With the possibility of civil trials looming in the new year, the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese is deep in talks with lawyers for some 45 clergy sexual abuse victims seeking to settle the cases before they reach court.

J. Michael Hennigan, who represents the archdiocese and its leader Cardinal Roger Mahoney, says "The talks are ongoing."

Hennigan says the cases most likely to be settled first are the so-called "uninsured cases," meaning that because of time limits, the archdiocese would have to pay damages from its own money. Such resolutions would involve only about 45 of the 560 cases filed. Attorneys on both sides have estimated that the cases warrant settlements of at least one million dollars each.