Crucial Documentation available to Readers–TEC's so called "Expert" under Fire from the Quincy Case

[You may find here]….the cross-examination of ECUSA’s expert witness on its polity and history, Dr. Robert Bruce Mullin, who testified all day on both April 29 and April 30 of this year. His cross-examination by Alan Runyan, …[counsel of] the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Lawrence, is a case study in how to break apart a structure into which every effort has been poured to make it appear as solid.

That cross-examination (on behalf of the Anglican Diocese) was followed by a further and well-honed cross-examination by Talmadge G. Brenner, the Chancellor for Quincy, on behalf of its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alberto Morales, whom ECUSA had named individually as a counter-defendant in its counterclaim in the case. (That is what comes of suing people personally — they get their own attorneys, who have the right to participate fully in all aspects of the trial.)

Read it all (courtesy of A.S. Haley).


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Primary Source, Church History, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

31 comments on “Crucial Documentation available to Readers–TEC's so called "Expert" under Fire from the Quincy Case

  1. David Hein says:

    I can’t imagine teaching a course that went into depth on Episcopal church hierarchy.

  2. Jeremy Bonner says:

    In my new post as Michael Ramsey Fellow, I plan to encourage Durham Theology to make polity (in its broadest sense) a part of the Anglican Studies Program. I think a better understanding of how the provinces organize themselves is long overdue.

  3. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Splendid idea, Dr. Bonner.

    I didn’t know about your new position as Michael Ramsey Fellow. Wow. Congratulations! But is that Durham Theology as in Duke University in NC, or Durham University in England? I know your illustrious father taught church history at Duke for a long time, so I suspect it’s the American Durham. Anyway, I agree that a much fuller understanding of the various ways the Anglican provinces organize themselves is indeed long overdue.

    David Handy+

  4. Jeremy Bonner says:

    Actually David+, it’s Durham, England (which is where my father taught, before going to the Catholic University of America in 1990). So there’s another Bonner at Durham, which I hope will give my esteemed parent joy in heaven.

    Thank you for your good wishes. I hope that ACNA will be able to be part of the Anglican Studies conversation.

  5. Milton Finch says:

    $15,000.00 a month! People will often say anything that golden nose ring demands. What a wonderful gravey train! Wouldn’t want that to end…ever!

  6. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Dr. Bonner. Sorry about the confusion over where your father taught. I do indeed wish you all the best as you contribute to the better understanding of worldwide Anglicanism from both sides of the Pond. Our loss is England’s gain.

    David Handy+

  7. Saltmarsh Gal says:

    Realizing that legalese may not sound like what it actually says, I was struck by the discussion about Dr. Mullin’s status as a expert witness [i] Judge Walden was finding that Dr. Mullin
    was a controlled expert, he was not an independent expert…[/i]
    A very expensive controlled expert at that.
    I thought Mr. Runyon did a very workmanlike job with his cross.

  8. tjmcmahon says:

    The part that most surprised me was the bit at the beginning in which TEC’s legal team (making, I’m guessing, something north of $1000 per hour if you add them together) seem quite confused over documents, and what the judge was asking them to produce. It was also evident that TEC had done its best to keep some of the documents out of the hands of Mr. Runyan and Co. during the early phases of the process. After reading through some of the cross examination, I could see WHY TEC might not want them having information- the Dio of Quincy attorneys were clearly well prepared.

  9. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I read that too, TJ, pitiful – Beers did not know his own exhibits, had no explanation of anything including why documents required to be disclosed by Court order had not been provided as far as I could make out, seemed completely unprepared and came across as bumbling or deceptive. But it was the session after lunch, and probably not the best time to question him.

    Mullin wasn’t much better, and despite claiming to have spent lots of time racking up over $900,000 of payments for his work and a retainer of $15,000 a month, admitted to not having looked at key evidence for over 5 years and expressing ignorance of everything which had happened after the 60’s. He also couldn’t back up what he claimed in his earlier evidence when he was taken through what the authorities actually said when his broad sweeping academic statements were shown to be full of holes.

    It is pretty clear that this is why TEC lost – they shoot from the hip, not bothering with mastering the detail, both lawyer and expert. Their case was not supported by the facts and they had not done the groundwork. In doing so they shot themselves in the foot.

