Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anglican Priest Sues His Attorney For Malpractice After He Loses Fraud Suit

In 2002, Episcopal Bishop Charles Bennison summarily removed Rev. David Moyer as rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal parish in Rosemont, Pennsylvania on the ground that he had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church when he was ordained by the more conservative Traditional Anglican Union. In response, Moyer sued Bishop Bennison for fraud. However Moyer lost his suit when the jury found no fraud had been perpetrated. (See prior postings 1, 2, 3.) Now, according to Virtue Online yesterday, Fr. Moyer is suing the attorney who handled his case against Bishop Bennison for malpractice. Meanwhile Moyer remains rector of Good Shepherd which still pays his salary, as the suit by the Diocese to recover Good Shepherd property and assets goes on.

In his malpractice suit, Moyer claims that his former lawyer, John H. Lewis, Jr., and his law firm, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, mishandled his deposition and failed to present certain key evidence to the jury. The law firm has counterclaimed alleging that the malpractice suit was brought in bad faith. Attorney Lewis, who had been close friends with Moyer, handled the trial and pre-trial for him pro bono. Now though the law firm's counterclaim includes a claim for $66,000 in unpaid legal fees, apparently for legal work since the trial responding to the lawsuit by the Diocese that is attempting to regain control of Good Shepherd.