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Court Says Attorney In Room Doesn't Constitute Client Privilege

A county magistrate has ruled that the Columbus Board of Education can't legally close their meetings to the public simply by having an attorney in the room and claiming attorney-client privilege. The Columbus Dispatch had challenged the assertion, saying the board was circumventing Ohio's open meetings laws as members discussed the ongoing attendance data scrubbing scandal. A Franklin County Common Pleas Court magistrate ruled Thursday that the board must stop such meetings. The newspaper reports that the school board used the tactic to close seven meetings last year. The board's attorney said it was considering all its options. The case is continuing on several questions, including whether the board can close its meetings by citing other exceptions in the law.