Monday, May 22, 2017

Not-So-Bright Justice: Tom Bergstrom, Msgr. Lynn's Lawyer, Gets A Scolding; Prosecutors In The Corrupt D.A.'s Office Get A Pass

By Ralph Cipriano
Tom Bergstrom: Got In Trouble For Defending His Client

On Friday, Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright held a hearing on legal misconduct in the case of Msgr. William J. Lynn.

If you haven't heard, it was a curious affair. So far in the seven-year history of the legal travesty known as the Lynn case, the only misconduct that we know of has been the rampant and intentional misconduct of the prosecutors.

But Judge Bright was holding Friday's hearing to decide whether she would find Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn's lawyer, guilty of contempt for violating the judge's gag order in the Lynn case. Because Bergstrom got upset when The Philadelphia Inquirer libeled his client.

Only in Philadelphia does this nonsense make sense. Where we have a D.A. still in office despite a 29-count federal indictment for political corruption. And prosecutors in that office who put innocent men in jail for imaginary crimes, as in the case of Msgr. Lynn, and don't get into any trouble for it. Even though we have it from inside the D.A.'s office that they knew their star witness wasn't credible.

No Worries: Prosecutors Hugh Burns and Patrick Blessington
At Friday's hearing, Bergstrom kicked things off by copping a plea, and throwing himself on the mercy of the court.

Bergstrom admitted to "losing his temper" when he fired off some email bombs to reporter Joe Slobodzian after the Inky libeled the monsignor. On April Fool's Day, the newspaper wrote in a photo caption that Msgr. Lynn is accused of sexual misconduct, when he is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

In his emails, Bergstrom slammed Slobodzian, even though the reporter had nothing to do with the mistake. The newspaper promptly ran a correction and a spokesperson for the newspaper apologized for the screw-up.

In a story posted Friday, reporter Steve Tawa of CBS Philly wrote, "Judge Bright did not fault Bergstrom for getting the paper to fix the mistake, but she did lay into him for cc'ing -- copying his remarks -- to another reporter who writes an online blog.

That other reporter is your humble correspondent for

Bergstrom apologized to the judge, saying he has "fought for the monsignor for five years," and they're still at it," Tawa wrote.

"Judge Bright, after a firm look and scold, told Bergstrom, 'at this point, this will be the end of it,'" Tawa wrote.

So, Bergstrom beat the rap and did not suffer the fate of Vincent LaGuardia Gambini in My Cousin Vinny, who wound up riding a bus to prison after a judge found him guilty of contempt. Both sides in the Lynn case have filed appeals, so the case is about to leave Judge Bright's court.

Sadly, Bergstrom is the only lawyer in the case that Judge Bright considered discipling. She apparently gave the prosecutors a pass, even though she has already ruled that they committed prosecutorial misconduct serious enough to warrant a new trial for Msgr. Lynn. If the state Superior Court had not already granted the monsignor a new trial.

There is plenty of prosecutorial misconduct in the Lynn case to get upset about.

If Detective Joe Walsh, the D.A.'s lead investigator is to be believed, the prosecutors blew off Walsh when he repeatedly told them that their star witness -- Danny Gallagher AKA "Billy Doe" -- wasn't credible, and that the evidence he gathered contradicted Gallagher's fantastic stories of abuse.

If Walsh is to believed, it was the prosecutors who never disclosed to the defense that Walsh had repeatedly grilled Gallagher about nine key factual discrepancies in his stories. And that Gallagher's response was to either say nothing,  claim he was high on drugs, or tell a new story.

But as far as Judge Bright is concerned, rather than being honest, it's far more important for lawyers in her courtroom to refrain from talking to reporters.


  1. How do all these lessons taught to us daily by our government translate into our everyday lives ? To win at all costs regardless of the impact to individuals, being in control is paramount, not taking a stand to fight for the underdog, always side with the most powerful if you want to survive, don't make waves,never question the government, resign yourself to the fact that nothing ever changes, the government has to win at all costs.

  2. How else was the truth going to come out if not for bigtrial, the Inquirer doesn't print it. The prosecution can't have the truth being made public it may hurt future cases and their stranglehold over the public .

    Prosecutors have a job to do, getting criminals off the street, not making a name for themselves and putting their careers before the lives of innocents.

    When we make it a felony for prosecutors who withhold evidence from the defense, then and only then will we stop seeing innocents go to jail.

    Hiding the truth hurts every member of our community, not just the defendants and their families.

  3. At first blush, Bungling Burns and Buddy Blessington - may look like harmless Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum(b. Or perhaps - even like two yewts.

    Caution! Don't be mislead. These are just two more of the (win at all costs) DA's sinister minions who delight in convicting innocent folks for the sake of their own glory and prestige........all while the Inky sleeps (zzzzzzzzz).

    Hopefully soon though, Ranting Rufus will be locked up (clank!) and Sorensen will be under investigation.

    Maybe then, the Philadelphia Common Pleas judges can offer at least the appearance of impartiality.

  4. Has Blessington been involved in any case since this one? Seems strange that such a high profile prosecutor would be off the radar. Is he under investigation too?

  5. And by off the radar, I mean in terms of prosecutions. I'm well aware that if you have some strange urge to send porn to a coworker who never responds, he's the one to send it to.

    1. With title reading X & X & X, he will read.

  6. Judge Bright's courtroom is the perfect place to host the truly bizarre shows that remind you of Alice in WONDERLAND.

  7. Ralph, can you give us interested parties to this travesty of justice a heads up on the upcoming trial dates and more importantly the place for Seth Williams federal of the NJ federal courthouses should be used as I thought I read that the local fed office transferred it out of their jurisdiction to avoid any conflict of interest, etc.......

    Does anyone know if there's a federal website similar to the Pennsylvania website where you can access the specifics of the pending Criminal trials and appeals in each jurisdiction....

    I did see that one of the 2 businessmen that bribed this totally corrupt scumbag of a DA with all those gifts and trips for him and his family plead out earlier this month......

    Have a nice day


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