    Well worth the read. I wonder what happened the following day.

  10. Milton Finch says:

    Pageantmaster, maybe Beers et al have been merely overloaded. I know lawyers go into their callings to stay busy and make a living, but let’s look at the situation. Schori is a slave driver to her lawyer. Poor fella’s just overworked.

  11. CSeitz-ACI says:

    $900,000. That figure is staggering.

  12. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    It’s the TEC prosperity gospel.

  13. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I think it works like this: parishioners tithe their hard-earned wages to their church [or the UTO as the case may be], and Mrs Jefferts-Schori gives it to Messrs. Mullin, Beers, and Goodwin Proctor.

  14. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    What is more, it is now apparent that they receive it not through works or by merit but as a free and gracious gift from 815.

  15. tjmcmahon says:

    In fairness PM, the one thing we actually don’t know is what advice Mr. Beers offered to his clients. This may be playing out according to KJS directions, rather than the best course as laid out by the legal staff. KJS certainly never took advice from the ABoC, FiF bishops, or CP bishops, or the UTO board or any number of other well meaning Episcopalians and Anglicans, why would we think she listens to much of what Beers has to say? I would certainly imagine that at the very least, he is laying out a series of options and probable outcomes, KJS may be the one making the final decision.

    Question for those who might know- while we know that Goodwin Proctor indeed charges for its services, are Mr. Beers services covered under whatever salary he is paid as the PB’s chancellor, or some of it pro bono, or does he just bill $600/hour for all of this?

  16. tjmcmahon says:

    Of course, on the rather opulent salary paid to Dr. Mullin, I think you are on to something. When you work the numbers backwards, I think it would work out to the annual contribution to TEC by about 300 to 400 median size parishes (assuming the parish gives 15% to the diocese, and the diocese in turn gives 15% to TEC). Of course, it is stretched out over a number of years, so it is probably on the contribution of, say, 50 or 60 parishes every year- perhaps 1 fair sized diocese.

  17. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Well, TJ, reading the above transcript it became clear that:
    1. Mr Beers was making the decisions about Mullin’s evidence, where it was used, and where it could be published; and
    2. Mullins had entered exactly the same evidence in each of the diocesan cases he was called as a ‘so-called-expert’ [with apparently no changes apart from cosmetic ones and perhaps this is why TEC has lost in each of the diocesan cases so far]; and
    3. Years back, in another HOB meeting, Beers made clear that he was driving the litigation policy and decision-making – I have the reference somewhere or other, because it struck me as so extraordinary that no one was keeping Beers in his box any longer and he thought he was running The Episcopal Church.

    No, credit where credit is due here for these disasterous performances to Beers and to Goodwin Proctor – all their own work.

    It would however be interesting to know, since Mullins admitted to putting the same evidence in each diocesan case, whether he only charged once for it, or did he charge for submitting the same evidence in each case, double, treble or quadruple charging, and if so, who authorised it? His time sheets might make interesting reading as it is hard to see how millionaire Bruce Mullin could have built up such massive fees. If he can justify his fees well and good.

  18. tjmcmahon says:

    For instance, during those years where Prof. Mullin was on a retainer for $15,000/month, his total income (from Goodwin Proctor, billed to TEC) would have been $180,000. The contribution to TEC from the diocese of Western Michigan (with a diocesan membership over 10,000) for the fiscal year ended Dec 31, 2011 was $140,904- so Professor Mullins is somewhat more expensive than the average Episcopalian.

  19. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    The other rum thing, is Beers, Goodwin Proctor have no accountability, save to Our Lady of Litigation and she is protecting them from wider church oversight of their enormous expenses. Even bishops of The Episcopal Church have been refused any information from 815 on the fees charged by them.

    Lack of accountability is a sure fire warning of things going very wrong in a church. If church leaders are refusing information and accountability to the church, historically it is one of the signs which is present when that church leadership is going off the rails [cf the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker scandal]

  20. tjmcmahon says:

    17- No doubt you are correct. As I said above, given the reputation and hourly rate, I was quite astonished to see the confusion among the TEC attorneys evident in the transcript.

