May 6, 2010
Abusive clergy and institutional cover-up of their crimes have been in the news a lot lately. The New York Times recently had an article about an attorney (from Minnesota no less) named Jeffrey Anderson, who has been doggedly pursuing those responsible with civil suits for at least twenty-five years. It even looks like one of the cases, Doe v. Holy see, 434 F.Supp.2d 925 (D.Or.2006) may be heard by the Supreme Court (a petition for certiorari was filed in June, 2009). It appears that the question for the Supreme Court will primarily be one of jurisdiction: Is the Holy See, essentially the central government of the Catholic Church in Rome, a sovereign state, beyond the power of American courts? If it happens that the case is heard, judging from the comments of Jeffrey Lena, the Holy See’s California attorney, the defense will turn on an all-too-familiar argument seen in corporate scandals of late: the uninvolved C.E.O. (Pope), sequestered in his office, unaware of the misdeeds of his underlings.
The article provides an in-depth look at Jeffrey Anderson’s background. This kind of research is easy to accomplish on Westlaw with the “PROFILER” databases*. These attorney profiles give C.V. information and act like a clearinghouse for the various (linkable) documents that the attorneys are attached to: cases, filings, articles, dockets, jury verdict summaries, and more. It’s a great tool to get an overview of an attorney or judge’s litigation history and a way to access specific documents from one place.
Attorneys and Judges: profiler-wld
Patent Examiners: profiler-patex
Trademark Examiners: profiler-tmex