The chronicles of the Wisconsin Marriage Defenders of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007



Court of Appeals Vindicates Christian Attorney!

A statement by Pastor Ralph Ovadal

On October 10, 2003, Wisconsin Christians United held an "International Conference on Homo-Fascism" featuring speakers from America and other countries. The theme of the conference was threats to Christian liberty and free speech by the homosexual movement. I was the founder and director of WCU, the work of which has since been absorbed into the public ministry of the church I pastor, Pilgrims Covenant Church.

Subsequent to our WCU conference, the homosexual organization Action Wisconsin issued a press release in which the outrageous, false claim was made that one of the WCU speakers, a pastor, advocated the murder of homosexuals. When Action Wisconsin officials refused to retract their claim, Attorney Jim Donohoo filed a defamation lawsuit against them on behalf of the pastor. On June 28, 2005, Judge Patricia McMahon handed down a summary judgment dismissing the action. Consequently, Action Wisconsin attorneys filed a motion with McMahon seeking costs and actual attorney's fees on the basis that the suit prosecuted by Donohoo was frivolous. The court then awarded Action Wisconsin costs in the amount of $2,220.09 and attorney's fees in the amount of $85,232.50. Further, Judge McMahon took the opportunity to humiliate Attorney Donohoo in her decision while Action Wisconsin pricey Attorney Lester A. Pines went out of his way to ridicule Donohoo's professional skills.

However, today, May 30, the State of Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District 1, reversed Judge McMahon's judgment and order, concluding, "Based on our analysis, we do conclude that Donohoo had a reasonable basis to commence and continue the action. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's order granting Action Wisconsin's motion seeking attorney's fees on the grounds that the case was frivolous. The underlying action was not frivolous and therefore the trial court erred in so ruling."

I congratulate Attorney Jim Donohoo, a Christian brother and friend, on his hard-fought victory, won by the grace of God. Now Action Wisconsin can pay their own attorney's fees; and perhaps they, and other opponents of Christian liberty, will think twice before so viciously smearing their opponents. This court decision represents a repudiation of the heavy-handed intimidation tactics of Action Wisconsin and their high-power law firm led by Attorney Lester A. Pines.

I rejoice that the professional skills and integrity of Jim Donohoo have been vindicated. Our whole church is deeply grateful to the Lord for this victory. "Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield" (Psalm 33:20).

I would encourage those in the media who would wish to talk to Jim Donohoo to contact him at 414-258-5989.The Court of Appeals decision can be viewed at http://wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=29182. Further information on the events underlying this recent decision can be reviewed at http://www.pccmonroe.org/.


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