FCLB Racial Discrimination Case Update: Judge Orders Review of Key Documents

News Staff
FCLB Racial Discrimination Case Update: Judge Orders Review of Key Documents

Decision Involves Notes from Executive Sessions by FCLB Attorney Dale Atkinson

In a recent hearing, a pivotal decision was made in the ongoing legal battle surrounding the lawsuit brought by Keita Vanterpool DC against the FCLB, Karlos Boghosian and Carol Winkler.

Vanterpool was previously Vice President of the FCLB and is suing the FCLB, its Past President Carol J. Winkler, D.C. and another Past President Karlos Boghosian, D.C. alleging racial discrimination after they suspended her from her position at the FCLB.

The FCLB has denied the accusations of a civil conspiracy to violate Vanterpool's civil rights which she claims were perpetuated by Defendants Winkler and Boghosian.

Beyond the accusations of discrimination, the lawsuit lays out the highly questionable legal and financial relationships that exist between the FCLB, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) and the state chiropractic regulatory boards which the FCLB alleges are "members" of the FCLB.

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The lawsuit has shed a bright light on the flow of federally back student loan money, related student loan debt and state tax dollars through a group of non profit and for profit entities that control education, regulation and licensing within the chiropractic profession though a virtual monopoly cartel. That Cartel was identified years ago by the United States Department of Education.

The hearing held on September 28, 2023 centers on a dispute over the production of notes taken by Dale Atkinson, the General Counsel of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB), during Executive Sessions held on March 4 and 5, 2022. The critical ruling by the judge has significant implications for the course of this litigation.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the Hearing Notes

The Discovery Dispute

At the heart of this legal wrangle are the notes recorded by Dale Atkinson during closed-door Executive Sessions that led to the suspension of the plaintiff from her position as Vice President and a member of the Board of FCLB. The plaintiff contends that these notes are essential to understanding the basis for her suspension, while the defendants maintain that the notes are protected by the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.

According to other documents in the case no minutes or other notes were taken of this crucial meeting by anyone at the FCLB. This makes the notes take by Atkinson crucial in understanding what went on in the room that led to Vanterpool's suspension. The aggressive efforts to keep Atkinson's notes a secret suggest they may contain a smoking gun.

Plaintiff Vanterpool's Argument

The plaintiff argues that the defendants' privilege log, which was provided after a considerable delay, should constitute a waiver of any privilege claim. They assert that the work product doctrine should not apply as litigation was not anticipated at the time the notes were taken. The plaintiff further claims that undue hardship would befall her without access to these notes, given the lack of any other record of the Executive Sessions. Finally, they argue that the attorney-client privilege should not protect the notes, as they contain underlying facts relevant to the plaintiff's suspension.

Defendants FCLB, Boghosian & Winkler's Argument

On the other side of the dispute, the defendants assert that the plaintiff's request for Mr. Atkinson's notes came after the deadline for such requests had passed, rendering it belated. They maintain that the notes are protected by both the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine, as they reflect the attorney's mental impressions and legal analysis. The defendants also argue that sufficient discovery opportunities have already been provided to the plaintiff through depositions of various board members and participants, making the notes unnecessary.

The Judge's Decision

In the recent discovery hearing, the presiding judge ordered a crucial step in resolving the dispute. The judge ruled that the discovery issue would be "taken under advisement," indicating that further consideration is needed. The FCLB was instructed to submit Mr. Atkinson's notes for review. The deadline for filing the documents was set for the close of business on September 29, 2023.

This development is a significant turning point in the case. The judge's decision to review the notes demonstrates the court's commitment to carefully evaluate the privilege claims and determine whether the notes should be produced as part of the discovery process.


McCoy Press