Seth Udinski, FISM News
The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) longtime legal team announced their resignation after almost 60 years, in the most recent development of the denomination’s unfortunate ongoing sexual abuse case.
Attorneys James Guenther and James Jordan of Guenther, Jordan & Price law firm of Nashville, Tennessee, penned a letter on Monday to SBC Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd. In the letter they said that the denomination’s recent forfeiture of attorney-client privilege by opening up its investigation of widespread sexual abuse to the third-party investigation team, Guidepost Solutions, was part of the reason for their resignation.
We simply do not know how to advise a client, and otherwise represent a client, with the quality of advice and representation the client must have, and in keeping with the standard of practice our firm tries to uphold, when the client has indicated a willingness to forego this universally accepted principle of confidentiality…The attorney-client privilege has been portrayed by some as an evil device by which misconduct is somehow allowed to be secreted so wrongdoers can escape justice and defeat the legal rights of others. That could not be further from the truth.
Guenther, who has served in the SBC since 1966, still believes in the integrity of the denomination, despite the allegations. Meanwhile, the SBC has no choice but to move forward in the case without its longtime legal team.
Floyd said after the resignation,
The loss of their institutional knowledge will be irreplaceable. With deep regrets, we accept their decision and fully understand their reasoning behind it and their need to withdraw. We are extremely grateful for their 56 years of superior service to the Southern Baptist Convention and the Executive Committee.