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

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

Florida Public Records Law and Government Contractors 2016 Legislature Makes Significant Changes

Chapter 119, Florida Statutes (“the Act”), requires that every “agency” make its records available for inspection and copying to any member of the public who makes a request. Either refusal to provide such access or an...more

To Force Government To Be Transparent, Go Directly to the Campaign Trail: Terry Mutchler

The Founding Fathers recognized the power of public records in a democracy. The Declaration of Independence decried government gamesmanship that kept public records away from citizens. Originally published on PennLive...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - March 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: I have heard of the Freedom of Information Act; however, in my administrative preparation courses, the professors glossed over it and I never really understood the nuances of public records and the...more

Third Circuit Ruling Reflects the Narrowed Scope of the Public Disclosure Bar under the Affordable Care Act

The public disclosure bar is a statutorily created hurdle that plaintiffs must cross to successfully maintain a False Claims Act suit. The principle was originally enacted to prevent individuals from filing “parasitic” False...more

U.S. Department of Education to Publish List of Institutions Requesting Title IX Waivers

The U.S. Department of Education (the “Department of Education”) announced last week that it will publish a searchable database that lists the names of higher education institutions that have applied for and/or have received...more

Public Policy Alert: Freedom of Information Act Ruling

A recent ruling regarding South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act is one to note. It came on February 22 in DomainsNewMedia.com vs. Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce....more

Senate Bill in Georgia Seeks to Expand Scope of Trade Secret Protection

On February 2, 2016, Georgia State Senator Hunter Hill introduced Senate Bill 321 in the Georgia Senate. The bill is entitled “Commerce and Trade; state government; protections against public disclosure of certain...more

Implications of the Clean Power Plan on Historical Research

We’ve been closely tracking litigation related to the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), which seeks to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and includes state-by-state mandates. Recently, the Supreme Court stayed...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - February 2016: Personal Documents Stored on a Government Computer System — Disclosable Under...

Personal Documents Stored on a Government Computer System — Disclosable Under Illinois' FOIA? Not all documents created or stored on a government computer system are subject to disclosure under Illinois' Freedom of...more

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