Apuron requests to be excused from mediation hearings

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Former Archbishop Anthony Apuron (PNC file photo)

Out of the more than 130 lawsuit filed, the archbishop is only named in four of them.

Guam – Attorney Jacque Terlaje says it’s unfair to have her client, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, participate in mediation proceedings as ordered by the court because most of the cases do not involve him.

Terlaje filed an objection in District Court to an order signed by Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood that Archbishop Apuron must be represented at all mediation-related hearings going forward.

In her objection, Terlaje says such an order is “oppressive due to the substantial costs associated with the alternative dispute resolution of more than 97 percent of cases to which he is not named a party.”

The Archdiocese of Agana and other named defendants have agreed to move forward with potential settlement negotiations but have yet to clearly establish the method by which they will do so. Terlaje points out that of the more than 130 sex abuse cases filed, only four apply to Archbishop Apuron.

To require representation in each hearing that may not involve Apuron’s four cases would “create a substantial hardship upon a minority party,” because the suspended archbishop would have to “bear equal portions of the mediator’s fee.”

Terlaje is asking that for the cases that don’t involve her client, he be excused from participation.