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Latest News
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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Day Three Testimony Shows Churches Have No Connection to TEC PDF Print E-mail
ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 10, 2014 – Testimony continued today for the third day of the trial between the Diocese of South Carolina vs The Episcopal Church (TEC) and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

Witnesses for the Plaintiff were called from The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston, St. Luke’s on Hilton Head Island, Holy Comforter in Sumter, Resurrection in Surfside, Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg and St. John’s in Florence.

In testimony after testimony witnesses testified that their church was a registered South Carolina non-profit corporation - several chartered in the mid-1800s. None of the Parishes legal corporate documents had any reference to the national church.
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Second Day of Trial Includes Testimony from Treasurer PDF Print E-mail

Second Day of Trial Includes Testimony From Treasurer of Diocese of SC Board of Trustees

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 9, 2014 The morning was a cross examination of Canon Jim Lewis. Lewis testified yesterday how more than 90 percent of the convention clergy and delegates voted to disassociate from the national church (TEC).

The Plaintiffs called Robert Kunes, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees for the Diocese of South Carolina, to testify about the corporate governance of the Trustees.

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Trial to Protect Diocese of SC Assets Begins PDF Print E-mail
South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein asks both sides to skip opening arguments so trial can focus on the underlying issues

ST. GEORGE, SC, JULY 8, 2014 – After 18 months of delays, a long-awaited lawsuit to protect Diocese of South Carolina assets from seizure by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary went to trial in a South Carolina courtroom today.

Judge Diane S. Goodstein, who presides over the bench trial, asked attorneys for the Diocese, TEC and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) to sidestep opening arguments and dive into the fundamental issues of the case.
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