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Lawyers says he doesn't know where Scientology leader is

Title: Lawyers says he doesn't know where Scientology leader is
Date: Wednesday, 29 July 1981
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Author: Tim Smart
Main source:

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TAMPA — A former lawyer for Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard said in a sworn statement Tuesday that he never spoke directly with his client during five years of serving as his legal counsel.

Sarasota attorney Clyde Wilson Jr. was asked whether he had ever communicated with the elusive Hubbard or his wife Mary Sue, both of whom are defendants in a $16-million damage suit filed by Tonja Burden, a disgruntled ex-member of the church.

MISS BURDEN'S St. Petersburg lawyer, Walt Logan, was the one asking the questions.

"I don't know the whereabouts of the Hubbards, I don't know where they are," said Wilson, who also represented the church itself, which is also a defendant in Miss Burden's suit.

Unless Miss Burden's lawyers can find the Hubbards, they will not be able to serve them with court papers and subpoenas for depositions.

U.S. District Court Judge Ben Krentzman had ordered Tuesday's unusual, court-supervised deposition as one way to break an impasse in the year-old-suit. He repeatedly denied objection raised by attorneys for the Hubbards and the church, who contended that the attorney-client privilege was being violated by Wilson's answers.

WILSON SAID he first began representing the Hubbards at the request of church legal officer Philip Parke. Parke was deposed in March, at which time he denied having authority to act on the Hubbards' behalf.

After the hour-long deposition, Logan said he didn't know if he was any closer to locating the Hubbards.

"It doesn't look as if I am, does it?" he told a reporter.