Government Transparency

Navigating state and federal public records and transparency laws

The attorneys in Offit Kurman’s Government Transparency Group represent businesses and individuals seeking information from government agencies.  Whether you’re a contractor looking for insight into the bidding process for a prospective government client, or a local advocacy group holding trying to hold your elected officials accountable, Offit Kurman will advocate for your best interests strategically and efficiently.  In addition to the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we help our clients navigate state public records laws like Maryland’s Public Information Act (MPIA), Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law (RTKL), New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA), and New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).  Adding to our depth of experience, we have also spent years advising and litigating on behalf of local government agencies.

 

Going on the Offensive

Offit Kurman advises businesses, individuals, and the media on how to tailor a public record request to obtain the most information allowed under the applicable law.  When you want to quickly and discretely gather information, Offit Kurman is ready to help you strategize and target your efforts. 

Protecting Your Trade Secrets

Offit Kurman is here to help you protect your trade secrets so you can focus on what you do best: being the expert in your business.  After winning a bid for a government contract, you may find that a losing bidder has requested a copy of your successful bid, including the trade secrets and commercial information.  Offit Kurman can help you navigate these difficult waters, ensuring that the governmental agency withhold some or all of the bid. 

Government Agency Representation

We advise local government offices on how to create an efficient system for responding to records requests, the duty to disclose certain records, the right to deny access to records under applicable law, the right to charge fees to requesters, and how to efficiently and successfully litigate to limit the burdens on your office.  We also help agencies understand and comply with their Sunshine Act requirements. 

Litigation

When you’re seeking to obtain or protect a record critical to you or your competitors, Offit Kurman’s team of experienced litigators will not hesitate to protect your interests in court.  Our attorneys thrive in the courtroom and we have prevailed on these important issues before agencies, trial courts, and appellate courts.  We are ready to pursue all avenues to seek a satisfying outcome for our clients:

  • Administrative agency public records practice (e.g., the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records)
  • Negotiation and mediation
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Temporary restraining orders
  • Appellate practice

 

Leadership