Public Records

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North Carolina Public Records Law 101 - A primer for economic development professionals

At the North Carolina Economic Development Association 2016 Annual Conference, I participated on a panel discussion and presentation regarding public records law requirements in North Carolina and how they affect economic...more

Accidental Disclosure Of Public Records Does Not Waive The Attorney-Client And Attorney Work Product Privileges

On March 17, 2016, the California Supreme Court resolved an important case regarding the California Public Records Act, ruling unanimously that the inadvertent release of confidential documents does not waive the...more

Public Bodies Not Required to Create New Records to Respond to FOIA Request

The Second District Appellate Court recently addressed the question of when an electronic record is a public record subject to FOIA and when a public agency is required to release information from an electronic database. In...more

FHA Issues Final Guidelines on PACE Assessments

The U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued final guidance in the form of Mortgagee Letter 2016-11 regarding the subordination of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. As...more

Don’t Picture This: The FOIA And The Use Of Smartphones As A Substitute For Paying For Copies

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] generally permits public agencies to charge for copies (usually, $0.50/page) when complying with FOIA requests. One exception to this fee requirement is that an individual may...more

The FOIA “Five” – After 50 Years, Changes in the Freedom of Information Act That (Might) Matter

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), passed by Congress and signed into law in 1966, “established a policy of openness toward information within the control of the Executive Branch, and a presumption that such records...more

Criminal Mugshots Are Privacy-Protected Says Divided Sixth Circuit Panel

A deeply divided en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that federal authorities can withhold criminal booking photos requested by the public pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”)....more

We Really Mean It This Time: Recently Enacted FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 Mandates

On June 13, Congress passed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, and President Obama signed the bill into law on June 30, nearly 50 years after the original Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) was first enacted. The new law was...more

California Appellate Court Holds Police Video of Arrest Not Protected Under Pitchess

Only a Record Generated as Part of an Internal Investigation is Protected by Pitchess - The California Court of Appeal has ruled in City of Eureka v. Superior Court (Greenson) that a police “dash cam” video of an...more

Michigan Court of Appeals Clarifies When Documents Produced Under FOIA Are Due

Michigan's Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") has, from its enactment, expressly provided that a public body must respond to a proper request for documents within five business days of when the request is received (subject...more

Court Clarifies Public Bodies Requirement to Provide Documents Under FOIA

A public body must respond to a FOIA request within five days, but the Michigan Court of Appeals has opined that there is no obligation to produce the requested information within that timeframe. In a June 23, 2016,...more

Governor Baker Approves First Major Overhaul of Massachusetts’ Public Records Law

Massachusetts has its first significant update of its Public Records Law since the 1970s with promises of swifter responses and real consequences including attorney’s fees for failures to comply. In August 2015, we...more

Employment Law Letter - Summer 2016

Last year the General Assembly enacted legislation prohibiting all public and private sector employers from disciplining an employee for “discussing the amount of his or her wages [or] inquiring about the wages of another...more

Uber vs. Cab Companies: Trade Secret Edition

A state court in Florida recently ruled that the same categories of information maintained and possessed by government officials relating to two different companies can be both a public record and a trade secret, depending on...more

Controversial “Climate Change” Video Results in Significant FOIA Decision by DC Circuit

On July 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an important ruling interpreting the reach ofemail. the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the case of Competitive Enterprise...more

Open Wide: FOIA Reform Expands Public Access to U.S. Government Information

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the bipartisan Freedom of Information Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 337). The bill most notably requires that the government operate under a “presumption of openness” in federal law and...more

Shining a Brighter Light on Massachusetts Public Records - HB 4333

If, as Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” Massachusetts public records have just received a substantial splash of bleach. On June 3, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed...more

Massachusetts Legislature Overhauls Public Records Law

Last week the Massachusetts Legislature adopted significant changes to the Massachusetts Public Records Law. These changes apply to all state agencies and municipalities and in theory are designed to improve the disclosure of...more

2016 Florida Legislative Post-Session Report

Carlton Fields’s Government Law and Consulting Practice Group released its 2016 Florida Legislative Post-Session Report detailing significant bills that passed during the 2016 Regular Session of the Florida...more

Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Takes Effect

Employers Should Immediately Revise Confidentiality Agreements to Comply - The Defend Trade Secrets Act, signed into law by President Obama last week and effective immediately, provides a new federal remedy for trade...more

Economic Incentive Applications and Florida’s Public Records and Sunshine Law

If you are considering locating—or relocating—your business to Florida, and are interested in applying for an economic incentive, you should be aware of Florida’s Public Records and Sunshine Law, which provides that certain...more

Tax Law Blog: Prince's Estate Plan (or lack thereof)

News sources are reporting that court documents filed last week indicate Prince died intestate, meaning he did not have a will. His sister filed the paperwork, stating to her knowledge he did not have a will and requesting...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

Body-Worn Cameras, the Prosecutor, and the Question of Public Access

BB&K attorney Gary Schons examines police body cameras from a variety of angles for the California District Attorneys Association’s Prosecutor’s Brief. The use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officials and what...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

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