Mancow needs new lawyer to defend him in defamation suit

  • James MacDonald, right, and Mancow Muller, when MacDonald was senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel.

    James MacDonald, right, and Mancow Muller, when MacDonald was senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel. courtesy of Mancow Muller

  • Radio and podcast host Mancow Muller talks with Harvest Bible Chapel parishioners about Harvests' former senior pastor, James S. MacDonald.

    Radio and podcast host Mancow Muller talks with Harvest Bible Chapel parishioners about Harvests' former senior pastor, James S. MacDonald. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer, May 2019

 
 
Updated 3/26/2021 4:27 PM

Former WLS-AM radio personality Matthew Erich "Mancow" Muller will have to get a new attorney to defend him in a 2019 defamation lawsuit brought by the former pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel.

Cook County Judge Eve M. Reilly disqualified attorney Michael Young this week, saying Young once represented the pastor and the church in a defamation lawsuit the church filed in 2018 against two bloggers and a journalist.

 

Philip Zisook, the attorney for Pastor James MacDonald, asked Young to be disqualified, saying Young was likely using information learned in confidential communications in the 2018 lawsuit in the current case.

Young contended he had no confidential communications with MacDonald. He said he met him once, when MacDonald walked into a meeting Young was having at the church with church officials who had hired him. After that, his only communications with MacDonald were when MacDonald called him to ask how the case was going, Young said.

He said it was other church officials who supplied the information for the 2018 lawsuit.

MacDonald was the pastor of Harvest from its founding in 1988 until the church fired him in February 2019. Muller had been friends with MacDonald and worshipped at the church.

Muller recommended Young, who represented Muller when he sued his former boss for emotional distress in 2007, to MacDonald and the church for the 2018 defamation suit.

But Muller became critical of MacDonald and in February 2019 played a recording of MacDonald making what seemed to be derogatory comments about the editor of Christianity Today and of writer Julie Roys, one of MacDonald's critics.

Muller was given five weeks to hire a new attorney.

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