Court Roundup

Massachusetts
Gay couple sues Catholic church over house sale

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A gay couple from Massachusetts has sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester for allegedly refusing to sell them a mansion because church officials were concerned they would host gay weddings at the site.
James Fairbanks and Alain Beret filed their discrimination suit Monday in Worcester Superior Court.
They allege that they were in negotiations to buy Oakhurst, a former retreat center in Northbridge, when church officials suddenly pulled out.
They say they inadvertently received an email from the chancellor of the diocese to the church’s broker saying the reason was because of the “potentiality of gay marriages” at the home.
Chancellor Thomas Sullivan says the church dropped out of negotiations because of concerns about Fairbanks’ and Beret’s ability to finance the purchase.

Washington
Insurer sues Md. man held in Aruba

WASHINGTON (AP) — American Express is suing a Maryland man detained for months in Aruba in the suspected death of his traveling companion last year.
The federal lawsuit seeks to void a travel insurance policy that Gary Giordano, of Gaithersburg, took out in Robyn Gardner’s name before their trip. The suit says the policy is void because Giordano and Gardner aren’t married, aren’t related and weren’t business partners.
Giordano was taken into custody after Gardner went missing in Aruba last year. He has said she was swept out to sea while the pair was snorkeling. A judge ordered him released in November because of a lack of evidence.
Giordano has already sued an American Express subsidiary to collect on the policy.
A lawyer for Giordano didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Monday.

Pennsylvania
Ex-judge seeks reinstatement of his law license

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has scheduled a hearing to consider whether a former Pittsburgh-area judge convicted of extortion in 2003 should get back his law license.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports 62-year-old Joseph Jaffe, of Dormont, will appear before the board on Sept. 20.
Jaffe was disbarred after his conviction on a federal charge of extorting a $13,000 bribe from an attorney who had 1,300 asbestos lawsuits pending before Jaffe when he was a judge in 2002.

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