Public Records

News & Analysis as of

FOIA is FUN: Somewhat Recent Reminders from the Freedom Of Information Commission

Although it is known as the “Sunshine Law,” the idea of summer fun is usually not synonymous with the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”]. Nevertheless, as we lament the passing of time (and loss of daylight), Connecticut’s...more

California Court: School Districts Cannot Prevent Posting of Videos of Open Board Meetings

Our friends over at the EdLawConnectBlog in California published a blog about an interesting case from the Golden State that school leaders from across the country may find interesting. The case addressed whether school...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – October 2015

Bob Bombast, veteran member of the Nutmeg Board of Education, has been vocal in his opposition to state testing based on the Common Core State Standards. When Mr. Superintendent reported last month on the poor test results...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Newsroom Victories During the 2015 Texas Legislative Session

Sometimes, killing a bad bill can be as important as enacting a good one. So it was for newsrooms during the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature. My partner Paul Watler and I were privileged to assist the Texas Association...more

Federal Court Nixes City’s Attempt to Use Copyright Law to Curtail Critic’s Speech on YouTube

A California city cannot hold one of its citizens liable for copyright infringement for using clips of city council meetings in his critical YouTube videos, a federal judge has ruled. The August 20, 2015 order in City of...more

Massachusetts Legislature Advances Bill to Impose Caps on Drug Prices

The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing of the Massachusetts legislature took up Bill S. 1048, an "Act to promote transparency and cost control of pharmaceutical drug prices," on Sept. 14, 2015. The bill initially was...more

Work-Related Text Messages on Personal Cell Phones Are Public Records Says WA Supreme Court

From Washington, D.C. to Washington state, the manner in which government officials and employees create and store business records is making headlines. The latest development is a unanimous decision of the Washington Supreme...more

Washington Supreme Court Applies Public Records Act to Public Employees’ Private Cell Phones

On August 27, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously held in Nissen v. Pierce County that text messages sent or received by a public employee in his or her official capacity are public records within the meaning of the...more

California PUC Set to Address Handling of Confidential Records

On August 14, 2015 California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Rafael Lirag extended the deadline for public comment in the CPUC Confidentiality/Public Records Act rulemaking proceeding. This...more

First District Holds Public Agency’s Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents In Response To PRA Request Does Not Waive...

On July 31, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division One, filed a 23-page published opinion holding that the inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client privileged and work product protected...more

Court Dismisses City’s Copyright Claim Against Critic for Using Council Meeting Clips in YouTube Videos

A California city cannot hold one of its citizens liable for copyright infringement for using clips of city council meetings in his critical YouTube videos, a federal judge has ruled. The August 20, 2015, Order in City of...more

Court Rejects “Gotcha” Theory of Waiver Under Public Records Act

A California appellate court has ruled that inadvertent disclosure of documents containing attorney-client communications in response to a Public Records Act request does not result in a waiver of the privilege. Newark...more

Court Grants Restraining Order in Light of Inadvertent Disclosure (California)

Newark Unified Sch. Dist. v. Superior Court , 2015 WL 4594095 (Cal. Ct. App. July 31, 2015). In this inadvertent document release case, the plaintiff sought injunctive relief against the defendant, requiring the return...more

Foreign Qualification: Doing Business in Other States

You’ve formed your company in your home state and now want to do business in a different state. Or maybe, you’ve incorporated in Delaware (because you’ve heard that’s where all the corporate magic happens), even though you...more

Massachusetts Legislature Ends Active July with Budget Overrides

After a busy final few weeks of activity, the Massachusetts Legislature departed for its summer recess with a new budget and progress on several priority policy issues. In addition to overriding $97 million in Governor...more

Notice versus Strict Procedures – Section 613

Section 613 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), when reporting a consumer report for employment purposes which contains public record information, which are likely have an...more

2015 Florida Legislative Post-Session Report

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt’s Government Law and Consulting Practice Group released its 2015 Florida Legislative Post-Session Report detailing significant bills that passed during the 2015 Regular Session of the Florida...more

Are Aggregators of Government-Created Data the Next Target for Large Class Action Lawsuits?

There is little doubt that large class action lawsuits are a content aggregator’s worst nightmare. This especially holds true for those who transact significant amounts of data which may include government-created public...more

FOI adjudicator denies access to MOL inspector’s reasons for recommending no OHSA charges against employer

An adjudicator with the office of Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has denied access to a Ministry of Labour inspector’s reasons for recommending that Occupational Health and Safety Act charges not be laid...more

2015 Florida Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

The Florida Legislature concluded its 2015 regular session on May 1, 2015. However, for all practical purposes, the session ended on April 28, when the House unexpectedly adjourned three days early after it became clear the...more

Economic Development in the Sunshine?

The Fifth District Court of Appeal heard oral argument today on the issue of whether the records of the Economic Development Commission of Brevard County are subject to public inspection. The lower court ruled that such...more

Summary of Recent Precedential Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Decisions

In the past two months, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has issued three opinions citable as Board precedent. The following is a brief summary of each opinion and its precedential impact....more

Fees For Public Records Act Request Is Only Proper Where The Request Is "Clearly Frivolous"

In Bertoli v. City of Sebastopol, 2015 DJDAR 779, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided a case involving a fee request under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”)....more

EEOC Consent Decrees are its Most Powerful Enforcement Mechanisms

The vast majority of settlements between an employer and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) take the form of a court-approved consent decree. This document is a public record designed to highlight and...more

Naming Names: Washington Supreme Court Holds That Public Employers Must Disclose the Names of Employees Being Investigated for...

On April 2, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court held that public employees under investigation for workplace misconduct cannot prevent their identities from being disclosed in response to a request for public records. The...more

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