.

Attorneys for some of those accusers, however, said they were pleased to learn Hannigan might have a role in the negotiations - and that he would attend a status conference set for this morning before Suffolk Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney. "Bishop O'Malley would set a very good tone by involving Mr. Hannigan," said attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents about 150 alleged victims of clergy abuse.

Garabedian said he had worked well with Hannigan on settlements of abuse cases involving priests of the Jesuit New England Province.

In 1993, Hannigan represented O'Malley and the Diocese of Fall River when it settled cases involving 68 people allegedly molested by Porter for about $10 million.

Hannigan successfully sued the Fall River diocese's insurer to recover some of those costs


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