Stateside law firms withdraw as church’s legal counsels

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Local attorney John Terlaje will remain counsel of record for the Archdiocese of Agana.

Guam – The stateside legal counsel for the Archdiocese of Agana has made a request to withdraw as attorneys of record for the church.

The request comes amid talks of moving forward with settlement negotiations between the scores of sex abuse victims and the archdiocese. Attorneys Mary McNamara and Britt Evangelist of the law firm Swanson & McNamara, LLP, and Paul Gaspari and Daniel Zamora, of the law firm Weintraub | Tobin, filed the request Tuesday as an unopposed motion.

No specific reason was provided but the motion did indicate that local attorney John Terlaje will continue to represent the archdiocese and that no trial date has been set on the matter.

Late last month, US Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan ordered a stay in the dozens of cases pending mediation efforts which are to begin in October. The stay, however, does not apply to cases involving Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

In addition to federal court, Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo also granted a temporary stay on the sex abuse lawsuits still pending in local court.