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Mediator Named in Diocese of Rochester Bankruptcy Case

Monday, March, 9, 2020


A mediator has been tentatively approved by US Bankruptcy Court Judge Paul R.  Warrant in the Diocese of Rochester’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.  The judge set a mid-August deadline for claims to be filed by victims.


The person appointed to oversee the mediation is Judge Gregg Zive.  Zive is a Nevada federal bankruptcy judge if he receives approval from the chief judges of the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit.  Everyone else involved has agreed on Zive.


As a mediator, Zive will work with the parties involved to determine the obligations of the insurers and meeting creditor demands.  Warren’s suggestion to attempt mediation was supported by lawyers from both sides.


The date the judge set as the deadline for victims to file claims against the diocese will also mark the end of a one-year window established by New York State’s Child Victims Act for the filing of sexual-abuse claims.  Those claims had previously been barred by statutes of limitations.  On the same day, the judge approved a “proof of claim” form in the bankruptcy case.  


The appointment of the mediator comes two weeks after the judge ruled that Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark could be questioned under oath about what he knows about sexual abuse during his tenure.  Attorneys of church abuse victims had filed an earlier motion requesting the right to interrogate the 82-year-old retired bishop concerning his knowledge of abuse.  Clark’s attorney argued that the bishop “is not able to competently testify,” after his early-stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis during the summer of 2019.  

According to the judge, questioning must occur within by mid-March, take just one day, take no more than three hours with breaks, and be attended by only one creditor from each party.