  21. CSeitz-ACI says:

    I hope people will appreciate that Frs Turner and Radner were expert testimony in Quincy, and ACI has supplied documentation like that referred to in respect of attorney McCall in this particular case, without any compensation whatsoever. The amount of hours logged by ACI far outstrips what Mullin has billed TEC, and on many more fronts — as he himself backs off and acknowledges in his testimony herewith — and it has been entirely pro bono. The airfares of Radner and Turner to Quincy were reimbursed, and they were put up at the usual Holiday Inn type places.

  22. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #16 and #18 TJ, you are indeed onto something. As Allan Haley said on SF yesterday:
    [blockquote]the budgeted amount for litigation through August of this year (third page of the link, line heading in green) is only $444,445 – but they have already spent more than twice that amount, or $1,032,000. General Convention had budgeted $2,000,000 for the entire triennium, or $666,667 per year, but they will be two-thirds through the $2 million by the end of this year, with two more years to go. The next budget line (“Legal”) includes those litigation expenses, plus the costs of in-house legal staff.[/blockquote]

    If the budget for legal costs approved by General Convention for 815 is $666,667 per year, then looked at in that light, Mullin’s fees at $900,000 or a $1 million+ are one and a half times the entire annual Episcopal Church litigation budget. Bearing in mind they are running 4-5 diocesan cases out of 70 plus cases nationwide [I think those are the figures], Mullin has swallowed up a huge part of the budget. When you consider the liason necessary between an expert and his instructing lawyers, their fees are probably not much different, so just on the expert evidence, you may be looking at fees of $2 million+ – more than the entire litigation budget for the three year period, and that is just on this expert evidence.

    Someone has been having a fine old time at TEC expense, and someone else has been exercising no control whatsoever over the legal expenses she is signing off on, or so it appears.

  23. Cennydd13 says:

    Is this misconduct? Ooooh, yeah……[b]BIG[/b] time!

  24. Sherri2 says:

    Don’t you wonder what is going unfunded? What an outrageous amount of money for a church to spend on litigation. I am seeing the Prebyterian Church handle similar things very differently where I live.

  25. pendennis88 says:

    I think it has been clear from the beginning that the change from Griswold to Schori was also that of an old episcopal type who viewed his lawyer as his hired servant, who was consulted but had a client who took his own decision, to that of someone who really has no idea how to manage people or institutions, and just lets her hatred for the orthodox be her operating principle and otherwise lets her lawyer run things. For all the things I disagreed with Griswold on, he had been a pastor, and he was not lead easily into litigation. He told his lawyers what to do, not the other way around. You may recall he tended to let bishops settle with departing congregations. The present PB (perhaps we should just start calling her an Archbishop) has never been a pastor of a church, and seems to not have a single pastoral bone in her body.

  26. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Albeit she hath a very large bone of contention, if not several.

  27. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #25. You are certainly correct, which is why Howe and Stanton negotiated with parishes, and other Diocesans did as well. The first main change was with +Va.

  28. Robert Atkins says:

    The real irony about Prof Mullins’ remuneration (as I pointed out on another thread) was that it was ultimately self-defeating (as became evident in the recent Quincy decision). In order for a judge to defer to church polity rather than use neutral principles, the polity of the church needs to be easily discernible. The amount of time (and money) incurred by Prof. Mullens to try to establish this polity (and of course his less than stellar testimony) made it clear that it was NOT easily discernible.

    The legal advisers (or the client) should have been fired months ago.

  29. Robert Atkins says:

    Sorry, I pressed Submit rather than Preview. I meant Mullin’s and Mullin…

  30. Robert Atkins says:

    Dr. Bonner:

    Congratulations on your appointment. I am sure you will have a wonderful time living in South Bailey (just a few doors up from St. Cuthbert’s Society).

    Your picture of Abbey House brought back fond memories. I can’t tell you the number of times I walked passed it on my way from Castle to the Science Labs!

  31. Jeremy Bonner says:

    Thanks Robert. Having grown up in Durham, it’s pleasant to be returning under these circumstances.

    Abbey House seems to be one of the few buildings untouched by the passage of time.