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Day 11: TEC Spends Day Making Arguments Judge Rules Irrelevant PDF Print E-mail

Mary Koste, Henrietta Golding and Susan Macdonald


TEC Spends Day Making Arguments that Judge Rules Irrelevant to the Case

Denomination’s Attorneys Continue to Attempt to Introduce “Hierarchy” Arguments, Ignoring the Fact that South Carolina Courts Do Not Recognize Them

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 22, 2014 – Attorneys for The Episcopal Church and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, spent the eleventh day, of a trial to prevent TEC's seizure of local church property, attempting to introduce testimony that the Circuit Court has repeatedly dismissed as irrelevant.

The entire morning was spent with TEC’s lead attorney, David Beers, asking Mark Duffy, Canonical Archivist and Director of Archives for the national church, to identify documents discussing TEC’s financial contributions to the Diocese, the denomination’s hierarchical structure that does not permit dioceses to withdraw and other topics, attracting repeated objections from diocesan attorneys.
Day Ten: TEC Attorney Admits Constitution Does Not Prevent a Diocese from Leaving; Walter Edgar Testifies PDF Print E-mail

TEC Attorney Admits TEC Constitution Does Not Prevent a Diocese From Leaving the Denomination

Judge Refuses to Consider Evidence about Whether TEC is Hierarchical

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 21, 2014 – An attorney for The Episcopal Church on Monday acknowledged that – despite TEC’s repeated claim that dioceses may not leave the denomination – there is nothing in the group’s constitution that specifically prohibits such a disassociation.

“It’s true it doesn’t say whether a diocese in the U.S. can or cannot [leave],” said Mary Kostel, attorney for TEC. “It’s arguably ambiguous.”

The comment came during the 10th day of trial in suit to prevent TEC from seizing the property of the Diocese of South Carolina and its parishes.  Much of the morning was spent in a discussion between attorneys and Judge Diane S. Goodstein about the admissibility of testimony by historian Walter Edgar, a professor at the University of South Carolina.
Day Nine: TEC Bishop Testifies Nothing in Governing Documents Says a Diocese Can't Leave PDF Print E-mail


Witness for the defense, (TEC and TECSC), Clifton Daniel, Provisional Bishop of Pennsylvania , member of House of Bishops and Advisor to Katherine Jefferts-Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the National Church (TEC), testified that no where in the Constitutions and Canons of the national Episcopal Church (TEC),  does it say a Diocese may not leave the association. He also stated that a province of the national church has no power to control the internal policy or affairs of a diocese.

The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel, III the Provisional Bishop of Pennsylvania, was the first of two witnesses called by the defense today,(July 18) the ninth day of the trial of the Diocese of South Carolina v. TEC and TECSC.

Bishop Daniel, had been Bishop Coadjutor of East Carolina, was vice-president of the fourth Province (a group of dioceses in the southeast),  served on the Presiding Bishop's Counsel of Advice and chaired that group.
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.”
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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