After a flurry of last-minute emergency motions and appeals, the so-called "Episcopal Church in South Carolina" rump group ("ECSC") has run out of maneuvers to delay the start of the scheduled trial next week before Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein.
Well -- they did manage to delay the start by one day. They had argued, in a last-minute motion for a continuance, that they had not had sufficient time to complete thirty-four depositions of persons familiar with each of the individual parishes who joined Bishop Lawrence's Diocese of South Carolina as co-plaintiffs in the case. And Judge Goodstein denied their motion to continue the trial, but ordered them to complete all 34 depositions this Monday, July 7.
Then ECSC overreached. It tried to take an emergency appeal of Judge Goodstein's order to the Court of Appeals in Columbia. It asked that Court to issue its "supersedeas writ" to stay the trial until it ruled on the earlier appeal filed by ECSC (which I wrote about in this post).
That prompted the Court of Appeal to issue, within mere hours, an order not only dismissing that earlier appeal, but denying the emergency stay as well.
So the trial itself will get under way on Tuesday, July 8. And ECUSA's and ECSC's attorneys will have to spend the entire day before in taking depositions that they could have, and should have, taken months ago.
For all of their litigiousness, it is remarkable how averse 815 and its minions are to actually getting to trial. Could it be because they realize that going to trial means there will be no more opportunities to run up costs for the other side? (Until the inevitable appeal, that is -- but appeals are less costly than trials.)
At any rate, I hope there will be some SC readers who will be attending the trial, and who can send updates as it goes forward. You may post them as comments, or email them to me at ashaley-at-nccn-dot-net.
[UPDATE 07/08/2014: The Press Office of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is issuing daily summaries of the proceedings, and I will post those as I receive them over at StandFirm. This blog will be reserved for more substantive analysis when I have the information available to review.]