Portland Priest Molestation Victim Claims Lawyers Took $877K of $900K Settlement

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How much might it cost to sue a defrocked Catholic priest for molesting you after he's already been convicted of the actual crime? That depends how many greedy, backstabbing lawyers you can cram into the case.

The case in question involves a Portland man identified as "G.B."; a former priest named Thomas Laughlin who was convicted in 1983 of molesting dozens of boys; and four lawyers: Michael "Mickey" Morey, Frederick T. Smith, Jeffrey Boly, and Jaculin Smith.

According to a report in The Oregonian on Wednesday, G.B. sued the Catholic Archdiocese in 2001 for failing to protect him from sexual abuse by Laughlin.

His first lawyer, Morey, worked on the case for two and a half years and eventually got a settlement offer of $650,000. G.B. was looking for more, so he apparently fired Morey and hired Smith, who picked up where Morey left off and, in a mere three days, secured a $900,000 settlement, which G.B. took.

A normal attorney's fee is about a third of a settlement, so naturally Smith charged G.B. $300,000 and called it a day, leaving Morey with nothing for his two-years-plus of work.

Afterward, Morey sued his former client for his fees, and a judge ruled that he was owed $300,000 also, plus another $72,000 in litigation costs and interest.

After this, two new lawyers got involved--Boly and Jaculin Smith--and convinced G.B. to fight Morey every step of the way. That resulted in even more litigation costs, and in the end, G.B. apparently was left with about $23,000.

But even that hasn't been paid yet, and the man is supposedly living on a $400-to-$500 Social Security and disability check every month, while his settlement money continues to get picked over by the vulturous lawyers.

So one can imagine that G.B. is hoping that the current lawsuit--where he's now suing every lawyer except Morey--will be the last time he ever sees a courtroom again.

 
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