Contingency Fee : Key To the Courthouse and Justice From the Church

Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant

April 28, 2018

I read with interest, and a bit of anger, Professor Hank Shea’s Star Tribune editorial suggesting, “Attorneys for the archdiocese and plaintiffs could waive part of their fees, a major sacrifice that would make more money available for victims.”

Mr. Shea’s seemingly simple solution: Lawyers: Work for less to get the deal done. If each side gives, that will make everything all right.

But like many simple solutions, his ignores the underlying root cause of the problem. Obviously, this scandal started when priests abused children but was made horrible when the church protected the priests and covered it up. The church consistently ignored and denied initial rumors and claims, then quietly moved priests around the country, often without regard to the new crop of children they were sending the tainted priest to. The church lied to parishioners, and pressured them not sue, often with social pressures, often with their very religious beliefs. The survivors suffered through the trauma, and then having to live with these lies. The Church suffered nothing.

Sometimes there were bumps, fits and starts of action. Priests were questioned by prosecutors occasionally, but the church dealt with this by sending perpetrators to so-called “Alcohol treatment.”

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