Showing posts with label litigation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label litigation. Show all posts

Friday, November 15, 2019

Protesting Outside DioVA Annual Convention

Live, from New York....IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!

Well, not so much. More like it’s me, protesting outside the DioVA annual convention in Crystal City Virginia.

I slept in today, as the weather is ideal for sleeping and I have a busy weekend ahead. But I’ll resurface outside the convention in a few hours. My plans also include filing the Motion to Compel to ask Bishop Goff and Grace Episcopal Church to provide access to various documents relating to my case, including documentation of perjuring priest Bob Malm’s claim, made in writing, while under oath, and while advised by church legal counsel, that my mother, then terminally ill, or someone claiming to be her, “time after time” made appointments with him and no-showed. This he cited as one of the bases for his claim that mom’s blog is threatening.

So, since Malm alleges that this happened repeatedly, there should be lots of documentation — phone records, email, you name it.

My plans also include filing a Motion to Compel against +Goff and the parish. Somehow, I don’t see either being on the up-and-up and responding on their own.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

HBC and Grace Church: When a Collapsing Mega-Church has More Integrity Than The Episcopal Church

Those who follow church abuse stories, particularly in evangelical churches, may be all too familiar with the collapse of Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC). The latter is a Chicago-based mega-church that not that long ago was considered one of the fastest growing in the world. Recently, however, founder James MacDonald was ousted amidst a series of complaints about bullying, abusive behavior, and lack of financial transparency, with the final straw being the collapse of a defamation lawsuit against critics of the church’s operations.

Before we go further, let me say that MacDonald sounds very much like Bob Malm. Charismatic, manipulative, intelligent, sometimes bullying, and apparently at times of questionable veracity, the two could be cut from the same cloth. Indeed, when called on the carpet, both claim to be victims, and both try to keep key financial and operational data close to the cuff. Both surround themselves with admirers and sycophants who serve to protect them, and both exercise largely unilateral control over their churches, having gutted mechanisms that otherwise ensure accountability.

But the real point of this post is about the HBC lawsuit, which collapsed when the church declined to subpoena unwilling participants in the lawsuit against their will. Some of this, to be fair, appears to have been because MacDonald and allies feared that more would come out than they were ready to deal with — an issue that would have occurred in my litigation with Bob Malm, thanks to his multiple fabrications and perjury.

Regardless of the reasons that HBC decided to drop its lawsuit, however, its conduct stands in marked contrast to that of Grace Episcopal Church, Dysfunctional Bob Malm, Jeff “Sugarland” Chiow, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. In its litigation with me, Grace Church attempted to drag my mother, dying of COPD, into court in another state, despite the fact that this is not permitted in Pennsylvania in such cases absent leave of court. Indeed, when the Pennsylvania courts quashed Grace’s subpoena, Grace fought vociferously, arguing in its written pleadings that it was dealing with a case of “domestic terrorism.”

Oh, and while you’re at it, check out the bit about MacDonald’s allegedly inappropriate comments. Guess that referring to your parishioners as “sick” “twisted,” and “domestic terrorists” would fall within the ambit of “inappropriate.”

So progressive Episcopalians may look down their WASPy noses at evangelical churches, but when it comes to ethics, even failing evangelical churches have better moral compasses than the Episcopal diocese of Virginia, its bishops, and the folks over at Grace Church, aka St. Dysfunction.

Finally, as I’ve pointed out many times, vestry members, family members (yeah that would be Leslie Malm), clergy (yup, David Crosby), parishioners, and diocesan staff who support Bob’s efforts are just as culpable.

Truly, a sorry lot.





Monday, August 6, 2018

Jeff Chiow’s Legal Fees: A Problem in the Offing?

Are you a member of Grace Episcopal Church? Concerned about the 2019 budget and how you’ll pay for the  HVAC project, repaving the parking lot, maintenance of the stained glass, refurbishment of the elevator, and replacement of the faux slate roof? If so, you may also be concerned about your legal bills.

Per Jeff Chiow, the value of his legal fees to date in this dispute amounts to approximately $100,000, and he appears to be contemplating at least another $25,000 in legal fees.

Of course, I can’t know whether he actually is charging the parish these fees. And they seem extraordinarily high for a case that, at most, involves about 100 hours of work so far; that would suggest Jeff’s going rate is $1,000 an hour. An unusual rate, to be sure, for an attorney who does not appear to do trial work.

I surely hope he is not charging the parish, but it may be appropriate to make reasonable inquiry into these claims. An unexpected bill from Jeff Chiow would certainly make for major disruption to church finances.

Of course, it may also be, if there is a paying client in all of this, that Bob Malm personally is footing the bill behind the scenes. But knowing Bob, that seems improbable.

In any event, this is not a situation in which one wants to be surprised.