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

IRS makes exempt organizations’ Form 990 data available in machine-readable format

On June 16, 2016, the IRS announced that it will be making Form 990s available in machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services. While this information has always been available to the public, it was previously only...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – June 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last month, the fifth grade classes at my school went on a field trip to a canning factory. In hindsight, it was not my finest moment as a principal. I was late in having the teachers send out the...more

Rule Change Would Let Law Enforcement Access Computers Remotely Regardless of Location

The Supreme Court recently adopted a proposed change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that would allow a federal judge to issue warrants authorizing government agents to access computers located in any...more

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA: More Interesting Cases From The FOIC (Part One)

Dropping thermometers did not diminish the heated action occurring before Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. It should also go without saying that the accompanying snow, ice and other perils of winter...more

Business and privacy law

Recently a wealthy and high profile entertainer has gone all the way to the Supreme Court in a successful attempt to prevent publication of an account of their private life. The unnamed claimant was relying on basic human...more

FAA FOIA Request Sheds Light on Fines Against Drone Operators Across the Country

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, releasing the list of drone pilots (individual and commercial) who have been fined for flying drones recklessly or...more

See You In Court - June 2016

Given the chronic underfunding of education in Nutmeg by the Board of Finance and its irascible Chairperson, Seymour Dollars, the Nutmeg Board of Education has had to be careful in its spending on discretionary issues,...more

Lawsuit Against DHS and USCIS Seeks Transparency in H-1B Lottery Process

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The...more

SC Public Policy Update - June 2016

What's New - SENATE - The Senate spent the final three days of the legislative session debating the remaining House bills on the calendar as well as bills returned from the House. Members worked late into the night...more

Does the Opinion Work Product Doctrine Protect the Identity of Documents a Litigant Obtains from a Third Party?

Many courts extend opinion work product protection to a lawyer's selection of intrinsically unprotected documents used to prepare a deponent, the identity of witnesses important enough to interview, etc. This approach is...more

Phase 2 of the OCR HIPAA Audit Program Already Underway

On March 21, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the launch of the long-awaited Phase 2 HIPAA Audit Program (Phase 2), and OCR activities related to Phase 2 are already...more

EPA Can Withold Certain Wastewater Data from the Public

On March 29, 2016, a federal judge ruled that the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) exemption for “confidential business information” (“CBI”) can cover wastewater discharge information collected by the United States...more

Internal Investigative Reports That Lead to Discipline Are Not Exempt Adjudicatory Records under FOIA

An Illinois Appellate Court has further limited the public records that a public body can withhold from disclosure under Section 7(1)(n) of the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts “records relating to a public body’s...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Virginia 2016 General Assembly Update for Water Utilities

The 2016 General Assembly regular session ended March 11, a day earlier than its scheduled end date of March 12. Although it ended early, it was a busy session. The legislators considered 3,286 bills and resolutions, and...more

Drafting Agendas: Three Reasons to be More Specific than “Attorney-Client Privileged Communication – Executive Session...

One of the most regularly used reasons to enter executive session is to discuss a matter that would result in the disclosure of communications that are privileged by the attorney-client relationship. The agenda item often...more

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds $2 Million Punitive Award Against Chicago State University

The due process review of a punitive damages award for excessiveness has a number of interconnected parts. A series of relatively small errors can quickly add up and dramatically skew the outcome of a review process that is...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – April 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: I have been around the block, but yesterday a parent made a demand that is a new one for me. I had met with the parent to review the results of our bullying investigation about her son’s behavior...more

Fiduciary Regulation and How Recent Cybersecurity Government Publications Impact HIPAA Security Compliance and the New Audit...

Fiduciary Regulation - The Office of Management and Budget released the final Fiduciary or Conflict of Interest regulation and related prohibited transaction exemption modifications from its review today. The next...more

Bass Continues Fishing; Pharma Seeks Sanctuary

It’s time for an update on Kyle Bass’s efforts to rid America of the pharmaceutical patents that support high priced drugs. Between February and September 2015, at least eleven investment funds organized by J. Kyle Bass and...more

SC Public Policy Update - March 2016 #3

What's New - SENATE - The Senate spent the week on the floor working on a compromise to S .997, a bill by Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) that would track refugees that are located in South Carolina. Senators...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – March 2016 #4

Dear Legal Mailbag: Have you noticed that parents increasingly have boundary issues as to what is their business and what is not? I have, and I need your help....more

SC Public Policy Update - March 2016 #2

What's New - SENATE - Senate floor debate this week was dominated by S. 997, a bill by Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) that would require refugees to register with the Department of Social Services via a public...more

Illinois Appellate Court Sheds Light on When Records Are Not “Reasonably Accessible” On A Public Body’s Website Under FOIA

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was amended in December, 2014 to provide that a public body is not required to copy a public record that is published on the public body’s website. 5 ILCS 140/8.5. The exception...more

Do You Have to Disclose a Government Investigation? Practical Considerations, Legal Standards, and Recent Case Law

After receiving an inquiry from a government agency, such as a subpoena, a Civil Investigative Demand (“CID”), or an informal request for information, public companies ask whether they must disclose publicly that they may be...more

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