Diocese Fights Deposition

By Richard Nangle
Telegram & Gazette [Worcester MA]
March 29, 2003

A lawyer for the Catholic Diocese of Worcester will ask a Superior Court judge tomorrow to limit the scope of a deposition that Bishop Daniel P. Reilly is to give later in the day in connection with a lawsuit that accuses Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger of rape of a child.

James G. Reardon Jr., a lawyer for the diocese, wants to prevent the public release of court documents, specifically depositions, generated by the lawsuit. He also is seeking to delay discovery in the case until the court rules on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Daniel J. Shea of Houston, the lawyer for plaintiff Sime J. Braio of Shrewsbury, will argue that thorough questioning of Bishop Reilly is necessary in order to properly represent his client. He will argue that Bishop Reilly's public defense of Bishop Rueger and threat to bring extortion charges against Mr. Braio warrants that questioning.

"I'm trying to agree with Mr. Shea on parameters and timing,' Mr. Reardon said. "I'm not seeking to prevent Bishop Reilly's deposition.'

Mr. Shea said he sees the matter differently.

"They're trying to stop Bishop Reilly's deposition,' he said, adding "This is something that would preclude the lawyers from providing discovery materials to the press.' He noted that a Boston judge endorsed the release of discovery materials as they relate to the sex abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese. The same rules should apply in Worcester, he said.

Mr. Reardon said Mr. Shea, in a March 21 letter, indicated "he is unwilling to discuss the terms or scope of Bishop Reilly's deposition.

"Attorney Shea has indicated that he wishes to examine Bishop Reilly regarding the House of Affirmation and the diocese's policies and procedures,' Mr. Reardon wrote, adding that the Braio complaint contains no allegations about the House of Affirmation.

"The only possible explanation for plaintiff's planned discovery regarding the House of Affirmation is that he hopes to discover information that would lead to a different claim against the House of Affirmation, the named defendants or perhaps some other individual entity,' Mr. Reardon wrote. "This is not a sound basis for discovery

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