Legion Lawyer Appeals to Keep Mrs. Mee Case Facts Hidden From Public View
According to an Associated Press article by David Keppler, Click Here Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein has called the public’s rights to fully scrutinize the facts about Mrs. Mee’s case paramount. Several major news media outlets including Associated Press, the New York Times, The Providence Journal and the National Catholic Reporter had requested the unsealing of the documents from the legal suit filed by Mrs. Mee’s niece, Mary Lou Dauray, who believed that her aunt had been defrauded by the Legion into leaving her fortune to them. Shortly after the Judge’s ruling about unsealing the documents, the Legion filed a motion to block their release. ReGAIN had reported this case in a previous article Click Here
Although Judge Silverstein ruled in favor of the Legion, he had commented on some red flags regarding some of the evidence that was presented during the court case. The Legion’s lawyer, Joseph Avanzato argued that if the information from the case were made public, it could influence prospective jurors and compromise their right to a fair trial. The media organizations’ attorney, Joseph Cavanagh, argued the documents could shed light on the Legion’s operations and there was no justification to seal them.
Ms. Dauray’s attorney, Bernard Jackvony had also had sought the documents’ release and said that the documents, compiled in the course of the lawsuit and sealed by a probate court judge in 2009, contain information about the Legion that isn’t known by the public.
According to the AP report:
The judge, in his ruling, called the Legion’s interest in keeping the documents sealed diminished because the case isn’t likely to go to a jury trial. At the same time, he called the public interest extremely significant.
Update January 27 – Legion Buys Time
Release of the documents relating to the case of Mrs. Gabrielle Mee has been delayed until Feb 15, 2013, allowing the Legion time to appeal the judge’s earlier ruling to unseal them. A follow-up Associated Press article by David Keppler Click Here reported that he is willing to give the Legion until Feb 15 so that they will have an opportunity
to ask the state Supreme Court to intervene in the tug-of-war over the records.
The more the Legion spends in legal fees trying to keep facts about their relationship with wealthy elderly patrons secretive, the more interest people have to find out what it is they are trying to hide.
The article makes reference to another Connecticut man who is also suing the Legion, alleging it used
predatory means to persuade his ailing father to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars.
There appears to be a lack of transparency even with the Vatican Delegate watching how the Legion conducts its affairs. Their founder Father Marcial Maciel died five years ago and the blame for any defrauding of people can no longer be laid on him. If the judge’s ruling holds and if Legionary practices are found to be predatory, who will be held responsible?
Bernard Jackvony, attorney for Mrs. Mee’s niece, Mary Lou Dauray had sought the documents’ release and stated that the documents
contain information about the Legion that isn’t known by the public.
In the meantime, curiosity about the contents of the sealed documents continues to build as the Legion and their legal advisers sweat it out.