Day 1 - Fessler vs. Watchtower – Opening Statements and Motions in Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse Trial
Whatever happened to the old days when the Watchtower Society would fight any case that involved Jehovah's name and sovereignty 'tooth and nail' right up to the Supreme Court? The motto of Judge Rutherford and Hayden Covington was: "Press the battle to the gate!" Boy have times changed and something is just not right with Watchtower settling out of court on these abuse cases. I am not saying that their being willing to settle is an admission of guilt, but for some reason they seem reluctant to pursue exoneration of their so-called 'good name' as the 'only true religion'; Jehovah's clean organization.
Lol @ Richard "erring on the side of The Watchtower" Oliver. Of course you would first assume that it must be that her case was weak and she took anything she could get. Smdh.
Whatever she got, good for her, though it will never be enough.
This is a civil case. The Defendant can be found legally responsible for the damages alleged by Plaintiff - but is not convicted of any crime. Even if the jurors have doubts, they must find the Defendant liable based upon preponderance of evidence, and not based upon beyond ANY reasonable doubt which would be the case if the Defendant was facing criminal charges, being prosecuted for a crime by a prosecuting agency of the government.
This trial is very different than a criminal trial, whereas a criminal trial uses a higher standard for establishing guilt, a civil trial for a tort or civil lawsuit adjudicates liability on a much lower standard of guilt (only 51 percent certainty.)
Yes, Fisherman, you are correct. The judge was very clear in directing and reminding the jury of the threshold you mention.
A colleague's husband is in a law firm - but not yet a partner - which specializes in civil cases and I recall him saying that you cannot "interpret" guilt or its absence from out-of-court settlements but that in general, a defendant who initiates an offer has probably decided either not to drag their name through the court proceedings and risking their name and reputation regardless of guilt or realizes the likelihood of a decision in their favour is reduced.
But to reiterate, it is pointless to speculate - as Richard Oliver is characteristically inclined to do. I can only hope that the plaintiff is pleased with the outcome (perceiving the out-of-court settlement as a validation of her suffering) and can move on in her life. As for JW organization, I still hold out the hope it is learning that process and practice in responding to child sexual abuse allegations needs to be informed by established principles of best practice - and surely it is reasonable to expect this of any organization that makes such vast claims about its unique "standing" as "the" channel of "truth".
Yeah steve because i am the only one that characterise things. Everyone here does it.
Richard Oliver is characteristically inclined to do. I can only hope that the plaintiff is pleased with the outcome (perceiving the out-of-court settlement as a validation of her suffering) and can move on in her life.
Seems to me that RO is quite objective and puts all prejudice aside that he has towards the wt when expressing his views. I do not detect the same fairness in your assesment of this case; not being a juror and not knowing all of the facts, you state that you hope that plaintiff is pleased with the outcome regardless of justice, namely whether or not the Defendants violated the law nor did anything wrong that caused harm to the Plaintiff. As if they should have to pay for plaintiff's suffering even if they caused no harm. But you have not expressed that you care anything about that. It seems to me that you just want wt to be punished whether they have done something wrong or not. That is not fair.
So, the society has a PROVEN track record of not bringing the paedophiles to justice (ARC). Yet, they go on and LIE on their broadcasting show by saying that they are the most proactive in this regard.
When proven liars tell the court that the victim is not telling the truth, allow me to doubt.
a partner - which specializes in civil cases and I recall him saying that you cannot "interpret" guilt or its absence from out-of-court settlement in general, a defendant who initiates an offer has probably decided either not to drag their name through the court proceedings and risking their name and reputation regardless of guilt or realizes the likelihood of a decision in their favour is reduced.
Civil lawsuits are not about guilt; they are about money. Generally, a plaintiff is looking for money or for an injunction. And generally a Defendant is not seeking to defend his name but his assets.Ultimately, everything having a resolution in dollars. Hence, a defense looks at the case in terms of the cheapest way to get out of if. Legal fees are expensive and time and resources valuable. Cheapest is to give Plaintiffs some money and settle out of Court. Generally that is what insurance companies love to do, and they will tell you: "in a spirit of fairness and of compromise but without any admission of doing wrong." By the same token Plaintiff's attorneys don't work for free but for a fee or on contingency so they dont care whether or not defendants are liable but the only thing that really matters to them is the depth of vulnerable pockets, so someone with no money is not worth suing.
And generally, making offers instead of going to Court have nothing to do with protecting one's good name since everybody knows that civil lawsuits are generally about extracting money from vulnerable pockets.
But there are cases where harm results to to others because of actions or lack of actions or measures by some entity. In such cases, such entities should be stopped. In such cases it is just and proper that such victims be compensated for their losses and such entities should be stopped legally from causing any more harm. However, in the US, the Courts have not found that WT is systematically causing harm and should be stopped.
One facing criminal charges however, would not spare anything he has, to fight such charges, especially if innocent, choosing jail and any expense and lengthy Court battle over compromise to defend one's good name. But that ain't what Civil proceedings are about.
One thing that was for sure settled by this case, however short, is that the term 'Congregation Elders' is now equivalent to 'Laypersons'. How reassuring...thank you WT lawyer John Miller!
Watchtower has always considered Elders as layman. It is the law that considers them as ministers when it comes to confidentiality and Priest-Penitent Privilege. Just like how Watchtower views themselves as a congregational religion but the law considers them as a hierarchical religion.