Day 2 - Fessler vs. Watchtower – Thomas Jefferson Jr takes the stand in Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse Trial

by darkspilver 102 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    Again I never said that John Redwood did receive any privileged information. I even said that I doubt that he did. I said it was a cautionary thing. Even Watchtower is contemplating moving for sanctions against Irwin Zalkin personally because he violated the protective order that was agreed upon when he gave part of his interview to Trey Bundy. In the Lopez case Watchtower said that they are contemplating filing that motion for sanctions. If courts think that you have received privileged information, and someone files a motion and can prove it, they will take action. Again it could be monetary when it comes to the plaintiff or monetary or disciplinary actions if it is the counsel for one of the sides.


    Either he is taking a shot in the dark as to what the number is or he knows that the number is....Richard Oliver

    that is only for a Court to decide if what someone construed is true.....Fisherman

    I never said that John Redwood did receive any privileged information.....Richard Oliver

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  • ScenicViewer

    Contact the Law Office of..


    Well, how fitting.

    (Thanks Outlaw. That gave me my best laugh of the week!)

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    Also, I have seen statements that the disclosure of information to a third party by the clergy member destroys the privilege. In People v Bragg, the Michigan Appeals court ruled that even though the Baptist Minister divulged the information to the victim and their family, that did not destroy the privilege. Only the communicant can revoke the privilege and allow the minister to testify. The minister even indicated, in a sense, that it was his moral duty to report the confession to the victim and to the authorities. He testified:

    He immediately qualified his statement, indicating that disclosing the “confidential” communication with the victim's familyand the police was not a violation of Baptist doctrine and was “the right thing to do.” Vaprezsan indicated that part of dealing with the “aftermath” was to notify the victim's family of defendant's admission so that they could pursue legal recourse.

    The court rejected the privilege and allowed the minister to testify. When the defendant was found guilty of a horrific rape and child abuse case, he appealed the decision to allow the priest confession in.

    Unlike other evidentiary rules that exclude evidence because it is potentially unreliable, privilege statutes shield potentially reliable evidence in an attempt to foster relationships.... While the assurance of confidentiality may encourage relationships of trust, privileges inhibit rather than facilitate the search for truth.... Privileges therefore are not easily found or endorsed by the courts. “The existence and scope of a statutory privilege ultimately turns on the language and meaning of the statute itself.”

    The court also ruled that the minister could not waive the privilege even though he felt that it was the moral thing to do.

    "It is well settled that privileges belong to the holder alone and may be waived only by the holder."

    So there is precedent that even if it is a horrible crime, the privilege still exist unless the person who confesses to it has either implied or expressly revoked the privilege. Like in the Fessler case, the plaintiff removed the privilege during the court proceedings by bringing the court proceedings forward. But unless it is expressly or implicitly revoked the privilege stands.

  • Richard Oliver
    Richard Oliver

    I know that many of you want to hide your head in the sand and think that the moral thing and the legal thing is the same thing. But it is not. That is not how the law works. There are a number of technicalities that make the legal thing not the moral thing. Just like some have claimed that elders should never not give their names when reporting these instances, and again that is why they are instructed to call the legal department, is because each statute has a requirement. Some states require that a name be given and some statutes require no name, just an investigation would automatically start. Paul Polidoro said under oath in a deposition before Irwin Zalkin, that the reason that Elders are instructed to call Legal is not to hide the case but to ensure that the case is handled properly. Some statutes require if multiple people find out about an instance, that all of those individuals must report, or only one has to report or the first person has to report, or a supervisor has to report or the head of an organization has to report it. It is the technicalities of the law hat require a consultation with counsel before a report can be made.

  • Fisherman

    Richard, if US law protects the comunications of child abusers under the setting and relationship defined by said law as it relates to the church, how can the state pass mandatory reporting laws that seem to go against the 1st Amendment?

  • steve2

    RO has discovered the secret to being tiresome: Not knowing when to stop. And to draw us back in to the fruitless exchanges he imbeds in his OP asides such as "many of you want to hide your head in the sand..."

  • konceptual99

    RO has a point that legal and moral are not the same thing. We see countless examples of where the law is an ass in this regard. As far as the WTS is concerned, however, they have a long history of boasting about how they don't just follow Ceaser's laws but go above and beyond them, perusing a moral higher ground. They have a recent example of this with respect to the building efficiency codes at Warwick.

    Rather bizarrely however, when it comes to child protection they seem to go above and beyond the other way, seeking to hide behind legal obsfucation to minimise their responsibilities and liabilities. Worse than that, they have employed control tactics that have undermined the better judgement of parents and other responsible adults who could have taken action.

    The counter side of RO's argument is that just because the WTS is operating lawfully does not absolve them of also acting morally.

  • Fisherman
    does not absolve them of also acting morally

    By who's moral code should wt act?

  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Maybe you could google it.

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