Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal... more +
The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal agency records and enforce that right in a court of law. However, not all agency records can be requested; there are nine exempt categories of information. In addition to the federal law, many states have passed their own freedom of information acts. These acts are often similar but not always identical to the federal version.  less -
News & Analysis as of

PAC FOIA Opinions Address “Unduly Burdensome” factor, Personal Privacy Exemption and Public Records

In three separate opinions rendered in November, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) of the Illinois Attorney General provided guidance regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on the definition of “unduly burdensome,”...more

Federal Court Rules that FEC Cybersecurity Study is Exempt from FOIA Disclosure

Last week, a D.C. federal judge ruled that an investigative reporter was not entitled to a 2014 cybersecurity study performed by an outside vendor detailing vulnerabilities in the Federal Election Commission’s information...more

Activist Groups Employ New FOIA Strategy in Seeking Confidential Information Relating to Business’ Imports/Exports of Animals and...

Animal activist group plaintiffs have filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking an enormous amount of data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relating to the import and export of wildlife specimens, and have sued...more

Content and Purpose Governs Connecticut’s New Standard for Determining Attorney/Client Privilege

On September 6, 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court published its opinion regarding Michael C. Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission, et al. (SC 19586). As discussed below, this opinion creates a new standard for...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – November, 2016 #3

Dear Legal Mailbag: - I am an avid fan of free legal advice, and I read your Legal Mailbag column whenever it appears. You answered a question last week about an FOIA request concerning the written evaluations of a...more

Legal Question of the Week – November, 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: It is tough being a coach, as I know from personal experience. I was the boys basketball coach before getting this gig as principal. Given my experience, I like to give the coaches at my school advice...more

Why The SEC Isn’t Vegas

Last week, I wrote that the Securities and Exchange Commission is sending letters to registrants requesting information about compliance with Regulation G and Item 10(e) of Regulation S-K. These letters request issuers to...more

Hackers Cause Consumer Drones to Fall from the Sky

Last week at the PacSec security conference held in Tokyo, a new device capable of fully infiltrating radio-controlled drones was unveiled by researchers. This new device exploits a vulnerability in the frequency-hopping...more

FDA Says BPCIA Poses No Fifth Amendment Taking for Innovator Biologics Submitted Prior to Its Enactment

On the same day that FDA approved the first biosimilar of Humira, the fourth biosimilar to be approved in the U.S., it also denied a citizen petition filed by Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie) requesting that FDA not accept...more

See You In Court! – November 2016

Bob Bombast, veteran member of the Nutmeg Board of Education, couldn’t believe that he has never attended the CABE Convention before. When he finally signed up and attended the 2016 Convention, he was surprised by and...more

FDA Launches Website for Allegations Against Medical Device Manufacturers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched a website1 that will now make it easier to report allegations of medical device manufacturer misconduct to the agency.2 Misconduct reports were historically...more

Accepting Anonymous Tips: FDA's Website for Reporting Medical Device Regulatory Misconduct

For device manufacturers and sellers, the website represents another source of information to monitor for possible challenges ahead. Unidentified tipsters — from disgruntled former employees to plaintiffs’ attorneys —...more

The First Amendment: Without a Friend in the 2016 Election Cycle?

With Election Day less than two weeks away, it’s an interesting time for the First Amendment. Unlike the Second Amendment where party lines appear strong, the 2016 presidential candidates’ stance on First Amendment issues and...more

"Private" E-mails and FOIA

Recent legal decisions continue to blur the line between private communications and public records, extending the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Because of these shifts, proactive government officials are...more

See You In Court – October 2016

For years now, Bob Bombast, veteran member of the Nutmeg Board of Education, has been perplexed by and concerned about the State formula for providing funds for education. Accordingly, he has watched carefully – and...more

Blog: No more “Tandy” letters from Corp Fin staff

Corp Fin has just announced that it will no longer require companies to include “Tandy” language in company responses to staff comment letters. “Tandy” language is a written representation from the company acknowledging that...more

Five things academic scientists should know when pursuing their first patent – Five-Part Series

Patent law has many surprises in store for academic scientists pursuing a patent for the first time. Many patent attorneys were once researchers just like you—we understand it can be intimidating. This blog series provides...more

Regulations in Trouble

Problems are mounting for the Treasury’s business of issuing tax regulations. One lawyer in a prominent law firm is personally suing the Treasury for failing to provide within two months of his Freedom of Information Act...more

Municipal Legal News

On September 21, Governor Snyder signed a package of bills (2016 PA 281-283) that significantly expands the types of medical marijuana facilities permitted under state law, and establishes a licensing scheme similar to the...more

EEOC Follows Through: Comp Data Will Be Required In EEO-1 Reports

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced yesterday that it will require employers with 100 or more employees to include compensation data in their annual EEO-1 reports. Employers will be required to provide this...more

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC & OSHA Whistleblower Programs in Webinar

On September 27, 2016, Proskauer Partner Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group, participated in a Bloomberg webinar with Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC Office of the...more

Ballard Spahr Partner Dee Spagnuolo Joins CFPB OMWI Director on Panel at ABA Meeting

Ballard Spahr Partner Dee Spagnuolo joined Director Stuart Ishimaru of the CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion and other industry leaders for the panel discussion "Diversity and Dodd-Frank Section 342," on September...more

Ballard Spahr partner Dee Spagnuolo joins CFPB OMWI Director on panel at ABA meeting

Members of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services group recently participated in the American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting held in Boston, Massachusetts. On September 8, Ballard partner, Dee...more

CFSA FOIA request to CFPB yields positive comments from payday loan customers

The Consumer Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) issued a statement in which it reported that documents it received from the CFPB in response to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request filed on December 31, 2015...more

2016 Legislative Update: Summary of Changes in School Law

BOARDS OF EDUCATION - ENFORCEMENT OF BINDING PUBLIC ACCESS COUNSELOR OPINIONS - Public Act 99-586 - Effective Date: January 1, 2017 - Individuals who file lawsuits to enforce binding opinions from the PAC...more

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