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Day Eight: Fireworks in the Courtroom PDF Print E-mail

Judge Scolds TEC for Trying to Sneak “Expert Witnesses” into Trial Without Meeting Court’s Deadlines, Violating Rules of Law


ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 17, 2014 –A normally unflappable South Carolina Circuit Court judge stopped the trial initiated by the Diocese of SC to prevent the seizure of local diocesan and parish property, to scold the defendants for their intentional disregard of three court orders dealing with disclosure of expert witnesses. The defendants, the Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) tried to present an expert witness, Robert Klein, into the trial without having followed court’s orders.

After reminding TEC attorneys that she had bent over backwards to provide them ample opportunity to identify expert witnesses, Judge Diane S. Goodstein said, “You have violated this court three times with regard to experts and now you think you’re going to bring in his (Klein's) testimony through the back door? This is not a game! Court’s orders are to be followed! You are an officer of the court. I trust we will not have any more discussion about this witness.”
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Day Seven: TEC Witness Admits Diocesan Constitution Trumps TEC's PDF Print E-mail

Martin McWilliams testifiesTEC Witness Admits Diocesan Constitution, Canons Trump Those of the National Church


ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 15, 2014 –An expert witness for The Episcopal Church (TEC) undermined claims by the denomination that its rules supersede those of local dioceses in the Diocese of SC, during day-long testimony in the trial to protect local diocesan and church property from seizure by TEC  and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

Martin McWilliams, a law professor at the University of South Carolina, was called by TEC and TECSC to testify as an expert witness.  McWilliams spent considerable time explaining his credentials as a corporate governance expert and said that because the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina incorporated the constitutions and canons of the national church in its own corporate charter, it is governed by those constitutions and canons.
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Day Six: Bishop Lawrence Tried to Keep Diocese "Intact and in TEC" PDF Print E-mail
legal team prepares for testimonyTestimony Shows Bishop Lawrence Tried To Keep Diocese in the Denomination, Used “Intact and In TEC” as a Slogan

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 14, 2014 –Countering Episcopal Church allegations that Bishop Mark Lawrence engineered the Diocese of South Carolina’s withdrawal from The Episcopal Church (TEC), a witness for the denomination on Tuesday acknowledged that the bishop was committed to remaining part of the denomination.

The Rev. Marshall Dow Sanderson of Holy Communion, Charleston, was called by TEC during the trial to protect the property of the diocese and its parishes from seizure by the national denomination. However, on cross examination, Sanderson admitted that Bishop Lawrence consistently sought to keep the Diocese intact within the national church before TEC attempted to remove him.  He testified that, during a meeting of the clergy in 2009, Lawrence went so far as to coin the phrase “Intact and In TEC”.
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Day Five: Diocese of SC v. The Episcopal Church PDF Print E-mail
Bishop Lawrence chats with Bishop Allison during trialST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 14, 2014 –Day Five for the Diocese of SC v. The Episcopal Church (TEC) began with a slight hiccup.  To speed up the testimony of the 36 witnesses, Judge Diane Goodstein Friday asked attorneys for both sides to meet over the weekend to go over testimony that could be stipulated.

When attorneys for the plaintiff told Goodstein that the two parties had agreed that proposed stipulates would include the facts the witnesses would testify to in lieu of live testimony, attorney Tom Tisdale, who represents the rump group that now goes by The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), tried to qualify stipulation, effectively diverging from what the plaintiffs had agreed to. Judge Goodstein told the defendants that , “Stipulations…they are agreements. I’m hearing from you we don’t have a Stipulation.”  She  told both parties she would give them 10 minutes to huddle and determine if they had agreement to stipulations.

When they returned from their meeting, both sides had agreed to all the facts that the witnesses would testify to, but also agreed that any conclusions of law would be the sole province of the court.
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Judge Asks Both Sides of Diocese of SC Case to Agree on Facts for Parish Witness Testimony PDF Print E-mail

Effort to achieve consensus on facts will reduce time spent entering facts into evidence so more time can be spent dealing with critical issues


ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 11, 2014 – After listening to testimony from 18 parish witnesses in the trial to protect Diocese of South Carolina assets from seizure by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), the judge asked all parties to help expedite the proceedings by working together to determine a set of undisputed facts. This follows the parishes effort to secure stipulations of the facts of their witnesses over two weeks ago which was rejected by TEC and TECSC.

The last two and a half days of trial were spent hearing virtually identical testimony from witnesses representing 18 parishes –half of those involved – who were all asked similar questions.  During those two and a half days, neither TEC nor TECSC has objected to the introduction of evidence or exhibits.
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latest newsDay 14: Trial Ends with Testimony of Bishop Lawrence
25/07/2014

TRIAL ENDS WITH TESTIMONY OF DIOCESE OF 
SOUTH CAROLINA BISHOP LAWRENCE Bishop Says He Tried to Keep Diocese in TEC – But Denomination Tried to S [ ... ]


latest newsDay 12: Celebrated Expert in Religious History Testifies TEC Holds No Control Over Dioceses
24/07/2014

CELEBRATED EXPERT IN RELIGIOUS HISTORY TESTIFIES TEC HOLDS NO CONTROL OR SUPREME AUTHORITY OVER DIOCESES Rebuttal Witness testifies that the words  [ ... ]


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