Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Freedom of Information Act

New Illinois FOIA and government’s obligation to speak By Steven Helle Human Rights, April 2011 A discussion of Illinois' Freedom of Information Act and the government’s responsibility and obligation to speak.
“Bring out your dead!”—Do Freedom of Information Act privacy exemptions survive death? By Heidi Steiner, Iain D. Johnston, and Yana Karnaukhov Local Government Law, October 2010 There is some authority that suggests that the right to privacy is diminished with death. But there is no federal or state statutory authority, advisory manual, or case law that specifically prohibits such redaction of private information.
The Freedom of Information Act: A useful resource for attorneys By George L. Schoenbeck Young Lawyers Division, October 2010 Author George Schoenbeck shares his experiences as both a Freedom of Information Officer and as an attorney using the Freedom of Information Act to represent private parties.
Public disclosure of public employee disciplinary records under Gekas v. Williamson and the 2009 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, October 2010 A discussion of the reasoning and holding in the recent Gekas v. Williamson decision, as well as whether any portion of Gekas will survive the 2009 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act.
The Freedom of Information Act: A useful resource for attorneys By George L. Schoenbeck General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, September 2010 Author George Schoenbeck shares his experiences as both a Freedom of Information Officer and as an attorney using the Freedom of Information Act to represent private parties.
New Illinois Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act amendments By Walter J. Zukowski and Anthony R. Phelps Education Law, February 2010 The Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act have received substantial press as a result of SB 189, recently signed by Governor Quinn.
Extra work is extra work By Raymond A. Fylstra Government Lawyers, December 2009 On August 17, 2009, Governor Pat Quinn signed one of the most sweeping revisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1) (the “Act”) since it was adopted in 1983.
FOIA requests—DOL Employee Benefits, September 2009 If you or your client needs a copy of the Form 5500 filed by a welfare plan or a pension plan it is better to go to the source. At <www.dol.gov/dol/foia> you will find instructions for making a FOIA request.
New and improved and available January 1, 2010: Transparency in government By Frank M. Grenard Corporate Law Departments, September 2009 On August 17, 2009, Governor Pat Quinn signed one of the most sweeping revisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1) (the “Act”) since it was adopted in 1983.  
Party challenges denial of FOIA request because party refused to pay $5,500 fee By Mary Ann Connelly Government Lawyers, September 2009 A summary of the recent case of Sage Information Services and Roger W. Hurlbert v. Gary A. King, Du Page County Clerk.
Party challenges denial of FOIA request because party refused to pay $5,500 fee By Mary Ann Connelly State and Local Taxation, June 2009 The Second District Appellate Court provides an interesting analysis of FOIA requests and what body of authority should control.
‘Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy’—Sunshine on my subpoenas does not: a case summary of Better Government Association v. Blagojevich By Sharon L. Eiseman Government Lawyers, April 2009 Illinois courts must enforce the legislative policy that “the sunshine of public scrutiny is the best antidote to public corruption[.]”
Transparency and the Open Meetings Act By Maryann Bullion Local Government Law, April 2009 Despite the fact that the Supreme Court recognized the need for transparent government in 1860, this policy was not codified as the Open Meetings Act until 1957, and the Freedom of Information Act was not enacted by the legislature until 1984.
The Freedom of Information Act and employment contracts: A case review of Stern v. Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 By Lisle A. Stalter Government Lawyers, December 2008 It seems that just a couple of years ago there were only a handful of cases discussing the Freedom of Information Act and its exemptions.
Statutory Changes, 94th and 95th General Assemblies By William A. Price Administrative Law, August 2008 This review notes revisions to the Administrative Procedure Act, Administrative Review Law, Freedom of Information Act, and Open Meetings Act in the 94th and 95th General Assemblies, based on keyword searches using the words of each of the above act’s titles in the Illinois General Assembly public acts database.
Two recent federal FOIA cases By Paul E. Freehling Administrative Law, August 2008 The federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. §552 et seq. (“FOIA”), is the subject of two informative recent decisions of circuit courts of appeal.
Are employment contracts a matter of record and available under FOIA? By Marc Christopher Loro Administrative Law, June 2008 This article examines the applicable FOIA provisions, and the appellate court’s reasoning and holding that the contracts must be disclosed.
Reppert v. SIU: 4th District decision—A commentary By Phillip B. Lenzini Local Government Law, May 2008 Essentially, the decision in the case of Reppert v. Southern Illinois University reversed the trial court’s summary judgment on behalf of SIU in the Freedom of Information Act case seeking release of the employment contracts of several SIU employees.
The Local Records Act and Destruction of Public Records By Maryann Bullion Local Government Law, March 2008 If one of your local government clients deletes an e-mail or throws away a file that contains information that should be considered a public record, they could be charged with a Class 4 felony.
District conflict over interpretation of Illinois FOIA? By Peter Horst Administrative Law, December 2007 The Illinois Freedom of Information Act requires public bodies to disclose public records upon request, unless the information requested falls within a limited number of statutory exemptions.
Reppert v. Southern Illinois University—employment contracts and the Freedom of Information Act By Lisle A. Stalter Government Lawyers, December 2007 There are surprisingly few cases discussing the Freedom of Information Act1 and its exceptions—particularly when it comes to personnel files.
Job evaluations and personnel files under the Freedom of Information Act By Phillip B. Lenzini Government Lawyers, April 2006 All public employees should appreciate the decision in Copley.
Job evaluations and personnel files under the Freedom of Information Act By Phillip B. Lenzini Local Government Law, March 2006 All public employees should appreciate the decision in Copley Press.
FOIA and technology—When will they converge? By David J. Silverman Government Lawyers, February 2003 Recently, the Houston Chronicle requested a computerized copy of records on Texas' 12 million drivers.
FOIA and technology—When will they converge? By David J. Silverman Administrative Law, January 2003 Recently, the Houston Chronicle requested a computerized copy of records on Texas' 12 million drivers.
FOIA and technology—When will they converge? By David J. Silverman Local Government Law, October 2002 Recently, the Houston Chronicle requested a computerized copy of records on Texas' 12 million drivers.
Statutory developments By Robert John Kane Administrative Law, January 1999 The Illinois Administrative Procedure Act (IAPA) (5 ILCS 100/1-1 et seq.) has been amended by three Public Acts.