Steier Literally Blocks Door to Deposition, Then Claims No Evidence from Depositions: Hearing for Sanctions against Steier July 10

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels [Los Angeles CA]
July 5, 2007

We reported here April 29 that a private investigator tracked down a 96-year-old priest who was eager to talk to plaintiffs about sex abuse allegations against Father Henry Vetter in Detroit in the 1940s. "Before we asked, he volunteered details of Vetter's inappropriate sexual conduct," said former FBI agent David Kelley. The priest gave the name of a Passionist colleague of Vetter's who also wanted to talk and Kelley set up the interview. "However, soon after that conversation I received a telephone call from Donald Steier," Kelley said. "He told me he represents the defendant Passionists."

Plaintiffs are still trying to depose those two priests. Church Attorney Donald Steier stands in the way of every deposition. Literally on May 1st a Steier associate stood in the door blocking plaintiffs entry to depose Father Parsons.

Then in a display of audacity alarming even for a church attorney, Steier filed a motion June 27 to "bifurcate" Passionists from the Vetter cases as "discovery in this case has revealed no concrete evidence of any notice to Defendant of Vetter's pedophilia."

No evidence has come up yet in discovery as Steier and other LA archdiocese minions have been literally standing in the way and blocking the door.

They Stood in the Doorway and Blocked Plaintiffs from Entering Parsons' Home to Conduct the Deposition

On May 1st carrying a Court Order, plaintiff attorney Helen Zukin and Kelley drove from LA to Lake Tahoe to depose Father Parsons, taking with them a doctor, because Steier had fought the deposition claiming Parsons is in bad mental and physical health. When they got there "an associate of Steier's and counsel for the Los Angeles archdiocese


and objected to Kelley and Dr. Hirsch's presence at the deposition. Zukin had to call the Court and have the Court overrule defense counsel's objections," write plaintiffs.


Anything to keep the truth from coming out.

Steier is no stranger to manipulation of defense tactics. On June 17 he filed a Motion to Bifurcate Trial in Case BC396816, (hearing July 20th)

Steier says Passionists should be "bifurcated" from the cases as "discovery in this case has revealed no concrete evidence of any notice to Defendant of Vetter's pedophilia."

There's no concrete evidence yet in discovery because


Does the archdiocese really believe it can get away with this?

Father Parsons and Donald Steier's tactics will be topic of a hearing July 10 as plaintiffs argue:

Motion for Order imposing terminating sanctions, or in the alternative, issue and monetary sanctions, against Donald Steier, Esq, and Holy Cross Province,

Their accusation: That Donald Steier and the archdiocese's "conduct during discoveries is a serious example of discovery abuse."

"The attempt to prevent the deposition of Father Neil Parsons is another example of "Steier's repeated discovery abuses and obstructionist tactics."

That's one hearing on calendar for July 10. Steier will also be in court that day arguing Motion for Protective Order for George Neville Rucker, asking for immunity so the aging predator priest can tell his story without fear of prosecution.

Allegations from 1953 to 1973

During an interview with a private detective, the 96 year old Parsons related that in the 1940s while serving in Detroit with Vetter, Vetter was "under suspicion for having molested a young boy in a Detroit hospital."

Plaintiffs scheduled a deposition for February 28, 2007. Steier intervened.

They're still trying to depo Parsons about Vetter.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.