You are on page 1of 2

Case 7:16-cv-09045-NSR Document 20 Filed 02/17/17 Page 1 of 2

February 17, 2017

VIA ECF

Honorable Nelson S. Roman


United States District Court
Southern District of New York
300 Quarropas Street
White Plains, New York 10601

Re: Taylor v. Chappaqua Central School District, et al.


Docket No.: 16 CV 9045 (NSR)
Our File No.: 5001.369

Dear Judge Roman:

We represent the defendants in the captioned matter. Pursuant to your Honors


Individual Rules of Practice, Local Civil Rule 37.2 and Rule 37(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, we write to advise the Court of a discovery-related dispute and to request a pre-
motion conference.

At a pre-motion (motion to dismiss) conference held before your Honor on February 3,


2017, the court set a schedule for amendment of the complaint and a Rule 12 motion to dismiss.
In addition, the parties addressed mediation and the court issued a mediation referral order. The
parties are interested in pursuing mediation because, in addition to this federal litigation, there
are other pending issues between the parties. The other pending issues include the Board of
Educations preferral of Education Law 3020-a disciplinary charges against the plaintiff and a
further, separate directive from the Board of Education that the plaintiff submit to an Education
Law 913 psychiatric examination. The parties were of the mind that a global mediation that
addressed all outstanding issues between the parties could best be achieved through the courts
mediation program.

In order to facilitate the mediation process, the court granted our request that the plaintiff
provide HIPAA medical record releases, and the plaintiffs counsel initially agreed to provide the
releases to us. The plaintiffs counsel, however, has now requested a confidentiality order that
would restrict access to the records solely to me and District employees. We believe that such an
order is overly restrictive because we should be able to share the records with the Districts
Board of Education General Counsel (Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert), along with the
physician that the Board of Education has selected to perform the Education Law 913
examination, Dr. Daniel Knoepflmacher, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Weill
Cornell Medical College. Dr. Knoepflmachers professional opinion regarding the plaintiffs
psychiatric condition is a critical component in reaching a mediated resolution.
Case 7:16-cv-09045-NSR Document 20 Filed 02/17/17 Page 2 of 2
Hon. Nelson S. Roman
Taylor v. Chappaqua CSD, et al.
February 17, 2017
Page 2 of 2

The District has an unfettered right, separate and apart from this litigation, to the
plaintiffs medical records pursuant to Education Law Section 913, based upon the reasonable
request of Dr. Knoepflmacher. (See Strong v. Board of Educ. of the Uniondale Union Free
School Dist., 902 F.2d 208 (2nd Cir. 1990) and Kurzius v. Board of Educ. of the Washingtonville
Central School Dist., 81 AD2d 827 (2nd Dept. 1981). However, we believe access to those
records to Districts counsel and their appointed psychiatrist in this forum too would best serve
the purpose of mediating all issues between the parties. Should the Court disagree, the District
reserves its right to seek access to these records pursuant to Education Law Section 913.
Pursuant to his Rule 26 discovery obligations in the federal litigation, HIPAA medical
record releases must be provided because of the plaintiffs claims of emotional distress damages.
The plaintiff can be assured that any records that are obtained will not be shared outside of the
attorneys and Dr. Knoepflmacher, and a corresponding confidentiality order can be drafted to
include those entities.
We have conferred with the plaintiffs counsel, Karen Zdanis, Esq., regarding these
issues, and our request for a pre-motion conference. We spoke by telephone on February 15,
2017 and again on February 16, 2017. As we understand it, the plaintiff has adopted the legally
erroneous position that 913 does not permit a school district to obtain medical records as part
of the examination process. The parties could not come to an agreement despite the effort to
meet and confer.
Based upon the above, we respectfully request a pre-motion conference to address this
dispute. I am away for the Presidents week vacation with my family next week (February 20th
through February 23rd), but am otherwise available for a conference at the courts convenience.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Respectfully yours,

SILVERMAN & ASSOCIATES

Lewis R. Silverman

LRS/hj

cc: Via ECF

James Voyles, Esq.


Karen L. Zdanis, Esq.