Are Law Firms Generating Income on the Backs of California Schools at the Expense of Education and Athletics?

As schools are strapped to simply afford books,  teachers and athletic programs, one area of their budget has continued to soar despite the economic downturn and huge budget cuts; legal and administrative  fees charged by CIF and Section to member schools. We have asked before about these fees and suddenly legal counsel has been committed to respond to our inquiries in what appears to be a retaliatory fashion ( Email from CIF General Counsel in our previous Post). But wait!!!!! Maybe there is something to the CIF legal representation itself that is a problem…….Our email response to CIF General Counsel  (of the  Fagen, Friedman and Fulfrost Law Firm) sent 1/23/12:

CCS Watchdog is perplexed as to why the CIF and CCS have refused to answer any questions CCS Watchdog has posed since October 2011, but has issued an email that appears highly retaliatory in nature only after CCS Watchdog published posts related to public figures and CIF-CCS policies and practices ( all supported by objective documentation or information in the public domain).

CCS Watchdog has contacted the DA’s office indirectly, they refused to start an investigation in the absence of a victim willing to come forward. Since CCS Watchdog has remained at “arm’s length ” to ensure privacy and confidentiality for athletes and their families, it has no specific information to report to the DA, other than information obtained as it relates to the management of the CIF and CCS organizations . Furthermore, CCS Watchdog has no jurisdiction or standing to file a complaint nor is CCS Watchdog a “Mandated Reporter” as individuals within the CCS organization and member schools are. CCS Watchdog can point to evidence that demonstrates CCS and CIF have violated their legal obligations .

CCS Watchdog has clearly stated concerns about escalating legal fees in the CIF and CCS , the finding that Ms. Freeman’s law firm also represents member schools is highly alarming and appears to be a significant conflict of interest. Questions about retaliatory practices, conflict of interest and violation of civil rights for families and students whose children compete in athletics in the state of California may have merit.

Based on the 2008-09 Santa Clara County Grand Jury Report and recommendations, we believe this is a significant abuse of public funds that warrants further investigation. CIF explained to the state legislature that legal fees went from $400K to $1.9 million based on litigious parents. CCS Watchdog anxiously awaits how escalating legal fees will be explained to the state legislature this year. Could legal counsel be aware CIF is making fraudulent statements to our state representatives related to our public funds? Has Ms. Freeman’s firm recommended legal representation unnecessarily at eligibility hearings for CCS and CIF to increase revenue for her own firm? Has Ms. Freeman provided legal counsel to individuals in the CIF and CCS that equates to legal advise related to personal misconduct rather than maintain her fiduciary obligation to the organization that pays her? Has Ms. Freeman and her firm properly managed their legal and fiduciary responsibilities? Were individual rights and public monies abused in this process?

We welcome an investigation. CCS Watchdog practices the ultimate of democratic freedoms- Free Speech and right to monitor and speak up against our government. CCS Watchdog is not subject to open government laws, CIF- CCS and the law firms that represent them are. Perhaps Ms. Freeman should advise her clients about Qui Tam and the False Claims Act.

CCS Watchdog

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About ccswatchdog
Grassroots organization providing information to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability of CIF's Central Coast Section.

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