The free flow of information is key to our democratic society. The challenge for everyone involved in any aspect of our government is to balance the public's right to know with the individual's right to privacy. Laws on public records and open meetings affect every public official and every public agency. It is important that you be prepared to deal with the numerous legal and practical questions that arise under those laws.
This seminar will provide an analysis of the public records and open meetings laws as well as practical advice on how to function within those laws.
- Florida's Public Records Act
- Florida's Open Meetings Law
- Access to judicial records and proceedings
- Ethical and strategic considerations
- The attendee will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the history of open meetings/open records issues.
- The attendee will be prepared for litigation when a public entity is tangentially involved.
- The attendee will be prepared for litigation involving private individuals in the public eye.
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
I. An Overview Of Florida's
Public Records Act, Florida
Statutes Chapter 119
A. What Is A Public Record?
B. Who Is The Custodian Of The Record?
C. What Procedures Must Be Followed To Respond To A Request Under The Law?
D. What Is The Liability For 'Unlawful Refusal'?
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
II. Exemptions And Limitations
On Application Of The Public
Records Act Panel
A. Presumption Of Disclosure
B. What Are The Exemptions And Where Are They Found
C. Difference Between Exempted Information And Confidential
D. Right To Review Of Custodian's Refusal
11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
III. An Overview Of Florida's
Open Meetings Law, Florida
A. Overview Of The Sunshine Law Requirements
B. Sunshine Law And The Media
C. Recent Opinions
12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch (On Your Own)
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
IV. When Are Private Entities
Subject To Florida's Public
A. Statutory Definition Of An 'Agency'
B. Theories Upon Which Private Entities Are Subject To The Public Records Law
1. 'Acting On Behalf Of' A Public Agency
2. Delegation Of Public Function
3. Contractual Provisions
4. Other Theories
C. Practical And Strategic Aspects Of Asserting And Defending Claims Against Private Entities
D. Private Entities' Liability For Attorney Fees For 'Unlawful Refusal'
E. Recent Opinions
2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
V. Access To Judicial Records
A. General Rule Of Access
B. Access To Criminal Proceedings
C. Access To Civil Proceedings
D. Access To Juvenile Proceedings
E. Access To Judicial And Litigation Records
1. Access To Case Files At The Courthouse
2. Electronic Access To Case Files
3. Access To Court Administrative Records
4. Access To Criminal Discovery Materials
F. Notice Of Closure Of Records And Proceedings
3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
VI. Ethical And Strategic
Considerations Relating To Florida's
Open Government Laws Panel
A. Acting In Good Faith When Representing Clients Before Local Governments And Agencies
B. The Limitations Imposed By Statutory Or Common Law On Such Representation
C. Acting In Good Faith When Responding To Public Records Act Requests
D. The Right To Attorney Fees
E. Use Of Public Records Requests In Unrelated Litigation
F. Dealing With Burdensome Or Repeated Public Records Requests Are There Any Limits On The Government's Obligations Under The Public Records Act?