All states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia have their own public records law to enable public access to governmental activity. With so much information available, litigators would be wise to take advantage of these sources as another tool for discovery that could bolster their cases either directly or indirectly. Additionally, many public records laws establish independent causes of action against non-compliant public agencies. Therefore, knowing how to use public records laws can be to your client‘s advantage.
Using the Virginia Freedom of Information Act as the primary example of a public records law, and by referencing other state public records laws including the federal Freedom of Information Act, this presentation will provide a nuts-and-bolts approach to understanding these laws‘ structural frameworks, their purposes, and practice tips of how to use them. The program, presented by Virginia attorney Timothy Johnson, will also provide samples of public records requests, and discuss typical problems public record requesters run into.
Timothy R. Johnson is the owner and managing attorney of The Law Offices of Timothy R. Johnson, PLC, established in 2015. His prior legal experience includes practicing as an associate at Mangan Ginsberg LLP, interning with the United States Attorney‘s Office E.D.N.Y (Civil Division), and interning with the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Commonwealth Attorney‘s Office. He is currently licensed to practice in Virginia, but has also litigated cases in New Jersey and New York.
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