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The Rathbuns hire a lawyer, and Ray Jeffrey answers questions about his legal salvo

[San Antonio attorney Rich Reynolds]

We spoke to Ray Jeffrey yesterday about the petition he filed on July 5 along with Elliott Cappuccio and Marc Wiegand, asking the Bexar County District Court to order that their former clients, Mark “Marty” Rathbun and Monique Rathbun, sit for depositions and turn over financial records.

In January 2016, Monique fired the three lawyers “without cause” and then dropped her 2013 harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. Since that time her husband Marty (who had also personally been represented by Jeffrey, Cappuccio, and Wiegand) has used his website to attack many of his former friends and supporters and has defended the church in a bewildering turnaround. According to the petition Jeffrey filed, he and his colleagues want to question the Rathbuns to investigate possible legal claims, suspecting that the Rathbuns may have entered some kind of secret agreement with the church.

In their petition, the attorneys asked for a hearing on July 25, but we noticed that it had been pushed back to August 29. We asked Jeffrey why the hearing had been postponed. “We were contacted by an attorney, Rich Reynolds, who said he was retained to represent the Rathbuns, and he said he had scheduling conflicts. August 29 was the first date that all of us had available on our calendars,” he told us.

Richard J. Reynolds III is managing member with the Texas law firm Thornton Biechlin Reynolds & Guerra. “He heads the firm’s Professional Liability Section with a substantial portion of his practice devoted to the representation of lawyers, accountants, financial and insurance professionals,” says his online bio. We reached out to Reynolds to confirm that he had been hired by the Rathbuns.

“Yes, I have been retained by the Rathbuns to represent them in connection with the Petition referenced in your e-mail that has been filed in Bexar County District Court,” he wrote us. “At the appropriate time we will file a brief with the Court setting out our position. Ultimately, the Court will hold a hearing and it will make a determination whether the grounds stated in the petition filed on behalf of the three law firms are sufficient under the law to warrant the Court ordering that Mr. and Mrs. Rathbun appear for a deposition at this point or not.”


We asked Ray Jeffrey what he knew about Reynolds, and we sent over several other questions as well.


[Ray Jeffrey; Elliott Cappuccio with Marty Rathbun in court in 2013; Marc Wiegand]

“I think it’s a smart choice. Rich is well known in San Antonio and he’s with an established law firm,” Jeffrey says. “A San Antonio legal insider would know that Rich is an excellent choice.”

What are you hoping to get out of this legal petition?

“I want some answers. We were winning an important case, our client fired us without any cause, and then dismissed the lawsuit. If anything of value was received from anyone associated with Scientology, we want to know. If not, we want to know that, as well. We have attempted to get answers informally, to no avail.”

If the judge asks about the “circumstantial evidence” that you say in your petition suggests the Rathbuns have cut a deal, what will you say?

“I’d rather present our evidence in court than in the press.”

Have you or your co-counsel ever taken an action like this regarding any previous clients?

“No, absolutely not. This is an extraordinary situation.”

What’s the next step if the judge denies your petition?

“That’s an interesting question. We could still take the Rathbuns’ deposition, but we might have to sue them to do so. If Scientology has not directly or indirectly paid the Rathbuns something of value, it would make sense for them to voluntarily clear this up without the need for a lawsuit. Mr. Reynolds knows this, so I would expect him to advise his clients accordingly.”

If the depositions happen, what’s the first substantive question you’re going to ask Monique or Marty?

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to say, but as indicated in our filing, the focus will be financial.”

Many readers are assuming that if there is a deal, Marty Rathbun and Scientology leader David Miscavige were smart enough to hide it beneath layers of subterfuge and in off-shore accounts. Do you think that’s likely?

“No. Our court system makes it unlikely that any subterfuge would prevail. We have too many tools to get at the truth.”


Wise Beard Man’s ticker needs an overhaul

Mark Bunker is facing a pretty scary situation with his usual good humor. He’s scheduled to have a triple bypass operation in a few days, and even though he seems to have the right attitude about it, he admitted to us that he is worried about paying the rent when he gets home from the hospital.

He put together this video and started a new Gofundme. We told him we’d be happy to post them here and let folks know what he’s up against.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,822 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,579 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,925 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,419 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,459 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,171 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 697 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,786 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,926 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,246 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,221 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 577 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,879 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 986 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,388 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,261 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 842 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,347 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,591 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,700 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 25, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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