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Episcopalians Challenge Authority of Attorneys for Breakaway Factions

The Episcopal parties filed motions in the 141st District Court of Tarrant County to challenge the authority of the attorneys for the break-away Southern Cone factions. The motions seek to strike the pleadings of these attorneys who claim to represent the historic Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and historic entities of the diocese.

The motions state two grounds for declaring that the attorneys are not authorized to represent the entities they claim to represent:

First, the breakaway-faction attorneys lack authority to represent the historic Diocese and its Corporation and Parishes and Missions under the Fort Worth Court of Appealsí June 25, 2010 mandamus opinion. Pursuant to that opinion, until the Court determines on the merits which faction has legal authority to act for the Diocese and Corporation, neither faction has authority to bring suit against the other in the name of the Diocese and Corporation.

Second, the breakaway-faction attorneys lack authority to prosecute or defend this case on behalf of the historic Diocese and its Corporation and Parishes and Missions because, once this Court reaches the merits of the "identity" question, it is indisputable that only the Local Episcopal Parties have legal authority to act on behalf of the Diocese and Corporation. The Episcopal Parties incorporated by reference their evidence on file in support of their motions for partial summary judgment.

Copies of the motions are located in the right-hand column of this page.

The motions were filed on December 29, 2010 against attorneys J. Shelby Sharpe and his law firm, Sharpe, Tillman and Melton; and Scott Brister and Kendall Gray and their law firm Andrews Kurth LLP; and on December 31, 2010 against attorney R. David Weaver and his firm The Weaver Law Firm, P.C, respectively. The motions are set for hearing at 9:00 a.m. on January 14, 2011, the same time as the partiesí competing motions for partial summary judgment and Bishop Ohlís motion to compel production of documents.