Public Records

News & Analysis as of

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

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – March 2016 #5

Originally appeared in the CAS Weekly NewsBlast. Dear Legal Mailbag: As the principal of a large high school, I get a lot of letters. I have been around, and I know all about keeping legitimate items of...more

Illinois Appellate Court Sheds Light on When Records Are Not “Reasonably Accessible” On A Public Body’s Website Under FOIA

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was amended in December, 2014 to provide that a public body is not required to copy a public record that is published on the public body’s website. 5 ILCS 140/8.5. The exception...more

California Supreme Court Finds that a Public Agency Cannot Inadvertently Waive Attorney-Client and Work Product Privileges

Last year, I wrote about the Second Appellate District case of Ardon v. City of Los Angeles. In Ardon, the appellate court found that a public agency can waive statutory privileges that it otherwise would have if it produces...more

Florida Public Records Law and Government Contractors 2016 Legislature Makes Significant Changes

Chapter 119, Florida Statutes (“the Act”), requires that every “agency” make its records available for inspection and copying to any member of the public who makes a request. Either refusal to provide such access or an...more

To Force Government To Be Transparent, Go Directly to the Campaign Trail: Terry Mutchler

The Founding Fathers recognized the power of public records in a democracy. The Declaration of Independence decried government gamesmanship that kept public records away from citizens. Originally published on PennLive...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - March 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: I have heard of the Freedom of Information Act; however, in my administrative preparation courses, the professors glossed over it and I never really understood the nuances of public records and the...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - February 2016: Personal Documents Stored on a Government Computer System — Disclosable Under...

Personal Documents Stored on a Government Computer System — Disclosable Under Illinois' FOIA? Not all documents created or stored on a government computer system are subject to disclosure under Illinois' Freedom of...more

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