Thursday, February 24, 2022


 Posted by frenchie    



All lawyers and witnesses appear to be present, several people in the public bench area.

Right now we are waiting for Judge Tydingco-Gatewood

If everything goes as planned we should continue with the witnessing by Mr Aguon from Mangilao's Santa Teresita parish, by attorney Glasovich representing the plaintiffs.

 Mr Glasovich is the co-counsel, and work for the Law firm of Stinson LLP, 

Stinson LLP is a very large Law firm with offices is several cities in the USA lower 48 States.

David Lujan is seating with the plaintiff's lawyers, as the local Bar Lawyer.

When the Judge arrived, and after the usual practices of making official who is here, the lawyers engaged the Judge about scheduling issues.

Housekeeping issues regarding properties, that need to be removed and others that needed to be added. 

There was a short give and take, between all parties before the examination resumed 


 Mr Aguon not being a yes or no type of person, his testimony has a tendency to flow like an endless river. Lots of details and introspective, which has a tendency to break the tempo of the questioning.

At times, Mr Glasovich appear to struggle keeping a poker face, and look at a loss on how to curtail the length of the answers.

While the situation was serious, it brought a certain sense of lightness to the proceeding.

Is it a blessing or a scourge? Time shall tell.

My take was that the deep humanity and concern shown by Mr Aguon, most likely gave a different depth to the cold, machine like, robotic quality of the questioning until now. The word coming to mind is genuineness . It was a welcome break from the deliberate, planned approach of the lawyers.

Cross examination by Mrs Diaz for the defense.

 She faces the same challenges that Mr Glasovich with this witness, due to the long, unsolicited, and at  times rambling answers. Yet she was able to slowly channel this, by asking pointed and simple questions. It was interesting that the plaintiffs did not object during this testimony, which was unusual, but probably wise, in view of the unconventional and unpredictable nature of the answers of Mr Aguon

Mr Aguon testified that the parish had a tough time keeping up with the assessment, (because of the Pandemic) but that they were trying their best to catch up. All the while he testified that they were able to be financially independent.

Zoom attendance started with a dozen of people at the beginning, quickly increasing to over 40 and reaching 55 at 9.00am

 Mrs Diaz reviewed several more documents with the witness.

When time came for recess, Mr Glasovich raised a few issues, that will be taken upon return. 

It seems that there was a short cross . Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with the details due to Docomo substandard services. 

Will head to the Court for later session 

Next witness is Mr Fernandez, questionning by Mr Caldie.

Parish of our Lady of Guadalupe.

Missed this deposition completely due to Docomo blackout in our whole neighborhood.

Arrived at the Federal Court on time for the afternoon session. Witnesses are here, but the lawyers for both sides are in and out, apparently negotiating some minute details. Some members of the Clergy are here as well.

Attendance on Zoom seems to be as heavy as the previous day and the morning.

On the plaintiffs side Mr  Leo Tudela is sitting behind the lawyers for the creditors.

The committee for the creditors are as follow.

1 Bank of Guam . Danilo Rapadas

2 Everett Torregrossa. Berman O'Connor & Mann

3 Norman Aguon . Lujan and Wolff

4 Felix Manglona Lujan and Wolff

5 William Payne Jr. Lujan and Wolff

6 Roland Sondia. Lujan and Wolff

7 Leo Tudela. Lujan and Wolff




It would seem that the Lujan office has been the one recruiting the Minnesota Big Guns.

After another 20 minutes the lawyers are back at their respective tables, and Judge Tydingco-Gatewood has arrived. Before we can proceed with the following set of questions, the plaintiffs  bring up several "housekeeping" issues to the Judge, and a conversation between all the parties starts.

After another 5 minutes delay, the next witness is called.

Mr Vicente Mesa from the Astumbo Chapel. Mr Mesa was also the finance committee chair at Santa Barbara Parish, until 2021

Mr Caldie is doing the questioning once more. Mr Mesa insisted on keeping his face mask (double face mask) for safety reason. We learned later that his spouse is recovering from a serious health challenge, therefore he did not wish to take any risk)

Mr Mesa is apparently one of the original members of the "Astumbo Catholic Family Mission"

He is also the person that gave the land for the construction of the Chapel, which makes him a unique  witness, as he recalls the different restrictions, intentions and details.

The name of the Chapel being the Divine Mercy Chapel.

Mr Caldie then engage in his now well drawn series of questions , to find out if Mr Mesa recognize certain documents......He does not and requires to see the hard copy in its entirety to " know what I am talking about before I answer".

The operation is repeated several times, with different documents put in as exhibits.

It is at times difficult to understand Mr Mesa because he is wearing double masks. Therefore the questions have to often be repeated, making the process fairly slow.

The documents examination having concluded, Mr Caldie continue the examination after the short recess, and went over his song and dance routine regarding. the work of the Church, is the Catholic Church on Guam one Body? How does the Church help people?

Mr Mesa testified that the Church helped him, his family and friends get closer to God. Many parishes might look different, or even speak another language, but we are all one body all over the world and here on Guam of course. Everyone is welcome in our parish, even non Catholics.

Asked if the Archbishop owed him money or land, he said no. Mr Caldie joked that in his case that might not be true since he gave the land to build the Chapel. Mr Mesa answered that the Archbishop would owe the land to the building contractor, who was given the land as a guarantee for the construction of the building. 

Would you remain a Catholic, if the Archbishop closed your parish? 

"I am a Catholic forever" 

was the answer of Mr Mesa to the next four similar questions.

"Helping people is the Christian thing to do" 


Mr Camacho did the cross examination for the defense.

they went over Mr Mesa's background, knowledge of the local culture, opposing lawyer Mr Glasovich objected to several lines of questions about Santa Barbara supervision of the Chapel, with a series of tasty exchange under the eye of a tempering Judge who overruled the objections. 

Mr Camacho went over the different phases of constructions, their cost, and timing.

There were five phases 

Questions and answers on how they reached their financial goals.

On redirect by the plaintiffs, they went over more donations and restrictions of said donations.

Mr Mesa was excused and left. While we waited for the next witness. The lawyers ironed out some issues regarding the following testimonies, their timing and when they expected to have their closing arguments.

Apparently everyone agreed that closing argument would most likely take place on Monday after the court restart at 9.00am

The following witness was Mrs Kasperbauer, who had to be helped walking to the witness stand, and who also was assisted by a Chamorro court official translator. 

The questions again would be done by Mr Caldie, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs. Following the first question: Are you from Guam? Mrs Kasperbauer went into her whole life story, which Mr Caldie did not try to stop. Probably a wise move.

The following questions were about Mrs Kasperbauer  participation in the creation of Astumbo's Chapel, the length of time, when was she involved, did she give money, land, and so on.

Mrs Kasperbauer continued with her testimony with a strong voice and clear mind.

Then followed the questions about culture and traditions. In answer Mrs Kasperbauer gave us all a lesson on history and culture of Guam.

At one time Mr Caldie attempted to be cute by making a remark about Guam being a matriarcal society. Again we were given a masterly historical dissertation on the reasons while this happened and how.

A few more questions were fielded before a short cross and the end of the day , at least in the court. 



  1. This "is the church one body" question is so odd given that the plaintiff's objected every time the defense broached anything that sounded like "canon law." "One body" is a theological precept. Not a juridical one. I'm not sure why the defense doesn't object when the plaintiff's use it.

    1. Excellent observation, which I am talking about in my next post, regarding the evaluation of the past week trial

  2. Hmmmm. Bank of Guam.

    1. You Got it my know the old saying: "follow the money"