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

The SJC Walks Back the GE Decision; State Agencies Can Protect Work Product

In its 1999 decision in GE v. DEP, the SJC surprised most Massachusetts lawyers by ruling that the Commonwealth’s Public Records Act (our version of FOIA) did not have an exemption for work product materials and that it had...more

Commerce Reissues BE-13 Reporting Requirements for Foreign Businesses

Although the BE-13 requirements for foreign companies investing in the United States should be old news by now, there are an increasing number of questions on this issue. The new regulations were put in place in 2014, and...more

See You In Court – May 2015

Seymour Dollars, the irascible Chairperson of the Nutmeg Board of Finance, gave the Board of Education a very hard time throughout the entire budget process this year. He questioned the Board down to the minutest detail of...more

Everything That You Ever Wanted to Know About The Attorney-Client Privilege and The FOIA But Were Afraid to Ask: The Latest

As a self-described FOIA nerd, I have written in these pages about issues pertaining to the effect of the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] on the attorney-client privilege (and vice versa). In a plethora of recent...more

Presidential Politics, E-Mail, And The FOIA: Why It Should Matter To You

The federal Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] has recently made its way into national new stories for all the wrong reasons. Hillary Clinton has become enmeshed in a controversy involving her use of a “private” e-mail...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week

The “Legal Question of the Week” is a regular feature of the CAS Weekly NewsBlast. Readers are invited to submit short, law-related questions of practical concern to school administrators. Each week, CAS will select a...more

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for March 2015

In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments in the past month with links to primary...more

PAC Upholds School District’s Decision to Deny FOIA Request for Text Messages

Last month, the Public Access Counselor released a decision on the subject of when text messages can be obtained from a public body through a FOIA request. The decision was non-binding, but nonetheless illustrates that absent...more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC34886 - State v. Bush - AC35418 - State v. LaFleur - AC36275 - North Star Contracting Corp. v. Albright This case dealt with who is the proper party to bring a shareholder derivative action. A...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term. This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law. Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted...more

Race and National Origin Discrimination Persist 50 Years after EEOC’s Founding, Experts Say

Panel of Practitioners At Miami Meeting Of the EEOC Says Despite Positive Advances, Fight For Equal Treatment in Employment Far From Over - MIAMI - Despite significant progress in the 50 years since the U.S. Equal...more

DEFENSES AGAINST FOIA: Non-Profit Planned Parenthood Succeeds In Keeping Operations Manual Secret

When inquiring minds want to know, non-profit organizations now have a stronger response.  Last year, we posed the question: Can a non-profit maintain trade secrets and other confidential commercial information? The First...more

Protective Order Issued in Suit to Stop EPA from Releasing Farmers’ Information

A federal district court in Minnesota recently issued a protective order prohibiting the EPA from releasing information about animal feeding operations—including farmers' names, home addresses, telephone numbers and email...more

Self Righteousness Still Does Not Help the Environmentalists’ Cause

Fully five years ago, I noted that the cavalier treatment by government officials of FOIA requests made by opponents of government policy revealed a degree of self-righteousness that was both offensive and self-defeating –...more

SEE YOU IN COURT! - March 2015 CABE Journal

The Residents Against New Taxes (RANT) launched a new high tech online campaign this year to recruit new members in Nutmeg. RANT members attend every meeting of the Nutmeg Board of Education, and in large numbers they sign...more

President Obama Issues Executive Order Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing

On Friday, February 13, 2015, President Obama signed an executive order, Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing (the “EO”), designed to encourage private companies to share information regarding threats to...more

Municipal Legal News - Volume 1 Number 1

Major Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") Amendments - Public Act 563 of 2014 ("Act 563") amends the FOIA to impose a number of new regulations on public bodies. All municipalities will need to review their FOIA...more

SHREDDING TRADE SECRETS: Heli-Ski Operators Fret over FOIA Disclosures Releasing a Blizzard of Confidential Information

Heli-skiing: it’s the holy grail for thrill-seeking skiers and snowboarders.   Ride to the roof of the world aboard a helicopter. Descend thousands of vertical feet through fresh, untracked powder.  No lift lines, no ski...more

UK: Data Protection - Information Tribunal rule on FOIA exemptions concerning the Tate Gallery and BP

The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) has considered whether the Tate Gallery was exempt from disclosing information concerning sponsorship and meeting minutes to BP under sections 41(1) and 43(2) of the Freedom of...more

Significant Changes to Michigan FOIA Laws Coming In July

Michigan governmental entities will face significant new regulations on how they charge for responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests beginning July 1, 2015. ...more

Recent Trends and Patterns in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Enforcement

In this memo: - Enforcement Actions and Strategies - Perennial Statutory Issues - Compliance Guidance - Unusual Developments - Private Litigation - Enforcement in the United...more

Petitioner Opposes NY Regulator’s Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit Seeking Access to Database of Alleged Illegal Payday Lenders

The consumer financial services attorney (the petitioner) who sued the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and its superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, to obtain access to DFS’s database of alleged illegal...more

New FOIA Amendments Affect Public Bodies’ Responses to Requests

Effective immediately, the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto to approve new amendments to the FOIA, which are designed to reduce the burden on public bodies. Public Act 98-1129 provides the following: 1) a...more

Amendment to Illinois FOIA Impacts Requests for Records Available Online - Public Bodies Now Have More Authority Regarding Their...

The Illinois General Assembly overrode Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of House Bill 3796 amending the Illinois Freedom of Information Act on Dec. 3, 2014. HB 3796 is now law, effective immediately. The key provisions of HB 3796...more

Do-Gooders Won’t Take “No” For An Answer

About a month ago we posted an article on the dismissal of Consumer Watchdog’s appeal at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit following a loss at the USPTO in an inter partes reexamination. Consumer Watchdog, Inc. had...more

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