Spokane diocese and its former law firm settle malpractice lawsuit

by Tom Gallagher

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Just a few weeks before starting the legal malpractice trial, the Spokane, Wash., diocese and the diocese's former legal counsel, the Spokane-based Paine Hamblen law firm, agreed to a settlement, according to a joint press release published Friday. The lawsuit brought by the diocese stems from the diocese's 2007 bankruptcy because of priest sexual abuse claims.

The diocese released a brief statement:

Following a mediation conducted by former Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Mabey (Salt Lake City, Utah), the parties to the litigation pending in In re Catholic Bishop of Spokane in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Spokane, have settled their disputes in a manner satisfactory to all parties.

By mutual agreement, the terms of the settlement are confidential. The settlement does not constitute an admission of wrong doing by either side; rather, it is a resolution of differences in an amicable manner which allows the parties to move forward with the important work that each conducts in the service of the common good.

There will be no further press releases or public comment by either party or their attorneys.

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