Attorneys to argue whether private lawyer must turn over full Ooltewah investigative file

Civil attorneys for the Ooltewah High School rape victims are pushing a private lawyer who produced a report on hazing to release her entire investigative file.

The attorneys for the young men assaulted in a December 2015 basketball trip believe the notes, tapes and emails Courtney Bullard created but omitted from her August 2016 report on the school's hazing culture could prove the Hamilton County Department of Education knew about sexual abuse and failed to protect its students.

There's just one problem: Bullard says the file is protected under attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. School board lawyers won't give up sensitive information without a fight.

The question is set for argument Wednesday in U.S. District Court here. The attorneys declined to comment for this article, but other local lawyers and court records say the issue is ripe for debate.