The CFP Board is hoping turnabout is fair play.
The certifying organization asked a federal court in Washington to compel two Florida planners to produce similarly voluminous discovery to what it was forced to produce in January.
The board says Jeffrey and Kimberly Camarda are dragging their feet a similar accusation to the one the couple leveled against the board earlier this year.
The Camardas dilatory response to the CFP Boards request for information is especially surprising given their prior insistence on prompt production of documents by the organization, its lawyer wrote in a new court filing.
The board ultimately produced 375,000 documents, about three months after U.S. Judge Richard Leon issued an order forcing the board to comply with the Camardas expansive requests.
The Camardas thus far have missed two deadlines neither court-ordered, but mutually agreed upon by both sides to turn over documents, the last being July 28. The board also missed mutually agreed-upon deadlines before the couple went back to court.
Chances are the Camardas have a shot at maybe narrowing some of the time frame, but discovery is broad and chances are they will have to do the same kind of review and discovery that they forced the board to make, says Dan Bernstein, a securities lawyer with the Hamburger law firm in Englewood, N.J.
The board is seeking material covering fees and commissions, including the identities of all clients; all communication the Camardas firm had regarding the board, including with journalists; the Camardas federal and state tax returns; and a breadth of business records. The Camardas have protested 28 discovery requests, calling many of them overly broad and unduly burdensome. In some cases, the Camardas have asked the court to restrict a request to a particular time period or to deny the request because of attorney-client privilege.
The latter argument may not fly, Bernstein thinks. Client confidentiality is not something that is protected in a case like this, he says.
In rendering his decision, Leon may take into consideration the difference in size and resources of the Camardas compared with those of the board, Bernstein says. However, given that the couple pushed for broad discovery themselves, they may be forced to similarly comply.
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