The Freedom of Information Law provides a powerful tool for the public, including attorneys and the media, to access a wide variety of law enforcement and other government records. FOIL implements the legislative declaration that “government is the public’s business.” FOIL expresses the State’s commitment to open government and public accountability, and all government records are presumptively open for public inspection and copying unless they fall squarely within a statutory exemption.
In reality, however, agencies – especially law enforcement agencies – deny requests for technical reasons and by making overbroad exemption claims. Thus, requestors must often fight against intransigent agencies to access government records.
Our panel of experts will discuss the various ways the public can fight back against intransigent agencies to access records and increase state and local transparency. The program will address the difficulties of accessing records in the context of individual requests, as well as systemic efforts to strengthen the Freedom of Information Law and state and local transparency.
Program Co-sponsor: NYCLA’s Civil Rights & Liberties Committee
Program Chairs: Elliot Dolby Shields, Roth & Roth; M.J. Williams, M.J. Williams Law; Ilyssa Fuchs, Cohen & Fitch LLP Faculty: Cynthia Conti-Cook, Criminal Special Litigation Unit, Legal Aid Society; Alex Camarda, Reinvent Albany; Gideon Oliver, Gideon Law; Elliot Dolby Shields, Roth & Roth; M.J. Williams, M.J. Williams Law