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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 -

Flying with Your Data – ACLU sues the TSA Over Domestic Electronic Device Searches

If you’ve flown domestically in the last year, you know the drill. Take off your jacket, belt, and shoes and place them in a bin. Remove your quart-sized bag of 3.4 oz liquids and place them on top. Pull out your laptop,...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - March 2018

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

Illinois Supreme Court Says Gun Ban Near Parks Is Unconstitutional - On February 1, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW) statute that criminalized the possession of...more

Public Advocacy Group Sues OFCCP In Connection With EEO-1 FOIA Requests

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

As we’ve been discussing, now is the time for employers to be filing their annual EEO-1 reports. Coincidentally, and perhaps not un-intentionally, Public Citizen, a non profit advocacy group is also using this time to sue...more

Waste Imports/Exports: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Notice/Request for Comment Addressing Freedom of Information Act

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a February 27th Federal Register Notice and Request for Comment describing Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests that the agency states it periodically...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - March 2018

Anti-Secrecy Lawsuits Soaring Against Pruitt's EPA - "The suits have come from open government groups, environmentalists and even conservative organizations that have run into a wall trying to pry information out of...more

Silence Matters: School Safety, Security Plans And The CT FOIA

In the aftermath of another senseless and tragic school shooting, school districts are understandably looking inwards as they contemplate the need to adjust their security measures. I am frequently asked how school districts...more

Illinois FOIA Ruling: Public Bodies May Not Withhold Residents' Identities

by Holland & Knight LLP on

• The Illinois Attorney General (AG) issued a binding opinion under the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), holding that residents' names are not exempt as "private information" under FOIA. • The AG did not address...more

Recent OMA and FOIA Decisions Address “Personal” Emails of Public Officials

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

The Open Meetings Act (OMA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cover the communications of board members and other public officials when conducting public business. While the laws have a long reach, granting the public...more

Weekly Update Newsletter - February 2018 #2

by PilieroMazza PLLC on

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS - Pentagon Warns CEOs: Protect Your Data or Lose Our Contracts - According to an article from, the Pentagon has issued a warning to defense-industry contractors, insinuating that they...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - February 2018

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

Illinois Supreme Court Set to Consider Whether a Court Order Can Preempt a FOIA Request - The Illinois Supreme Court is set to determine whether an agency or municipality may refuse to disclose a document requested under the...more

Freedom of Information Code of Practice Consultation

by Hogan Lovells on

The Government is consulting on various revisions to the Code of Practice for public authorities on their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act“). ...more

Wells Fargo’s CAMELS Rating Leaked

by Vedder Price on

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the management component of the CAMELS rating for Wells Fargo Bank, NA had been downgraded to a “3” during 2017. A “3” rating of management means that the capabilities of...more

SEC Proposes To Rewrite The FOIA

by Allen Matkins on

For more than a half century, the Freedom of Information Act (aka FOIA) grants any person a legally enforcable right to obtain access to federal agency records (with certain exceptions). The FOIA requires federal agencies to...more

FOIL Request Denials Could Come with a Cost to NYS Agencies and Municipalities

by Harris Beach PLLC on

State agencies and New York State municipalities must have a reasonable basis to deny Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) requests or they will be subjected to mandatory attorney’s fees when a denial is successfully...more

End-of-Year Decisions by The PAC Provide Cautionary Notes to Public Bodies

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

In the last month and a half of 2017, the Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office issued three binding opinions, one addressing the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and two addressing the Freedom of...more

See You In Court! - January 2018

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Mr. Superintendent was hoping that the first meeting of the Nutmeg Board of Education after the holidays would be uneventful, maybe even boring. It was not to be. During Public Comment, Peter Parent gave an impassioned speech...more

The Members of EPA’s Superfund Task Force Had Really Good Memories

In July, EPA released the recommendations of the Superfund Task Force. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a FOIA request, looking for documents related to the operation of the Task Force. This week, the...more

New York Amends FOIL Provisions on Attorney's Fees

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

New York just made fighting denied Freedom of Information Law requests a bit more appealing. On December 13, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed AO2750-A into law amending the attorney’s fees provisions of New York’s...more

Everything about the Case Assessment Review at the CHRO

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

This post is for the employment law nerds out there. You know who you are....more

See You In Court! – December 2017

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

The General Assembly has finally passed a budget, and the Nutmeg Board of Education has been spared the catastrophic cuts in state aid that some had predicted. Veteran Board member Bob Bombast was therefore pleased to turn...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – November, 2017 #2

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Dear Legal Mailbag: Recently, my PTO held a meeting where they invited in a guest speaker to talk to parents about Internet safety, bullying and a variety of other age-appropriate topics. You know, the usual teenage stuff....more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - November 2017

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

When Records Are Not Reasonably Accessible - 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...more

EEOC Issues Final Rule To Modify FOIA Regulations

Changes Will Affect Certain FOIA Procedures, Federal Agency Says - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has finalized an update of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) procedures by...more

New Freedom of Information Law in Kentucky

by Goodwin on

Freedom of information legislation has been an issue that private fund managers have had to deal with for some time. Public pension funds invest a significant amount of capital into private funds and most, as public bodies,...more

Beltway Buzz - September, 2017 #4

“Zombie” ACA Repeal-and-Replace Effort Suddenly Resuscitated. Opponents of Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal-and-replace efforts no doubt forgot the vitally important “double tap” rule, and now the zombie legislative effort is...more

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