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 Holds that Public Bodies Must Release Employee Informal Investigative Reports

The Public Access Counselor (PAC) recently addressed the issue of whether informal employee investigative reports concerning the misconduct of a public employee are subject to disclosure under Section 7(1)(n) of the FOIA. In...more

Surge in FOIA Requests to State Agencies Seeking Information About PE and Other Alternative Investment Fund Sponsors

We have recently observed a surge in freedom-of-information (“FOIA”) requests made by media outlets to state pension funds and other state-government-affiliated investment entities. Although the requests have so far...more

How to Respond to FOIA Requests For Overall Teacher Summative Ratings?

It has come to our attention that certain school districts in Connecticut have already received requests under the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] for access to overall district and school level summative ratings of all...more

EEOC Dragged Through Texas Roadhouse

In a positively sublime “man bites dog” story, Texas Roadhouse restaurants recently sued the EEOC for alleged violations of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). The story begins in 2011, when the EEOC filed a national...more

CFPB Proposes No-Action Letter Policy for Innovators

The CFPB published for comment in today’s Federal Register a proposed policy on issuing “no-action” letters for innovative financial products or services. Like those issued by the SEC and CFTC, the no-action letters would...more

DoD's Updated FOIA Program and Exemption 4 Guidance

On September 3, 2014, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a proposed rule updating its policies and procedures implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including FOIA Exemption 4. FOIA Exemption 4 exempts from...more

N.Y. Department of Financial Services Sued for Access to Documents Pertaining to Database of Alleged Illegal Payday Lenders

A consumer financial services attorney (the petitioner) recently filed a petition in New York state court against the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and its superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky. The lawsuit...more

Private Equity Fees and Expenses

In This Presentation: - Agenda - Typical Fund Structure - Typical Fund Waterfall - Fund Economics- Nuances - LPA Provisions - Fund Due Diligence - Legal Landscape - PEI...more

Former FTC Regional Director and Court of Appeals Justice Answers What To Do When the FTC Investigates

We like to give you information that helps you stay off the radar of the Federal Trade Commission with posts. But, what do you do if the FTC does investigate? I asked newly-minted Gray Reed & McGraw shareholder Justice Jim...more

What’s New Out There? Highlights from the Federal Register

SBA Proposes to Increase Small Business Size Standards (79 Fed. Reg. 54145; 79 Fed. Reg. 53646) - The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) proposes to increase small business size standards for: (1) 209...more

Don’t Make Promises That You Cannot Keep: Greenwich Silver Shield Association v. Town of Greenwich, the FOIA and Discrimination...

Investigations in the public sector confront the competing demands of employee privacy rights and the public’s “right to know” under the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”]. Another decision by the Freedom of Information...more

Loose Lips Sink Ships: The Limits of the Attorney-Client Privilege and the Dangers of “Public” Reliance Upon Your Attorney’s...

Public agencies often secure opinions from legal counsel to guide their actions. However, these agencies should be aware that what they say in public about the advice given may jeopardize the confidentiality of the legal...more

Government Contracting, The False Claims Act and the Art of Voluntary Disclosures

With so many personal gadgets needing daily recharging, desktop hard drives running 24 hours a day, and DVRs recording movies that run while we’re asleep, do you wonder where all that electricity is coming from? The next big...more

Weekly Update Newsletter - September 2014

In this issue: - GSA OASIS and OASIS Small Business Contracts are Ready for Business - DoD Issues Proposed Rule to Update FOIA Program - Has the IRS Become Gun-Shy on Regulating Nonprofits? -...more

The Police Have The Right To Remain Silent Too: The Supreme Court Rules On The Disclosure Of Police Reports Under The FOIA

The Connecticut Supreme Court has resolved an intense debate about what law enforcement agencies are required to release with regard to arrest records and associated reports. This decision could affect the ability of school...more

Back to School OMA/FOIA Update: Public Access Counselor (PAC) Decisions this Summer

The summer is nearly behind us, and it has been a busy summer for the Public Access Counselor (PAC) office of the Illinois Attorney General, which issued five binding decisions since May on Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom...more

Just The Facts: Charter Schools (and Cutting Through Some Myths and Hot Air)

As anyone reading the newspapers can observe, Connecticut charter schools are receiving some unwanted attention these days due to: 1) a myriad of issues involving a charter school management company; and 2) virulent attacks...more

Government Contracting and Procurement Update: Public Access to Trade Secrets in Proposals and Bid Documents in Maine

Those doing business with the State of Maine need to know their way around public records laws. What is the risk that sensitive business information included within a bid response to a request for proposal (RFP) may become...more

High Court Rules Autopsy Reports Exempt from the SC Freedom of Information Act - Public Policy & Governmental Affairs Alert

The South Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion this week in Perry v Bullock. The Court ruled that an autopsy report is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") disclosure requirements. This is the...more

"Nonprofit Traps and Pitfalls"

Many of us lawyers are involved with nonprofits. Some of us assist clients in incorporating and providing legal advice to nonprofits, and others of us serve on nonprofit boards. Nonprofit law is surprisingly complex. ...more

Tales From The Green Room: My FOIA Book, My Television Interview and Why Public Agencies Should Care

On June 7th, 2014, I had the good fortune of being the guest on Focus on Connecticut, which is a weekly, half-hour public affairs show on “News 12 Connecticut.” The show is hosted by Tom Appleby, a veteran news journalist in...more

South Carolina Supreme Court Rules in FOIA Case - Public Policy & Governmental Affairs Alert

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Lambries v Saluda County Council. The high court ruled that nothing in the Freedom of Information Act prohibits a public body from adding an agenda item(s)...more

Launch of openFDA Increases Accessibility to Adverse Drug Event Reports

On June 2, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration launched openFDA, a program designed to improve access to publicly available data beginning with adverse event reports. While greater accessibility to adverse event reports...more

Update on Recent FOIA and OMA Illinois Supreme Court and Attorney General Opinions

- The Illinois Supreme Court rules state's attorneys are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. - The Illinois attorney general rules that: (i) the Open Meetings Act requires public bodies to recite the key terms of...more

Grand Opening of openFDA.gov

Information is power, and as of this month, there’s a new power source of information about drug effects. openFDA.gov is an initiative of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand access to and use of reports of...more

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