This is straight out of the litigation playbook described above, is it not? It represents steps 4 and 6 outlined earlier. But now we get to the crux of the matter. It is not sufficient to show that the persons who currently claim to be the “Trustees of The Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth” hired you as their attorneys; in order to satisfy Rule 12, you must also show that those persons are who they claim to be, and indeed have the required authority to authorize you, as an attorney, to file suit in an entity’s name. Stated another way: you cannot respond to a Rule 12 motion by saying “Joe Doakes at XYZ Corp. authorized me to bring suit for it, and he’s the Vice President for Legal Affairs.” You have to show that there actually is a Joe Doakes, and he has to prove that the corporation (through its Board of Directors, or President) gave him the authority to hire attorneys to institute litigation in the corporation’s name.
Thus in order to have the requisite authority, the persons claiming to be the “Trustees of The Corporation of The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth” would have to show that they were duly appointed to that office in accordance with The Corporation’s Articles and bylaws. And here they encounter an obstacle. For the Diocesan Canons (Canon 17) provide for one of the Board’s Five Trustees (the Bishop is an ex officio Trustee and Chairman) to be elected at each Annual Convention to a staggered five-year term. When a Trustee does not serve out his term, and a vacancy occurs, the bylaws specify that the remaining Trustees have authority to appoint an interim Trustee to serve until the next Annual Convention, as I noted in this previous post.