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21 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

High adventure?  Most young people can't afford Philmont, but they can afford a week in a national forrest as long as someone will take them. 

That's our troop.  A few scouts did high adventure.  The whole troop did an extra summer week (in addition to summer camp) in one of the national forests / state parks in the 5 or 6 state area.  Great experiences.  And, it was nice to see our scouts in public with their uniforms.

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What is legally right is not always morally right.

In the case of Scouting, the BSA may dissolve in this bankruptcy, if so, it will be replaced and Scouting will move on.  IMHO, Scouting is an idea, a philosophy of life, not an organization.  Ano

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22 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

But it is. Just had someone in this thread indicate they believe that S.E.s should not be making more than the median salary of the people in their council.

 

22 hours ago, yknot said:

Can you blame them? Most people sitting in the unit, district, or even council chair don't see what an SE brings to the table. They see council workhorses serving most of their needs. 

Yes. Median Household Income in my city is 43k annually. Why would anyone take on the responsibility that comes with that sort of job for 43k? 

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27 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

Yes. Median Household Income in my city is 43k annually. Why would anyone take on the responsibility that comes with that sort of job for 43k? 

Yep. And oversee a $500,000-$1,000,000 budget and 8-12 employees (assume a mid-size Council).

For $43,000 a year.

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The insurance companies dropped a couple more motions on the case docket on Friday.

The first one, "HARTFORD AND CENTURY’S MOTION FOR AN ORDER (I) AUTHORIZING CERTAIN RULE 2004 DISCOVERY AND (II) GRANTING LEAVE FROM LOCAL RULE 3007-1(f) TO PERMIT THE FILING OF SUBSTANTIVE OMNIBUS OBJECTIONS" [D.I.1972], asks for an order allowing them to serve discovery on 1400 abuse claimants that they have already randomly selected, and then depose up to 100 claimants from that group seeking more information.

Interesting excerpts from the motion and attachments...

Quote

In response to the filings of proofs of claims, a claimant’s mother e-mailed BSA that her son was not molested, but saw the advertisements and wanted to make money; a claimant’s brother e-mailed BSA that the claimant was never in Boy Scouts, was not molested and made a fraudulent claim (and he suspects others have done the same); a distressed former scoutmaster e-mailed that an accusation against a deceased scoutmaster is false and was made by a claimant to “try and get some quick cash” only
after he learned that the accused perpetrator is dead and cannot defend himself; an accused perpetrator e-mailed that he was a college student in Georgia at the time he was accused of committing acts of abuse in Kentucky and, in fact, did not move to Kentucky until more than a decade later; and an individual called one of the local councils stating that he had evidence a claimant had made a false claim.

Quote

For example, many claimants represented by the same counsel describe their abuse in identical terms, raising serious questions about coaching, if not outright fabrication, by plaintiffs' counsel and for-profit claims aggregators:

[a page with examples is redacted]

Quote

a. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of tax fraud.

b. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of fraudulent submission of an insurance claim.

c. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted twice for felon forgery.

d. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of, among other things, felony forgery and burglary.

e. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of identity theft.

f. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of, among other things, concealing or misrepresenting identity with intent to mislead.

g. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of the fraudulent use of credit cards.

h. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of giving false information to the police and making a false statement to a public servant.

i. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of, among other things, robbery.

j. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of armed robbery and residential burglary.

k. Claimant No. ***** - Information that this claimant was convicted of theft by receiving stolen property, theft by unlawful [sic] taking property, assault and burglary.

l. Claimant No. ***** - Information that this claimant was convicted of assault.

m. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.

[...]

r. Claimant No. ***** - Information indicating that this claimant is listed on a national sex offender registry.

[Likewise for s. and t.]

Quote

a. [...] approximately 8,500 claims do not identify any affiliation with Scouting.

b. [...] approximately 6,400 claims do not identify a perpetrator or provide information that would permit identification of a perpetrator.

c. [...] approximately 8,100 claims do not identify any allegations of physical abuse.

d. [...] approximately 1,700 claims have been the subject of prior litigation, and approximately 130 indicated receiving some form of payment.

e. [...] Applying [certain rules], approximately 51,400 claims appear to be time-barred under the applicable Statute of Limitations.

The second one, "INSURERS’ MOTION FOR AN ORDER AUTHORIZINGRULE 2004 DISCOVERY OF CERTAIN PROOFS OF CLAIM" [D.I.1975], asks permission to conduct discovery against and depose certain law firms and certain claims-processing firms that appear to be connected to large batches of claims.

