Friday, November 4, 2011
Meet the Church-Suing Lawyers
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) announces the latest lawsuit against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. The diocese, headed by Bishop Robert Finn, knows nothing about it. But attorney Rebecca Randles does: she coordinated the attack with SNAP. Virtually all the cases date back decades, and no one from the Kansas City Star questions any of it. This isn't an anomaly—it's the norm.
Randles got her start with Jeffrey Anderson, the most successful Church-shakedown lawyer in the nation. "He's the man," she once said. On June 2, they (and another attorney) sued Bishop Finn about a matter he had nothing to do with. Since then, Randles has been on a tear, finding new "victims" at a record pace.
Randles then made history when she was the first attorney to file suit against a priest in Missouri. It was another one of those "repressed memory" suits where the accuser suddenly recalls being molested decades ago. After first winning, an appeals court threw it out—the clock had run out on such claims. She vowed to push for a new strategy: she argued that the "trigger" for such claims should start when alleged victims "remember" when they were abused. In 2006, her dream came true: the Missouri Supreme Court said that a guy who suddenly remembered being molested 30 years prior could sue. It argued that the clock should begin when the "victims" suddenly "remember" being hit on. Ever since, the suits against the diocese (but not the public schools or any other institution) have never stopped.
Both Anderson and Randles give generously to SNAP, and indeed Randles has been known to pressure her clients to fork over some of their settlement money to her friends. The Star knows all of this, yet it continues the cover-up.
at 12:01 PM