Access & FOIA
LSKS has been at the forefront of advocacy for the public’s right to information about its government. Our attorneys have litigated the rights of access to legislative and court records, the right to “open” courtrooms (including the right to videotape, photograph, and tweet from judicial proceedings), and the right to obtain government documents under the Freedom of Information Act and state open records laws.
The firm has achieved victories for its clients in several of the most highly publicized such cases of recent years, securing access to, among other things:
- long-sealed documents filed in a lawsuit against Bill Cosby arising out of his alleged sexual assault of a Temple University employee, which revealed Cosby’s use of prescription drugs in sexual encounters;
- Hillary Clinton’s private calendars from her tenure as Secretary of State;
- the docket, pleadings, and other records in the prosecution of James Eagan Holmes for the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings;
- names and identifying information of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as the records of the habeas corpus proceedings those detainees have filed in U.S. courts;
- the Military Commissions held at Guantanamo Bay;
- previously sealed portions of the trial and appellate records in the first September 11-related prosecution, United States v. Moussaoui; and
- secret case dockets throughout the Connecticut state court system.
Our attorneys have authored or contributed to numerous articles and primers for reporters and their employers on the law of access, including reports for the Media Law Resource Center and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the seminal treatise in this area, Newsgathering and the Law. Our lawyers also serve as leaders in organizations dedicated to promoting transparency in government. For example, LSKS attorneys currently serve as the co-director of Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, board members of the Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition, a member of New York State’s Committee on Open Government, and a member of the DC Open Government Coalition’s Legal Enforcement Committee.
To review a list of some noteworthy cases in which LSKS attorneys have obtained access to government records or proceedings, please click here.
Recent News About LSKS's Access & FOIA Practice
- State Department Agrees To Pay Legal Fees In FOIA Settlement
- Bowman Speaks On Media Coverage Of Police Misconduct Cases
- Media Objects To Closing Testimony Of Detainee In USS Cole Bombing Case