St. Louis Archdiocese Splits with Longtime Law Firm

By Tim Townsend
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 4, 2012

Archbishop Robert Carlson

The St. Louis Archdiocese has moved its legal work in house, severing a decades-long relationship with the Huger family.

In a statement sent to the Post-Dispatch late Friday afternoon, Katie Pesha, the archdiocese's executive director of communications and planning, confirmed that Archbishop Robert Carlson had hired Tom Buckley, formerly of the law firm Buckley & Buckley, as the archdiocese's in-house general counsel.

Bernard Huger, whose father was doing legal work for the archdiocese in the 1960s, and whose daughter Lucie represented the third generation of the family to work as an attorney for the archdiocese, works for Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale. His father merged the family firm, Huger & Cramer, with Greensfelder in the 1980s.

The Hugers have done legal work for six of St. Louis's ten archbishops.

"We're working cooperatively with Tom since he started on May 1, and will continue to work cooperatively with him as we continue our relationship with the archdiocese," Huger said.

Among other things, Huger has overseen his firm's work for the archdiocese during the previous decade of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and directed the legal battle the archdiocese has waged against St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church.

Carlson, who has led St. Louis Catholics for three years, has gradually been putting his stamp on the structure and tone of the archdiocese.

In the statement, Pesha said that "after much thought and consultation" Carlson had decided to restructure the archdiocese's legal representation, pointing out that "a number of dioceses throughout the country follow this similar structure."

"We take this opportunity, however, to commend the service provided by Greensfelder, Hemker, & Gale who have served the Archdiocese very well for many years," Pesha said in the statement.

Buckley could not be reached for comment Friday, but the archdiocese's statement said Buckley had represented the archdiocese "its agencies, parishes and schools in various matters for a number of years."



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