Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
From the Orange County Register: On Friday, the first day of testimony, attorneys began to build their arguments through questions to Arvella Schuller and her son-in-law, Timothy Milner, a former employee of the cathedral who was fired last year. The elder Schullers are suing for more than $5 million for money they said is due to them following the rejection of the transition agreement during bankruptcy proceedings. They also are suing for an unspecified amount in copyright infringement claims. Their daughter, Carol Schuller Milner, and her husband are suing for approximately $272,000 in various claims, including salaries the ministry stopped paying them when it entered bankruptcy. Arvella Schuller said she was never paid for her work for the church, also called a consistory: “That was my gift to God.” But the Hour of Power program fell under a separate entity, the Crystal Cathedral Ministries. The two were to be kept separate, she said. “My husband and Dr. Billy Graham said, ‘We must never allow the television ministry to bankrupt the church,” Schuller testified. “The church was kept separate. That was sacred.” Interviewed by opposing counsel, Schuller was repeatedly asked about a $198,000 annual payment to her and her husband. Was it for her services on the Hour of Power or for her and her husband’s intellectual property? The 83-year-old appeared to give different answers, but she emphasized there is a difference between a royalty and a license. Ringstad called her testimony inconsistent. The Schullers’ attorney, Carl Grumer, said her testimony will be clarified when she returns to the stand Wednesday and he questions her. Meanwhile, sitting toward the front with his daughter and son-in-law was Rev. Robert H. Schuller. During one of the brief breaks between his wife’s three-and-a-half hours of testimony, she approached him for a kiss. His first words to her: “This is very unpleasant.” Carol Milner, Schuller’s daughter, said afterwards: “It’s too bad that at this stage of their lives, they have to go through this, after all they’ve done for the church.” A key issue in the trial will be the Rev. Schuller’s role in his church and whether he was an employee. Attorneys for the creditors and the Crystal Cathedral Ministries questioned his wife on where Schuller worked. He had an office at the cathedral but he also worked at home and at a Laguna Beach condo they owned and donated to Crystal Cathedral in the 1990s. He also had a favorite rock on Corona del Mar where he liked to look at the ocean because “water calmed him,” she said. Another key issue during the month-long trial will be copyright issues. Starting in the early 1990s, The Hour of Power television show was registered under the Crystal Cathedral Ministries. Arvella Schuller at first said she did not recall the copyright issue. Ringstad said it was done at a time when controversy surrounded televangelists Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart. The Schullers did not want to “be painted with the same brush,” Ringstad said, so they copyrighted the show under the Ministries instead of the senior pastor. Arvella Schuller said that regardless of who registered for the copyright, the content of the shows belong to its creators: her and her husband. Earlier in the morning, her son-in-law testified about his work for the ministry. Tim Milner said he typically worked 9 to 5 and one of his primary roles after the bankruptcy was filed was to try to secure big donors, but he did not succeed. Ringstad asked Milner if either of the cathedral’s two limousines were ever sent to pick up his paycheck. Milner said: “I have no idea.” Read more here.
0