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To accomplish this objective, a handful of Coalition lawyers signed thousands of proofs of claim (“POCs”) in the days just before the bar date, and a dozen lawyers each signed hundreds of POCs in one day. Astonishingly, members of the entity that holds itself out as Abused in Scouting—a fictitious firm acting as a front for three separate firms, two of which are one-man shops and the other a nine-lawyer outfit—filed almost 19,000 POCs alone.

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Example 1. Coalition attorney Deborah Levy (Managing Partner at Junell Associates) signed 797 of her 811 POCs on November 3, 2020. Yet the “document properties” field for her POCs reveals that the claim documents were created later, several days after she supposedly signed them. Ms. Levy—or someone else, such as claims processor Stratos Legal (“Stratos”), which submitted many of Ms. Levy’s forms—affixed her electronic signature to the claims before the claim forms were even filled out. [...]

Example 2. Coalition attorney Joseph Cappelli (of Marc J. Bern & Partners) signed 625 of the 635 total POCs he signed on one day—November 14, 2020. That was just before the bar date. Experts’ analysis shows that all or nearly all of these POCs have an identical pre-printed signature page appended to them. Someone scanned each claim form with this signature page | and then submitted them to Omni. Mr. Cappelli almost certainly did not vet—or even read—the claim forms submitted under his name.

[...]

Example 4. Coalition attorney Paul Napoli (of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC) allegedly signed over 500 POCs in the days leading up to the bar date (between November 9 and November 16, 2020). [redacted details] Mr. Napoli did not even bother to sign the forms, instead using the “/s/” symbol. [more redacted details]

F. A firm that filed thousands of claims announced on its website that it would “complete” forms on behalf of potential claimants who did not opt out.

 

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41 minutes ago, DavidLeeLambert said:

e. [...] Applying [certain rules], approximately 51,400 claims appear to be time-barred under the applicable Statute of Limitations.

This is coming from the Insurance Companies, not BSA/National or the Councils.

This will be the absolute key to the entire thing. Only two options I see.

1) Try to get these claims tossed. This is dangerous for two reasons. First, if they are not settled NOW and someday the state(s) involved open up a look-back window, the claims get revived and the insurance companies, National, and the Council(s) are on the hook. Second, if BSA supports this motion the media campaign will be "BSA fights against victims."

2) BSA accepts the claims (even if the insurance companies won't pay out) and offers some kind of compensation. That's tricky.

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As a caveat, I am not an attorney but am a professional in a field that if such misbehavior were to be identified, the offender would be removed from the profession. 

That said, one would think that if the above accusations are valid, then those attorneys would at the very least be disbarred and could have issues with knowingly submitting false claims with the court.  However, not being an attorney, I know not what is likely to happen.

One way or the other, much of the above represents a breach of appropriate behavior.  Fortunately, these attorneys are far from being representative of the field of law.  The attorneys whom I know are honorable and, though aggressive, follow the norms of their field.

 

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/boy-scouts-liability-insurers-challenge-sex-abuse-claim-mining-11611575995

Boy Scouts’ Liability Insurers Challenge Sex-Abuse ‘Claim-Mining’

Key quotes from the plaintiffs lawyers
 

Quote

David Molton, a lawyer for the coalition, said the insurers’ filings were the latest in a string of attempts to misdirect attention from the sexual abuse inflicted on boys and to attack survivors and their advocates.

“The predators who were allowed to infect the Boy Scouts for many decades created a population of tens of thousands of sexual abuse victims and survivors, resulting in tens of billions of dollars of harm, pain and liability” for which the coalition believes the Boy Scouts and their insurers are responsible, he said.

And
 

Quote

Tim Kosnoff, a lawyer formerly with the coalition, signed more than 750 claims, according to the insurers. He said his firm looked into every claim and “didn’t file anything that looked facially like it could be fraudulent,” but signed some forms on behalf of clients who hadn’t returned signed copies by the cutoff.

“Do we let all these claims not be filed and they lose their rights forever?” Mr. Kosnoff said. “These are fraud? Prove it.”

 

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At first I thought this might be good news for the BSA, but my fear is that it simply drags out the bankruptcy.  It almost doesn’t matter if it is 15,000 or 85,000 ... the BSA only has a fixed amount of assets and most will be lost with either number  

The big money might be with the insurance companies.  They historically have paid 20 - 80% of the total claims.  BSA won’t have billions, even after selling HA based, but the insurance companies will. 
 

I expect they the insurance companies will also see this case as the first of many coming from the look back law changes. So they will fight every claim, even if it takes months to years. In the meantime, BSA will continue to hemorrhage cash.  I hope the BSA can settle and let the insurance companies fight the claims separately. 

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13 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

This is coming from the Insurance Companies, not BSA/National or the Councils.

This will be the absolute key to the entire thing. Only two options I see.

