Status conference held in WKU, Herald lawsuit


Monica Kast

A status conference was held on Monday morning in the Western Kentucky University v. College Heights Herald lawsuit and ended with attorneys agreeing to get together to come up with a schedule for a period of discovery to move the case forward.

Warren County Circuit court judge Steve Wilson was the presiding judge during the status conference and Ena V. Demir, the lawyer representing WKU, was in the courtroom. Lawyers representing the College Heights Herald and the Kentucky Kernel, as well as a representative from the Attorney General’s office, were present via conference call.

Wilson began the conference by saying he had reviewed three of four volumes of documents related to the case, and asked each lawyer where they thought the case needed to be.

Demir said the university’s position was unchanged and they believe the case should be stayed until similar cases in the state of Kentucky had been tried.

Mike Abate, the lawyer representing the Herald, said “we obviously oppose that.” Abate said they would want to move into a “brief window of discovery” and have access to an index detailing why the requested documents had been redacted.

Wilson said in reviewing the submitted documents, the first issue he had was that the the “narrative” of the redacted documents was difficult to understand because of the nature of the redactions.

Wilson also said it was time to determine if the documents as a whole were protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

Wilson said he would allow the case to move into a period of limited discovery, and the lawyers will confer with one another to come up with a schedule to move the case forward.

News editor Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @monica_kast.