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High court suspends lawyer in priest-abuse case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has handed a 90-day suspension to a Salem lawyer accused of ethics violations for the way he allocated settlement money to victims of alleged sexual abuse by a Catholic priest.

Daniel Gatti represented 15 men from 2001 to 2007 who said they were abused at an Oregon reform school in the 1970s. The state paid $1 million to settle the lawsuits. The Portland Archdiocese paid $600,000.

One client — a prison inmate — complained he didn't get a detailed accounting of the settlements and that Gatti was less than forthright.

It its decision Thursday, the court said Gatti might have been exceedingly fair in divvying up the money, but it wasn't his decision to make.

The 68-year-old Gatti has been on medical leave for two years. Through a representative from his law office, Gatti said he did nothing self-serving, and he respects the Supreme Court.


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