1) Try to get these claims tossed. This is dangerous for two reasons. First, if they are not settled NOW and someday the state(s) involved open up a look-back window, the claims get revived and the insurance companies, National, and the Council(s) are on the hook. Second, if BSA supports this motion the media campaign will be "BSA fights against victims."

2) BSA accepts the claims (even if the insurance companies won't pay out) and offers some kind of compensation. That's tricky.

The average payout of Catholic Church bankruptcies is ~$680K per plaintiff.  Using that average, it would be a $65B settlement if 95,000 claims or $3.4B settlement if 5,000 claims.  Either number far exceeds the total assets of the BSA, even if insurance companies pay half..  For the BSA, they are in much better shape with option 2 above.  They should offer their best offer they can while still existing and fighting to hold as many assets as possible … but should stay out of fighting individual claims.  Why waste legal fees and add to bad press when the end results will likely remain the same. 

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14 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

This is coming from the Insurance Companies, not BSA/National or the Councils.

This will be the absolute key to the entire thing. Only two options I see.

1) Try to get these claims tossed. This is dangerous for two reasons. First, if they are not settled NOW and someday the state(s) involved open up a look-back window, the claims get revived and the insurance companies, National, and the Council(s) are on the hook. Second, if BSA supports this motion the media campaign will be "BSA fights against victims."

 

That's not how bankruptcy works.  When a bankruptcy is final, that entity is essentially dead and it's replaced by a new entity of the same name but with no liability for anything that happened before the bankruptcy.  So even if other states remove the time limits on suits, they would have no recourse against the post-bankruptcy BSA. (the Councils might be a different matter)

The only way I've ever heard of to get money out of a post-bankruptcy entity is to argue that they did something fraudulent during the processing of their bankruptcy that means the bankruptcy proceedings should be re-opened.  The only times I've ever heard of that happening it's been when some person or company actively hid a debtor.

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15 minutes ago, elitts said:

That's not how bankruptcy works.  When a bankruptcy is final, that entity is essentially dead and it's replaced by a new entity of the same name but with no liability for anything that happened before the bankruptcy.  So even if other states remove the time limits on suits, they would have no recourse against the post-bankruptcy BSA. (the Councils might be a different matter)

The only way I've ever heard of to get money out of a post-bankruptcy entity is to argue that they did something fraudulent during the processing of their bankruptcy that means the bankruptcy proceedings should be re-opened.  The only times I've ever heard of that happening it's been when some person or company actively hid a debtor.

How would that work with a Congressional Charter? 

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54 minutes ago, yknot said:

How would that work with a Congressional Charter? 

We don't know because it has never been done before. There's never been a bankruptcy of a Congressional Chartered organization. The Congressional Charters that have lapsed have been because the membership ceased to exist. For example the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization made up of ALL union veterans from the Civil War. When the last vet died, it ceased operations.

The idea is that Boy Scouts of America (the chartered, incorporated entity) will survive with either:

a) zero assets (liquidation-in-all-but-name) or

b) minimal assets.

We know what folks like Kosnoff want (zero assets) but what does the bankruptcy court want/is comfortable with? And the other plaintiffs lawyers?

Edited by CynicalScouter
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14 hours ago, vol_scouter said:

One way or the other, much of the above represents a breach of appropriate behavior.  Fortunately, these attorneys are far from being representative of the field of law.  The attorneys whom I know are honorable and, though aggressive, follow the norms of their field.

The same can be said of scout leaders.  The vast majority are ethical, high standards individuals.  Now, BSA is in financial bankruptcy pursued by ethically bankrupt lawyers.  :)   

... my sad attempt at humor in this ugly situation ... 

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14 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

"... “Do we let all these claims not be filed and they lose their rights forever?” Mr. Kosnoff said. “These are fraud? Prove it.

It's why cases like this are supposed to have time boundaries.  The vast majority of these cases lack people who can defend themselves.  Deceased.  40 years ago.  Society has DRASTICALLY changed.  

Abuse is always wrong ... but that does not make this court case right.

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

How would that work with a Congressional Charter? 

So if churches are at risk because they "chartered" a troop with incidents of abuse, does that mean that US government should be a co-defendant?   

  • Congress chartered BSA. 
  • Every year the President of the United States accepts a face-to-face report out on scouting. 
  • For 100 years, BSA's national jamboree happened mostly on a military base.  
  • US Military accepts Eagle scout as evidence for immediate military promotion.
  • For most of a 100 years, local governments, schools, police, etc actively involved themselves in scouting.

Perhaps the 100B settlement should just be tacked onto the national debt.   It's pennies compared to the national spending for the last year. 

Seriously, the congressional charter is honorific without any substance.  Or that's my view.

Edited by fred8033
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