Gordet Declaration: University of California Lawyer Told Us His Office Had ‘Experts’ on Federal Educational Records Privacy Act

Published April 9th, 2018, Uncategorized

I, Roy S. Gordet, under penalty of perjury, under the laws of California, state as follows:

1. I am a Member of the Bar of California and admitted to practice before all courts in California.

2. I am counsel of record to Petitioner Irvin Muchnick in the above-captioned lawsuit. I make these statements based on my personal knowledge.

3. With regard to the meet and confer between counsel subsequent to the filing of the Petition, the purported claim that Petitioner rejected an offer to permit Petitioner to inspect documents under a protective order is skewed. Respondent’s idea was “floated” to me as merely a possibility. It was expressly stated by Mr. Goldstein that that offer was conditional and pending authorization that had not yet been obtained by counsel for Respondent, and no concrete offer permitting Mr. Muchnick to view the documents under some type of protective order was ever proposed.

4. At the February 27. 2018 Case Management Hearing, Respondent’s counsel represented in open Court that he could not reveal either the number of documents being withheld or even a ballpark range of the number of documents being withheld, because, he contended, such a disclosure is barred by FERPA.

5. Counsel for Respondent at the Case Management Hearing represented to the Court that the reasons why FERPA barred disclosing the number of documents at issue would be explained in Respondent’s Motion for a protective order

6. In a conversation outside the courtroom after the first Case Management Hearing, Mr. Goldstein, counsel for Respondent, said to me that Respondent’s Office of General Counsel has other attorneys whose expertise is FERPA issues and he intended to consult with them on issues related to the application of FERPA when a student is deceased, and that he would get back to me with substance on this legal point.

7. Submitted as Exhibit 1 is the relevant portion of an email thread between counsel concerning FERPA where I provided to counsel for Respondent a brief summary of the results of my preliminary case law research related to the inapplicability of FERPA under the facts of this case. I never received any comments back from Mr. Goldstein on the cases cited.

8. Respondent’s counsel provides substantial detail about how and when he obtained and then disclosed documents to Petitioner after obtaining authorization from the family of the deceased football player’s family. These disclosures came after the Case Management Hearing and after the Court ruled that Respondent should move for a protective order. At no time, either in its Motion or in communications with Petitioner, does Respondent inform anyone when Respondent made that request to the student’s family, although the implication was that Respondent had been diligent in making such a request. Respondent then used this waiting game for the authorization and possible acquisition of the documents as its excuse for backing out of an agreement to submit a Joint Case Management Report and to then eventually submit its own Case Management Report immediately before the Hearing.

9. Submitted as Exhibit 2 is a Department of Education policy letter, which, according to commentators in the field, is commonly used in support of the proposition that there are no violations of FERPA based on disclosures of a student’s educational records when the student was more than 18 years of age and is deceased.

 

Executed on April 8, 2018 in Daly City, California

Roy S. Gordet

 

Concussion Inc. brief,  http://muchnick.net/responsebriefucvaughn.pdf

Muchnick declaration, http://muchnick.net/muchnickdecucvaughn.pdf

Gordet declaration, http://muchnick.net/gordetdecucvaughn.pdf

UC Regents brief, http://muchnick.net/ucvaughnbrief.pdf

 

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Concussion Inc.’s ebook THE TED AGU PAPERS: A Black Life That Mattered — And the Secret History of a Covered-Up Death in University of California Football is available on Kindle-compatible devices at http://amzn.to/2aA2LDl. All royalties are being donated to sickle cell trait research and education.

Op-ed article for the Daily Californian on my Public Records Act lawsuit: http://www.dailycal.org/2017/04/25/lawsuit-uc-regents-emblematic-issues-facing-college-football/

“Explainer: How ‘Insider’ Access Made San Francisco Chronicle and Berkeley J-School Miss Real Story Behind Death of Cal Football’s Ted Agu,” http://concussioninc.net/?p=10931

Complete headline links to our Ted Agu series: http://concussioninc.net/?p=10877