Legendary Christian Spiritual Leader Reverend Robert H. Schuller Receives Petition of the Month(TM) from the Supreme Court Press

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The case of Robert H. Schuller et al. v. Karen Naylor et al. poses the legal question of whether a person who has transitioned away from an operating role but is still on the Board of Directors is a retiree or an employee.

Reverend Robert H. Schuller

We switched from another vendor to Supreme Court Press who produced a beautiful document, under a short deadline, at a reasonable price, and exhibited positive professionalism in the process. I highly recommend the Supreme Court Press as a legal printer.

Dr. Robert H. Schuller is the legendary pastor, Christian educator, author, motivational speaker, and founder of the Crystal Cathedral church in Garden Grove, California. For over 25 years, Dr. Schuller spoke to, inspired, and motivated millions of people globally through his weekly television program The Hour of Power. Starting with only $500 in assets, Dr. Schuller first opened the Garden Grove Community Church in a drive-in movie theater, preaching to his congregation under the blue sky. As the congregation expanded, Dr. Schuller commissioned the Crystal Cathedral, an architectural marvel made of glass, seating 2,736 persons, with a bell tower soaring 72 meters high.

The Supreme Court Press has named Reverend Robert Schuller's petition (Supreme Court petition Docket No. 14-945), to be its Petition of the Month(TM). This petition for writ of certiorari, filed by attorneys Becky James and Jessica Rosen of James & Stewart LLP (Pacific Palisades, CA) is related to the struggles of the church to overcome the transition from its founder, Dr. Schuller, to a new leadership group. According to the filing, the Crystal Cathedral and Dr. Schuller entered into a “Transition Agreement,” and Dr. Schuller stepped away from operational responsibility, while remaining on the board. As the financial crisis hit, the Crystal Cathedral entered bankruptcy in 2010 and sought to expunge Dr. Schuller’s Transition Agreement. Under U.S.C. § 502(b)(7), if Dr. Schuller is viewed as a retiree, the Transition Agreement would be viewed akin to a retirement benefit and could not be purged.

The opposition brief was filed by Mark Winthrop and Peter Liandes of Wintrhop & Couchot (Newport Beach, CA). The opposition argues that because Dr. Schuller carried on as a board member and the Transition Agreement contemplated his role as a roving ambassador, he should be viewed as an employee, albeit one with diminished responsibilities, and the transition agreement should be deemed an employment agreement and voided. The Courts have established analytical frameworks for what defines an independent contractor relative to an employee (see Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid, 490 U.S. 730, 741 (1989)), but has not been as clear as to the distinction between an employee and a retiree.

When Dr. Schuller began the process of filing his petition, he had engaged an old line legal printer to help him out. However, the project seemed to be stalled, and the timely filing of his petition was in jeopardy. As the deadline loomed, he and his legal team turned to Supreme Court legal printer Supreme Court Press. The Supreme Court Press brought its unique blend of technology, Supreme Court expertise, customer service, and high standards to got the project under control, and delivered an exquisite document to the court.

Dr. Schuller offered these kind words of praise, “Producing a petition for the Supreme Court is complex due to the Court's exacting document requirements. The legal printer we had initially hired was having difficulty fulfilling the job. As the deadline drew near, we switched vendors to the Supreme Court Press. The Supreme Court Press produced a beautiful document, under a short deadline, at a reasonable price, and exhibited positive professionalism in the process. I highly recommend the Supreme Court Press as a legal printer."

About the Supreme Court Press: The Supreme Court Press is a Supreme Court legal printer and a Supreme Court filing service. The Supreme Court Press files petitions for writ of certiorari in compliance with the Rules of the Supreme Court. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of the value that we add - our expert team has the editorial talent and Supreme Court brief experience to provide meaningful, game changing suggestions to your document. We will work hand in hand with you to exquisitely prepare, edit, print, and file your documents, taking the worry out of the process for you, and improving your odds of getting in. Call us at 888-958-5705 or email us at editor@supremecourtpress.com to discuss your filing needs.

About the Petition of the Month(TM) : The Supreme Court Press’ Petition of the Month(TM) program recognizes applicants to the Supreme Court with well-written petitions for writ of certiorari that address important questions of law. We look for cases that meet the criteria of Rule 10 of the United States Supreme Court – important issues where the underlying decision is in conflict with the Supreme Court, another Court of Appeals, or the United States Constitution. If you have a pending petition that you believe is worthy of Petition of the Month(TM) advice, you can email us at editor@supremecourtpress.com

Disclaimers: The Supreme Court Press does not provide legal advice. The Supreme Court Press does not endorse either party in this matter and expresses no legal opinion on any case selected as Petition of the Month(TM)

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