Public Records

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Public Entities Can Inadvertently Waive Privilege in Response to a Public Records Act Request

California’s Public Records Act (PRA) law requires public entities to make their public records open for inspection and copying. Environmental practitioners often use PRA requests as a tool to obtain information regarding a...more

Broker-Dealer Beat - January 2015

New FINRA Rule 3110(e) streamlines and clarifies members' obligations relating to background investigations of registered persons and adds a requirement to adopt written procedures to verify the accuracy and completeness of...more

Show Your Work: Washington Supreme Court Awards Attorney’s Fees in Public Records Case for Failure to Provide “Brief Explanation”...

The Washington Supreme Court has long endorsed a liberal construction of the Washington Public Records Act (PRA), calling it a “strongly-worded mandate for broad disclosure of public records.” Hearst Corp. v. Hoppe, 90 Wn.2d...more

N.C. Court of Appeals: Statutory "Custodian" of Public Records Is "In Charge of" the Relevant Office

Former Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline was removed from office by Court order in the first half of 2012. The story behind her efforts to return to the office has been detailed at great length by the local Raleigh and...more

Was California’s Public Records Act Founded On The Aventine Hill?

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the ancient Romans chose to explain their origins with tales of defeat, invasion, fratricide, communal rape and assassination. The city, which eventually occupied seven hills...more

The Secret Is Out: The Documentary Transfer Tax Will Now Be Part of Public Record

The Documentary Transfer Tax Act allows each county and city to impose a tax on each deed, instrument, or writing by which any real estate is sold within the county at the time the document is recorded. Assembly Bill No....more

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

Public Records Act Update: Washington Court of Appeals Endorses Flexible Approach to Agencies' Response Time to Public Records...

In Andrews v. Washington State Patrol, No. 32288-2-III, 2014 WL 4627656 (Wash. Ct. App. Sept. 16, 2014), a case involving response times to public records requests, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the...more

Improperly Indexed Mortgage: How Far Does Your Record Review Need to Go to Be Safe?

Albert v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC (In re El Erian), 512 B.R. 391 (Bankr. D. D.C. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid the lien of a recorded deed of trust because (1) it contained both correct and incorrect...more

Copyright Law Protects Course Syllabi From Disclosure Under Missouri Sunshine Law

Last month, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, held that a public university was not required to turn over copies of certain course materials, including course syllabi, in response to a public records request....more

Everyone will know I filed for bankruptcy. Wrong!

People interested in filing bankruptcy are often fearful that their neighbors and co-workers will find out. Let's take a look at what's so about that....more

7th Cir. Confirms Protections for Sealing Parties' Confidential Documents

A common concern for business litigants is protecting legitimately confidential matter contained in documents produced during discovery from dissemination to non-parties. The Supreme Court’s decision in Seattle Times Co. v....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

Supreme Court of PA Reaffirms the Broad Scope of the Commonwealth Court’s Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction in Challenges to...

Many Pennsylvania Lawyers only encounter the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in its appellate guise, but the court enjoys an unusual hybrid nature, having both appellate and original jurisdiction. The court’s original...more

Tips for Reacting to an "In-Person" Public Records Request under Florida's Public Records Act

Under Florida's broad Public Records Act ("the PRA"), chapter 119, Florida Statutes, any person - whether an individual or a legal entity - can request access to or copies of public records in the custody of state agencies,...more

The revised PSI Directive – European Commission publishes guidelines on re-use of public sector information

On July 17th, 2014, the European Commission published guidelines for the re-use of public sector information ("PSI"). These guidelines shall support the EU Member States in the transposition of the 2013 revision of the so...more

Court Reporters and Legal Videographers – Beware of Address Searches on the Internet

Filling out an appearance page for a deposition or court transcript takes time and concentration. Everything has to be correct. Getting an attorney’s card is the best way to ensure you have the correct information, but as...more

Sunshine Ordinance Preempted by City Charter Provision Creating Attorney-Client Privilege

The First District Court of Appeal determined that City of San Francisco (“City”) resident Allen Grossman (“Grossman”) was not entitled to documents related to the development of certain San Francisco Ethics Commission...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

Public Records Act Did Not Require School District To Produce Student Academic Growth Over Time Scores That Identified Individual...

The California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles Unified School District v.The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (July 23, 2014) 2014 WL 3615855, --- Cal.App.4th ---, recently held that unredacted academic growth over time...more

The City of Riverside Opens the Online Door for Public Records Access

Transparency in government is a key element of building and maintaining the public’s trust and confidence. One Southern California city is leading by example. As first reported by PublicCEO.com, the City of Riverside recently...more

Public Records Produced Pursuant to OPRA May Not be Redacted for Irrelevancy

The New Jersey Appellate Division has recently confirmed the public’s unfettered right to access government records, regardless of whether certain information produced falls outside a specific request....more

Getting What You Need Under FOIA

As an attorney, you have a duty to do an adequate investigation before asserting any claim, but your investigation can’t intrude on others’ privacy rights. Getting public record information is one way to get what you need...more

State Constitution Now Requires Local Agencies to Follow Brown and Public Records Acts - Whether or Not State Reimburses...

Voters Pass Proposition 42 and Create a Constitutional Amendment - California voters just approved Proposition 42, a state constitutional amendment to eliminate the requirement that the state reimburse costs incurred...more

How A Public Records Act Request Can Be Better Than A Subpoena Duces Tecum

The California counterpart to the Freedom of Information Act (aka FOIA) is the Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250 et seq. In a recent unpublished decision, the Court of Appeal succinctly explains why submitting...more

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